What’s Rexroth Ecodrive?

Rexroth’s Ecodrive drive controller was a landmark product when it first came out. It was an unusually intelligent controller, part of a beautifully designed industrial motion control system, at a great price.

In fact, the “eco” in Ecodrive stands for “economy,” not “ecology” as you might have thought. The object of the Ecodrive initiative was to provide an economical entry-level industrial motion control system for all kinds of general automation. Modules can be combined to power and control everything from simple single-axis general automation to complex multi-access applications.

The Ecodrive servo drive is also known as the Rexroth DKC family. Model numbers include DKC01.1, DKC11.1, DKC02, and DKC03.3. Ecodrive Cs drives were notable for their small footprints, providing more versatility for manufacturers. Ecodrive/Duradrive systems (DKCXX.3) were also available at the beginning of the 21st century. These general automation systems were used for machine tools, printing, food handling and packaging, and robotics.

Ecodrive drive controls use DriveTop software. They support a number of Rexroth servomotors, including MKD motors, as well as some third party motors with resolvers. They can be programmed with an ordinary PC.

The small footprint, versatility, and reasonable cost (or “price to performance ratio,” as Rexroth put it in early documents about Ecodrive) made Ecodrive a practical option for smaller companies. This led to a very high level of popularity for Ecodrive.

One of the unfortunate results was that smaller companies weren’t able to get the kind of support they needed; in many cases, they were in touch with a sales person, not a tech support person. New expansion needs or repair issues sometimes met with a sales pitch for new machinery rather than real support. Complaints about Ecodrive pretty much never even mention performance issues — instead, they focus on support problems.

A lot of Ecodrive systems are still in service today. For some manufacturers, finding people who know how to use DriveTop is a challenge. Finding support for your Ecodrive machinery doesn’t have to be a challenge, because we specialize in Rexroth electric industrial motion control machinery, from legacy units to the most recent. We offer phone support, field support, and the country’s largest inventory of emergency replacement units. Go ahead and save our number — 479-422-0390 — in your phone right now. You’ll save time next time you need support for any of your Rexroth electric servo motors, drives, and controls.




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