Posted on 27th Jan 2023
Variable speed drives (VSDs) are becoming more prevalent in use as a result of tightening regulations governing electric motor efficiency. The drive incorporates both hardware and software that is intended to interact with a motor in a particular application, and is frequently specified by the motor manufacturer as part of the initial installation or modified to increase efficiency.
What happens then if the drive stops working? ..
By adjusting the frequency and voltage of the motor supply, inverters, variable frequency drives (VFDs), and variable speed drives (VSDs) are all effectively achieving the same objective: controlling the speed and torque of an AC motor.
Modern applications allow them to understand a variety of input signals and adjust the motor output in accordance with installed predetermined software.
Drives can significantly reduce energy use by adjusting the motor output to the process' requirements.
Although the technology has been available for a while, the size of drives has substantially decreased over time, while the number of management functions has expanded and overall energy savings have risen.
Since so much of the original equipment has become obsolete due to this development, it could be challenging to find an appropriate repair if issues do arise.
Complete replacement may be suggested, although it might not be the most economical course of action, especially for bigger pieces of equipment.
The majority of industrial processes will have a period of time set out for maintenance; it can be a specified period of time when everything is shut down, or it might be a regular programme that examines individual things in a way that suits the on-site maintenance department.
These maintenance schedules frequently focus on the mechanical components, such as motors, pumps, fans, bearings, chains, and belts, but they frequently overlook any electrical inspections.
Periodic electrical inspections of the wiring system are possible, but drives and other equipment wouldn't be included unless they were specifically mentioned.
VSDs are frequently thought of as "black box" technologies that only require attention when anything goes wrong. Unfortunately, this method can cause a lot of downtime, which could significantly affect productivity as a whole.
Many industrial and commercial businesses are approaching maintenance in a more proactive manner, but frequently this does not extend to electrical equipment like VSD.
It is often the case that internal maintenance departments lack the necessary expertise or tools, therefore it is preferable to hire a specialist rather than ignore the problems.
Engaging the services of a skilled repairer can result in considerable benefits, including reduced downtime in the case of a failure and preventative maintenance inspections, repairs, and general product support.
Examining electrolytic capacitors, printed circuit boards (PCBs), conducting insulation resistance tests, checking fans and ventilation, and utilising thermography to find any loose connections or overheating components are all part of routine inspections.
The control programme should also be examined and saved to an external location so that, in the case of a catastrophic failure, it may be reloaded into a new drive.
Localised diagnosis to identify the root cause
On-site diagnostic is essential in drive failure scenarios in order to identify the root cause and choose the best course of action.
The client, and more specifically the operator, can frequently offer crucial details that, when combined with the information from the error code, can be utilised to identify the failure's primary cause.
A comprehensive evaluation will determine if the drive can be repaired locally or whether it must be returned to the service centre.
The power side is usually what fails since it must do the bulk of the work; in many circumstances, the control side will be functional.
The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT), which are the core of the speed control features of a VFD, as well as other parts like diodes, capacitors, and IGBT must all be in perfect working condition.
While the drive is still in use, routine VSD repair is crucial. Instead than requiring a reactive response in the case of a breakdown, it not only makes any problems clear to the consumer but may also propose solutions that may be applied when it is most convenient for the customer.
CM Industry Supply Automation service facilities can offer a cost-effective package that includes both preventative measures and a comprehensive repair service that complements CM Industry Supply Automation's larger maintenance offering because they have over 20 years of expertise repairing electronic drive control units.