Posted tagged ‘variable frequency drive’

7 Things to Know When Choosing an Industrial AC Drive

June 10, 2015

Seven Things To Know When Choosing An AC DriveWhich industrial AC drive should I use? Picking the correct features of a Variable Frequency Drive for your particular application can leave you scratching your head. Here are 7 things to know and should consider when picking the right AC drive for your need.

1. Know the AC drive’s electrical current limit
Your industrial AC drive supplies current to your motor and shut it on and off. Every time your motor shuts off and on, current will spike in your AC drive. Knowing your AC drive’s electrical current limit will ensure that the motor doesn’t burn itself or the AC drive out. It can also let your AC drive shut the motor off in the event the motor begins to draw too much current.
2. Find the motor’s name plate information
The motor your AC drive operates will have a plate of information on it giving you the specs it needs an AC drive to have. Information like horsepower, torque, current draw and etc., are all displayed on the motor so it’s important to match the AC drive to the motor, not the overall system itself.
3. Know your motor’s duty cycle
The AC drive you choose will need to account for the duty cycle of its motor. If the motor is running nonstop or for extended periods of time, it will generate heat and begin to operate less efficiently or even burn up as a result. Picking the right AC drive with the right programming allows it to monitor the motor’s condition and mitigate the productive losses to a minimum.
4. Know what your industrial AC drive communicates with.
Your AC drive needs to chat with other buddies besides the motor. As part of a larger, complete system, your AC drive may need to communicate with a Data Collection System (DCS) or Controlling System. These systems can PC-Based or controlled automatically by a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). Knowing your systems communication protocol allows you to choose an AC drive with the same or even multiple communication protocols.
5. Know your AC drive’s control method.
Your AC drive can be controlled using a variety of different methods. Depending on whether it will be a local, analog or digital control method, the AC drive will need to be set up differently. Each method requires different wiring and ports, so knowing this beforehand will make selecting an industrial AC drive easier.
6. Know the environmental conditions.
An AC drive will likely operate under less-than-perfect conditions. Take into account how dusty its operating environment will be. How hot will it get? Is there moisture? Industrial AC drives can come built with an Ingress Protection rating, which will give it varying degrees of resistance to adverse conditions. You could also choose a housing cabinet that will protect a standard AC drive.
7. Know your available power.
Knowing what kind of electrical supply you already have will let you select the right industrial AC drive. For example, if you’re using a 120 volt wall outlet, you can select an AC drive that’s capable of operating on that power supply. If it’s more, pick a higher volt AC drive. If it’s lower, pick a lower volt AC drive. — Troy Hardy, Field Application Engineer

4 Ways to Reduce VFD Downtime

April 15, 2015

Variable frequency drives are probably one of the greatest inventions in modern automation.  If you aren’t using one of these things yet, trust me you will be soon.  They are always getting less expensive, easier to use, the applications are virtually endless.  Now you can control the speed and the direction of the motor and save money at the same time.  These things are instrumental in a lot of different applications and therefore, their uptime is critical.  As you may know if you ever had to replace one before, it could be a little cumbersome to replace.  It’s always really a race against the clock, because it almost certainly means a motor somewhere is not running which is probably meaning some downtime for you.

So the first thing you always want to remember about VFD uptime is that heat is the number one VFD killer, or heat is the number 1 killer for any piece of electronics for that matter, especially VFDs.  These components you have to remember have high voltage running through them, so it could be 480-600 volts if you are in the Canada market running through them and they produce a lot of heat.  There are fans inside these things that are designed to cool them.  They also have massive heat syncs on the back that are used for heat transfer to the cabinet or surrounding pieces to keep them cool.  The one thing you always have to remember is you need to let your VFDs breathe.  They have to stay cool.  Keep the fans running, always keep the fans running.  The first thing that you are probably going to see that will fail on a VFD is the fan, because it’s always running.  Anytime the VFD is on, the fans are running constantly.  So you need to make sure you have spare fans on the shelf, you know how to replace them, and you maintain them.  Make them part of your preventative maintenance program.  Check and make sure they are running. Also, the heat syncs themselves can get very dusty, and that dust can build up a lot of that heat so that it can’t transfer heat properly and they will get too hot.  Always clean your heat syncs.

1. There are fans forcing air through the internals. Dust can build up just like a PC at home.  What do you do to mitigate that?  You get a can of compressed air and blow that stuff out of there every now and then.  Make sure that you keep a VFD cool and it will always be happy.

2. You want to protect your drafts from heat and contaminants, such as dust or particulate that may be in your air because of whatever process is going on in the nearby environment. You want to make sure the cabinet that these are installed in or at least the environment of the room they are in is a controlled environment.  Make sure it’s not going to get too hot.  If you are going to put it in a cabinet make sure the Nema or the IP rating of the cabinet is suitable for that environment to keep the contaminants from getting to this piece of equipment.

3. You always want to use proper electrical filters whenever possible. There are filters that are designed for use of both line side, which is between the power company and the drive, and load side, which is between the drive and the motor or the load.  There are inductive and compassitive type filters as well as RFIEMI type filters that are designed to help these things, help protect these things from power spikes, electromagnetic noise that may damage the input or output side of the drive or electronics.  So always try to use proper electrical filters.  It may cost you a little more in the beginning but you will be a lot better off in the long run because it will prolong the life of the VFD itself.

4. You always want to properly maintain the load that this motor is connected to. For instance, if you are not properly maintaining a motor and the motor burns up and the insulation melts inside the motor because it gets too hot, maybe because you didn’t grease a barring.  It could cause a short.  A short is going to damage the output of this drive and could cause the drive itself to fail.  So make sure you are always properly maintaining downstream equipment, the load that the drive is hooked up to.

If you have any more questions about this always feel free to contact us.  We have application specialists that can help answer questions as far as how to properly size them, how to properly size the cabinets that they are installed in, the environments they go in, as well as the electrical filters I mentioned, best practices to use when installing those.  You can also find a lot of information on our website  This is where you will find our knowledge center.  There is going to be white papers best practices listed there that you would want to use when selecting drives and components both upstream and downstream from the drive to help increase uptime.  After all Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

How To Pick an Industrial Motor

February 17, 2015

Hi, my name is Andy Lewis with Innovative-IDM and today I’m going to tell you about some guidelines whenever specing in or picking out an industrial motor. It’s really not as hard as you might think; it’s pretty simple to tell you the truth. But there are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to.

One, sizing:  whenever we’re talking about mounting size or voltage or current, we need to make sure that the holes are going to match up. You need to make sure that if it’s a 494T, that what you get is capable of handling that amount.

Second: current and voltage, as long as the application is not changing, need to be the same as the previous motor. If you’re unsure of that information, I would suggest that you take a look at the force requirements and other requirements from the application before you spec in that motor. First, take a look at torque curves; make sure that you’re providing enough information so that you can pick out the right size motor. Second is environment. Is it in a harsh environment? Are there pieces of rock, dust and dirt falling on it? Or is it inside? Or is it just for general purposes, running a fan 24/7 all day, every day.

Another idea is to take a look at whether it is inverter duty or general purpose. And when we say inverter duty, this type of motor is made for a high duty cycle environment; it is constantly speeding up and slowing down, all from an inverter or a VFD.

Next, there are a couple of different ways to control a motor. You can do it across the line, meaning that the motor is basically hooked up, three phased or one phased, however it is, to a circuit or a disconnect. Otherwise, you can use a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) and use volts, hertz control, you can do open loop vector or you can do closed loop vector. The main thing you need to know here is that if you’re going to be dealing with closed looped vector for the most control out of that motor, you’re going to need an encoder or a tach for a DC motor to actually make that happen. Don’t overlook that; make sure that the mounting bracket on the backside is going to fit the encoder that you use.

Finally speed range. What speed are you working at? Do you need a gearbox? Do you need some type of rack and pinion? How do you plan on driving the end product? All questions that are very important, but if you do it correctly, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

For more information, go to and remember, Innovative-IDM is Home of the Legendary Customer Experience.

4 Ways To Reduce Variable Frequency Drive Downtime

March 14, 2014

Variable frequency drives are probably one of the greatest inventions in modern automation. If you aren’t using one of these things yet, trust me you will be soon. They’re always getting less expensive, easier to use and the applications are virtually endless.

Virtual Frequency Drives are very instrumental in a lot of different applications and therefore their uptime is critical. If you’ve ever had to replace one, you already know it can be a bit cumbersome to replace because it almost certainly means that a motor somewhere is not running; which probably means downtime for your business.

So, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind when using your Variable Frequency Drive.

1. The #1 killer of VFD’s is heat. These components have high voltage running through them and heat is a result of that fact.

2. To mitigate heat VFD’s have fans that are always running and as a result the fans are the parts that most frequently fail. That means you want to replace your fans before they fail to avoid damaging your VFD as a result of overheating.

3. VFD’s have massive heat sinks that draw heat away from the unit and into the atmosphere. As dust and other contaminants accumulate on the heat sinks their efficiency decreases and can lead to damage of your VFD. This can be avoided by using compressed air on a regular basis to keep your heat sinks clean.

4. Dust is a huge killer of electronic components and you want to keep your VFD clean and clear of dust as much as possible. A protective cabinet can do a great job of protecting your VFD from dust and other particles and contaminants. Always be sure that the NEMA or the IP Rating on the cabinet is suitable for the environment where your VFD will be used.

5. Using proper electrical filters is another way to ensure the longevity of your VFD unit, both the line side (electric company to VFD) and the load side (VFD to motor) should be protected.

These investments may cost a bit more in the beginning but they a well worth it over the long-term for savings in repair, replacements and most of all downtime.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our service representatives give us a call: 877-906-2100

After all, Innovative IDM is the “Home Of The Legendary Customer Experience!”

Yaskawa Application Overview: Lathe

August 2, 2013

Click here for the full “Application Overview: Lathe” from Yaskawa.

Yaskawa Lathe Applicaiton

A metal lathe usually spins the work piece along a horizontal axis. A mandrel or chuck is mounted to the headstock of the lathe. A follower block or tail block is mounted to the tailstock. A blank piece is clamped to the lathe and pressure is applied to the blank via a cutting tool. Material is cut away on each pass across the blank. After each pass, the lever arm is moved closer to the final position. Eventually, when the proper amount of material has been removed, the part is completed.

Yaskawa AC drives can be interlocked with the CNC control systems so the operation of the CNC controller and the AC drive are synchronized.

In addition, the Energy Saving Mode in Yaskawa AC drives automatically detect changes to the amount of torque required during shaping and finishing phases. This feedback enables the drive to quickly detect changes as the cutting tool becomes dull.

Call Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or send us an email at to order your Yaskawa A100o or G7 drives today!

Introduction to the Yaskawa V1000-4X Drive

April 25, 2013

The Yaskawa V1000-4X drive provides the protection required in tough washdown or dust-tight environments.

Order your Yaskawa V1000-4X Drive today. Call Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or send us an email at

Yaskawa Announces the New P1000 Variable Speed Drive

July 19, 2012

The P1000 drive provides simple, reliable, cost-effective control for variable-torque loads through 500 HP.  Specific application features, energy savings, and network connectivity make the P1000 a great choice for industrial fans and pumps.

Click here to go to our Knowledge Center, where you can find the Yaskawa P1000 catalog and brochure!  Order your P1000 Variable Speed Drive today – call Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or send us an email at