Posted tagged ‘VFD’

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 innovativeidm.com.  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.

Industrial Panel Fell from Semi Truck: What’s That Look Like?

March 26, 2013

droppanelHere’s an email and photo received by our own Brad Swift today from one of our oilfield customers. Innovative-IDM built the control panel in our Houston contract manufacturing shop:

From: Joseph

Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 11:03 AM

To: Brad Swift

Subject: FW: Nabors 784 Damaged Panel Report

Brad,

We had a loader operator flip one of our newer Innovative-IDM panels off of a semi truck a few days ago.  Can you send me a quote for a complete set of VFD’s and a recommendation that we change them out due to the shock that they would have incurred while being knocked off of a semi truck?

BTW you should be very proud of how well this panel held up.  I have seen a lot of panels dropped in the past few years and none of them came away with anywhere near this minimal amount of damage.

Joseph

Operations Manager, Solids Control

Industrial AC Drives 1/8 thru 1750 HorsepowerAC Drives Industrial

February 8, 2013

yaskawaelectricDid you know Yaskawa offers drives from a fractional 1/8 HP all the way up to 1750 HP? Do you know how heavy and big a 1750 HP drive is. We’d have to send it to you on a very large truck. Call us at Innovative-IDM, we have most drives on the shelf. 877.906.2100

Automatic Energy Savings with VFDs Saves Motor Life, Too

September 18, 2012

In most pump applications, motors do not need to run at full throttle to get the job done. Yaskawa’s Michelle Bartlelson reminds us on the Linkedin Drives board that, on average, these motors can meet demand by running at just 70 percent of shaft speed. The additional system capabilities, she writes are usually reserved to accommodate future expansions or infrequent increased load demands. And that’s where a VFD can help. Various controllers can be used to run a motor at reduced speed.

A VFD can be used to operate a pump motor at any speed, and operating a pump motor below base speed to meet the requested demand can show significant energy savings. There is a whole article about it in Modern Pumping Today magazine.

Industrial Electronics Repairs Made Easy

February 17, 2012

We have an industrial electronics repair facility that can repair AC Drives, DC drives, touchscreens….you name it, all the way down to the circuit board level. There are some cool Before and After pics that really show what our technicians can do. Try us for industrial electronic repairs. There is no evaluation fee, so there’s no risk in sending the part in for inspection. Call 877.906.2100 and we’ll get you going, or you can fill out an online submission form.

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Application Note: Going From DC Motors to a Synchronized System of AC Motors and Drives

December 27, 2011
by Kat Trick, Applications Engineer, Innovative-IDM

Overview:  At one company, there is what they call a brine box. There is a saltwater tank setup that slows an electric motor saw. Within this setup, they use three DC motors. They decided they would like to change the DC motors to AC motors. In addition to changing from DC to AC, they would like to implement speed control between the motors including the ability to decelerate the motors at the same time, and at the same rate.

The Solution: We selected the AC motors to match the required speed and torque needed for the application. This information was obtained by analyzing the load conditions and from the specifications at which the DC motors were running the application. For speed control, the simple solution was to daisy chain Yaskawa drives. This allowed the drives to communicate with each other, as well as synchronize their deceleration.

The Results:  The AC motors can be rated to give the same performance, or higher performance, as the DC motors.The AC drives can provide for controlled acceleration and deceleration rates. Connection between the drives allows for the synchronization of the acceleration and deceleration rates.The Yaskawa drives have the ability for the parameter setting to be extracted. This would make programming the drives to be easier by setting the parameters in one, and just copying the parameters from that one to the other two.

Yaskawa V1000 Cheat Sheet

June 14, 2010

We came across a really useful cheat sheet for the Yaskawa V1000 drive. You can find this and thousands of other manuals, documents, white papers, spec sheets and other useful information at the Innovative Automation Knowledge Center.