AC Drives

Industrial AC Drive Start Up Tips

Posted November 2, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog, Industrial AC Drive, Industrial Electronics Repair

If you need help with your AC drive start up, call us. We can help.

Here are some tips to help you with an industrial AC drive start up.

Before You Start

• VFDs are mounted in an appropriate environment and required input circuit protection.
• Install all electrical conduit, if needed, prior to the AC drive start up
• The electrical in/out 3Ø power cable have been pulled and are terminated onto VFDs.
• The AC motors are mounted and are uncoupled from the load, if possible, to facilitate an auto tune of the VFD with access to the motor name plate data.
• The communication signals are pulled and are near the field connection terminals on the VFD.

AC Drive Start Up Steps

• Verify the drive model number to ensure it's the correct model
• Ensure the area surrounding the drive complies with specifications
• Verify that the drive is properly sized to run the motor
• Confirm there is proper circuit protection as specified by national and local code
• Properly wire drive terminals R/L1, S/L2, T/L3 & R/T1. V/T2, W/T3 and control wiring
• Properly ground the drive and tighten control and grounding terminal according to specification
• Program the VFD according to the motor nameplate data and customer’s expectations
• Perform Auto-Tune based on control mode and other operating conditions.
• Verify rotation.

Innovative-IDM is an Authorized Service Provider and Distributor for Yaskawa VFDs. When we do your Yaskawa AC drive start up, you receive an additional year on your Yaskawa factory warranty -- a total of two years.

Silva

If you have a drive that needs to be repaired, we can help you with that, too. If I can be of any help to you, email me and I'd be glad to walk you through whatever I can. If you're not using VFDs, you could end up like Lucy in the candy factory.

Juan Silva is a field service technician out of our Houston store. You can reach him at juan.silva@iidm.com.

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If Lucy Had a Yaskawa VFD, This (Episode) Wouldn’t Have Happened

Posted October 31, 2017 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog

Tags:

Because a Yaskawa VFD would have allowed the operators of the candy factory to slow down or even reverse the conveyor belt. Instead, they were probably running an old DC motor with in-rush current starts and stops and draining their electricity use. Does this sound like you?

I, for one, am extremely happy they DID NOT have VFDs in the 1950s — lest we’d have never had this classic episode of I Love Lucy, which was bad luck for Lucy and Ethel.

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AC Controls System Save Money vs. DC Systems

Posted June 13, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog

Can an AC controls system save you money vs. a DC controls system?

Here is an interesting slide from our recent webinar, "DC to AC Drive Retrofits." Over the expected life of a DC motor, you can expect to spend nearly $600,000 in repairs, maintenance and field service costs. This cost includes the associated downtime opportunity costs, too. So if you make the decision to change from DC to an AC controls system today, find a great partner. You won't have to worry about the AC drive maintenance costs....leave that for the next guy who replaces you after you're promoted for making wise decisions.

The webinar brought up some interesting considerations concerning AC controls systems vs DC control systems. AC wins on energy consumption, yet DC wins or ties on many other performance factors which are explained in the presentation. However, AC control systems enjoy far less downtime and repair/maintenance time than DC. Given that all downtime has a negative production cost, an AC controls system (as you can see in the chart below) wins BIG in the long run.

The DC to AC Drive retrofit webinar is available to watch on demand here.

AC Systems Save Money

If you decide to replace your DC motors with an AC controls system, it will be the next guy -- not you -- who worries about the maintenance of the AC system.

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AutoTune an AC drive with a Cheat Sheet

Posted May 20, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog

To AutoTune an AC drive seems like a complicated task that requires technical experience. While the devices themselves can be used for complicated tasks, setting them doesn’t have to be difficult. Many AC drives can be AutoTuned and program themselves if you follow a basic set of instructions generally provided by the manufacturer.

And it’s not the programming manual.

Programming manuals can be daunting books to read through with a lot of numbers, charts, diagrams and text that is easy to get lost in. The solution is something else: The Cheat Sheet.

Cheat sheets are nifty charts that walk you through the process of wiring the motor to three or four simple parameters then guide you through the actual process of setting up and auto-tuning your AC drive.

Many manufacturers and sellers provide cheat sheets and manuals on their website so coming by this information can be as simple as performing a Google search. A search for ‘Yaskawa cheat sheet’ brings up five or six cheat sheets alone for their AC drives.

Yaskawa provides multiple cheat sheets AutoTune an AC Drive. It ranges from the Yaskawa v1000 to the higher-featured a1000 drive.

Quick Start Guides will provide a bit more detail than cheat sheets and are another simple resource for installing an AC drive. They have flow charts, walking you through each step in order to have your drive operating as soon as possible.

Of course, if your task is more complex then a manual may be your only option. They have every detail about every parameter and are useful for experienced technicians.

Check out our website for an extensive list of AC drive information like cheat sheets, manuals, tips and online resources.

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DC to AC Retrofits Free Webinar, June 7

Posted May 19, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog

DC to AC Drive retrofit free webinar June 7

Join us June 7, 1:30 p.m. CT. OR, download the webinar on demand when it's convenient.

There were real learning opportunities in our last two webinars: Collaborative Robots and Aluminum Extrusion.You can see both of them at your convenience at our Webinars On Demand page.

Next up June 7: When planning what to do with your machine's DC drive system, consider the following: AC beats DC for performance; AC beats DC for energy savings; Find out how your facility can increase performance while saving money with host Steve Lyons, systems engineer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS INCLUDE:

  • Why power distribution system is more efficient with AC than with DC.
  • Why an AC motor is more efficient than the DC motor by a much greater amount
  • Reasons why the overall power distribution system is more efficient with AC than with DC
  • And more.

REGISTER Today for DC to AC Drives, a free learning and information webinar from Innovative-IDM.

 

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Fire Damaged Control Panel Repaired

Posted April 1, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: AC Drives, Blog, field service

Tags: , ,

The wastewater plant called Friday morning, needing an emergency repair on a fire damaged control panel. The thing  had gone up in flames. Click on the photos below for more of the gory details.

This customer is about two hours away. I scrambled to get together parts I thought I might need and hit the road. On the way out there, my network of co-workers put together an email containing drawings and DC drive settings from when we had modified the system (more than 10 years earlier). I also had a parts list and an explanation of how the machine, which the panel controlled, was supposed to operate.

When I arrived onsite I was told again how critical this fire damaged control panel was to the operation. The panel controlled a centrifuge at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. A speedy repair was critical.

Opening the panel revealed charred components top to bottom. Most of the insulation had burned off the wires, and no labels were to be found. I started pulling out the destroyed and damaged parts and wires.

By Friday evening, I had most of the panel empty, a new Bardac drive ordered for Saturday delivery, and a list of necessary parts. I returned to Houston, collected the relays, timers, contactors, and wires that I would need to rebuild the panel.

Saturday, I returned to the wastewater site and worked all day cleaning out the panel and installing all the parts. There were three sets of drawings for this machine because it had been modified a several times. Much of the new wiring had to be done based on how they wanted it to work, rather than following the drawings. I had to again call in for some backup help from colleagues to get the old drive settings in to the new unit. By Saturday night (around 11 p.m.), the centrifuge system was again operational.

Jon McPherson

McPherson

I returned a couple of times the next week to clean up the panel, install new Delta-wye start contactors, and build and install the necessary mounting brackets. The customer was excited to have the system working again.

Jon McPherson is an Innovative-IDM field service technician based in Houston. You can contact him at jon.mcpherson@iidm.com.

 

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