A variable-speed drive (VSD) is a piece of motion control hardware that regulates the RPM (Hz) and/or torque (voltage) of an AC motor.Some people simply call them "drives" but they go by a number of different names including AC drives, inverter drives, frequency inverters, adjustable-frequency drives (AFD), variable-frequency drives (VFD), variable-voltage drives (VVD) and micro drives.You might find a VSD in a water treatment facility, where water pumps are used to control the amount of water coming into, and leaving, the plant.A VSD might be controlled manually via it's hardware interface or intelligently via a programmable logic controller (PLC).Without a VSD, and when a motor's RPM or torque is too high or too low for its application, mechanical controls are sometimes used to slow, shift and control an application's output — this is often wasteful, using energy and materials inefficiently.Variable-speed drives are a great alternative to mechanical equipment because they can regulate process output right at the source, saving energy and money whilst cutting down on motor wear, maintenance and scrap.Implementing VSDs around your facility can be an excellent way to meet your annual emissions and environmental goals, financial goals or just reduce the noise around the facility.Finally, although a VSD should not be confused with a soft starter, you can also use a VSD to "soft start" motors with a heavy load when they are being powered up and powered down. Again, this provides significant cost and wear benefits for the motor, preventing overheating and excessive wear.If you want to know more about variable-speed drives or if you are simply looking to purchase, please contact one of our team members at Fictron.We support, sell and repair industrial drive equipment for a number of key brands, including KEB, Lenze, Yaskawa, Mitsubishi, Danfoss, ABB, Siemens and Allen-Bradley.
How to Decide - When to Repair and When to Replace
Often engineers have to make a good decision whether to repair the machine or not. Deciding whether to repair or replace broken machinery is one of the primary tasks of a factory engineer. In addition to baseline cost comparisons, there are several questions to be addressed. These includeWhat is the average lifespan of machines in this class?What is the value of the machine, based on its age and repair history?How long will it take to repair the machine?How will productivity be affected if the machine is taken offline for repair?Can the machine continue to be operated, albeit less efficiently, in its current state?What additional maintenance costs can be anticipated during the remainder of the machine’s life?Other factors may pre-empt these considerations, such as safety issues that clearly indicate the necessity of an immediate shutdown. In the case of critical equipment shutdown, an engineer may be forced to choose the quickest method to get the plant back up and running — even if it means incurring greater cost.Cost, moreover, is a complex variable. While a company might resist its spending by postponing costly repairs, over time the hidden costs of lost efficiency and productivity may greatly outweigh any immediate savings. On the other hand, while a new machine may promise maximum efficiency, it will likely also present hidden costs. These include fees for installation, inspection and certification; disposal of old equipment and remediation of hazardous materials; and earmarking time and resources for employee training in operations and safety.In addition, machine warranties should be factored in when comparing costs between repair and replacement. Although the cost of a new machine may be significantly higher than the cost of repair, the prospect of free maintenance for a set period may balance out that difference. Replacement with a newer model machine may also afford desirable capabilities outside the realm of the older model’s specifications.There are many factors to consider and the decision is normally not straight forward. Fictron Group of Companies a multi award winning company is a middle ground solution engineers can look for. Fictron repairs PLCs, HMIs, Servo Motors etc!
Once you get well versed with the different stages normally incorporated in an inverter unit as explained above, troubleshooting becomes relatively easy. The following tips will illustrate how to repair DC to AC inverter:Inverter is “Dead”:If your inverter is dead, do preliminary investigations such as checking battery voltage and connections, checking for a blown fuse, lose connections etc. If all these are OK, open the inverter outer cover and do the following steps:1) Locate the oscillator section; disconnect its output from its MOSFET stage and using a frequency meter confirm whether or not it is generating the required frequency. Normally, for a 220V inverter this frequency will be 50 Hz, and for 120V inverter this will be 60 Hz. If your meter reads no frequency or a stable DC, it may indicate a possible fault with this oscillator stage. Check its IC and the associated components for the remedy.2) In case you find the oscillator stage working fine, go for the next stage i.e. the current amplifier stage (power MOSFET). Isolate the MOSFETS from the transformer and check each device using a digital multimeter. Remember that you may have to completely remove the MOSFET or the BJT from the board while testing them with your DMM. If you find a particular device to be faulty, replace it with a new one, and check the response by switching ON the inverter. Preferably connect a high wattage DC bulb in series with the battery while testing the response, just to be on the safer side and prevent any undue damage to the battery3) Occasionally, transformers can also become the major cause for a malfunction. You can check for an open winding or a loose internal connection in the associated transformer. If you find it to be suspicious, immediately change it with a new one.Although it won't be that easy to learn everything about how to repair DC to AC inverter from this chapter itself, but definitely things will start "cooking" as you delve into the procedure through relentless practice, and some trial and error.Still have doubts...feel free to post your specific questions here. Fictron will reply
Fictron Industrial Supplies - serving industrial needs. For a company like Fictron to ensure its long-term survival in the market, it must understand its customers, their needs, and their wishes. The company must tailor its products and services to the specific requirements and preferences of each customer. Since no one knows what these are better than the customers themselves, why not involve customers directly in the development of their customised solutions? Fictron has taken this exact approach in partnership with the many companies worldwide. Digitalisation is changing our everyday lives, both at home and in industrial environments. With this in mind, customizable products and systems are more important than ever for many companies. This trend of offering customer-specific solutions rather than a limited catalog of products is also noticeable at Fictron. "As market conditions change, so do our customers' requirements,"Fictron has partnered with KEB Automation Germany for specialised repairs of Inverters throughout Malaysia and across India, Turkey, China and Uzbekistan. Tailored to the requirements of such repair and rework jobs specific to the industrial machines in those regions. Customisable training courses are also available and Fictron has collaborated with Intel Penang, Malaysia for such course to improve the skills of engineers working in Intel. The company's sourcing ability of industrial automation products does not confine to a specific catalogue, but to a customised approach in helping the industrial clients find the spare parts and solutions they need. With these features, Fictron creates real added value for our customers
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