Variable Speed Drives (VSD) control motor speed in response to varying process demands in your plant. The motor speed adjustment can be based on feedback from the process; for example flow rate, temperature or pressure so that process control can be improved.
Due to the ‘magic’ of affinity laws, small decreases in the speed of pumps and fans or the pressure of pumps can lead to large decreases in energy use meaning the use of VSDs can provide significant energy savings. For example:
- Using a VSD to reduce the speed of a motor reduces energy consumption by around 50%
- Using a VSD to reduce the pressure of a pump by 20%, reduces the energy consumption by around 28%
Other benefits of using VSDs include:
- Reduced stress on system components
- Accurate system control of parameters such as flow, pressure and temperature
- Improved workplace safety through reduced heat and noise levels
Variable Speed Drives are a vital component of your plant and as such they require regular preventative maintenance checks to ensure your plant is operating at peak performance.
Key checks include:
- Visual check:
These are done to ensure the drive is clean and the cooling fan and cooling system are all in good condition. Dust on VSD hardware can cause a lack of airflow, diminishing performance. Dust also absorbs moisture which can contribute to failure.Connections should also be checked as heat cycles and mechanical vibration can lead to sub-standard connection and cause erratic operation resulting in damage to machinery.
Parameter settings should be checked and recoded so that if there is a failure, the drive can be easily replaced. EAS utilise Drive Software to enable us to upload the correct settings straight back into your drive to get it up and running as quickly as possible.
- Stocktake of spare parts:
By performing a stock take of the spare parts available we can ensure that any breakdowns can be handled quickly and efficiently. It also gives the opportunity to identify drives where spare parts are no longer available so that a planned upgrade of the drive can be scheduled where it will be least disruptive to production.
Why are preventative maintenance checks so important?
Preventative maintenance checks reduce the risk of your manufacturing equipment failing, resulting
in costly unplanned downtime. With regular preventative maintenance checks of your variable speed drives and other key equipment you can:
- Reduce the chance of unplanned downtime
- Gain more control over budgeting and scheduling for equipment replacements and upgrades
- Increase the life of your critical machinery
If you need assistance checking your Variable Speed Drives or other plant and equipment are in top condition – get in touch with the EAS team today on 834 0505.