Dave Hawley, ABB's UK General Manager for motors & generators, writes: When drives were initially invented over 40 years ago, their sole purpose was to be able to regulate motor speed to help improve production output.
In recent years, this purpose has been overshadowed and overtaken by the energy savings that fitting drives can deliver on top of the production improvement benefits.
It is time to re-dress the balance and rediscover the real potential that lies within a modern variable-speed drive outside of just being able to save energy. There are long-forgotten productivity benefits drives can bring that companies are missing out on due to their focus solely on energy savings.
Functions contained within a variable-speed drive such as motor load protection, torque boost and power loss ride through can bring significant benefits to many production processes through precise motor control and production line speed optimisation.
To restore the balance between energy saving and productivity improvement benefits, ABB is launching an all-new Energy Efficiency and Productivity Improvement Plan. It is a 10-step plan aimed at providing step-by-step support for enhancing the performance of motor-driven applications using variable-speed drives and high efficiency electric motors.
Included within the 10-stage plan is an Energy and Productivity Appraisal that is undertaken by ABB and its network of authorised value providers.
The appraisal starts by outlining the scope of supply, focussing on processes and applications where significant energy savings can be made. The productivity part of the appraisal looks at both variable- and constant-torque loads, their control methods and where improvements can be made.
The next step is monitoring and data collection which involves identifying applications that may be running inefficiently. The selected applications may be monitored in order to accurately determine which ones are consuming the most energy or operating inefficiently. This stage may be performed over a seven-day period, to gain a complete picture of the plant’s typical energy use and productivity profile.
Data analysis takes the findings and identifies potential savings using dedicated software. The findings are presented, with tables and graphs to help identify where savings are likely to arise.
Recommendations, consisting of an action plan, comprise an Executive Summary and a detailed engineer’s report, highlighting applications that can benefit the most from using VSDs. The report shows the expected payback time on fitting new equipment.
Implementation uses the recommendations from the appraisal and identifies the correct drive and motor for the respective application. ABB can help with the installation and start-up or commissioning of the drive and motor.
Verification and follow-up analyses the new equipment fitted, and looks at the energy savings achieved against the predictions shown in the engineer’s report. This helps justify the investment in drives and electric motors.
To rediscover how variable-speed drives and motors can improve the productivity of your business, talk to the ABB Energy & Productivity Team on 07000 ABB AVP, that’s 07000 222 287
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