Speed drives are devices used in machines run on motors. The function of the speed drives is to provide precision motor control so that the motor can be run on optimal speed and use only as much power as is needed, instead of having to run at a fixed speed and consume excess energy.
Having said that, the greatest benefit of the speed drives is savings in the energy bills of the factory. The speed drives can result in savings of 25% to 70% in power bills. But in addition to massive savings, here are the other benefits of drives and automation:
Generally, when the motor gets started, it consumes upto 7 to 8 times of its full load to get started. Now, this produces enormous heat and a result, the life of the motor is reduced greatly. When you use drive, the motor gets started at zero voltage and frequency and uses 50% of the full load current. Thus, with the reduced current, the life of your motor gets enhanced. Also, it reduces the wear and tear of the motor.
In absence of drives, the motor causes pressure on the power distribution system. At the times of low voltage or voltage fluctuations, it will cause the power to trip and disrupt the power supply to other equipment. These power disruptions can be avoided using drives.
Best is, the speed drive gradually accelerates from zero speed to optimal speed, thus the motor does not start with a jolt. In absence of the drive, the motor starts with a jolt, which over a period of time causes wear and tear. Also, if you are producing breakable items such as glass ware etc, you are likely to face breakages if you do not use drives.
Now, just as the automated drives help in smooth operation of the motor, so does it help when the motor is switched off. The drive helps the motor to come to a halt gradually, thereby preventing shocks and breakages.
The drives when automated enable to make process changes easily and even allows for the smallest alterations to the process. With the help of programmable controller, you can monitor and make remote changes to the speed.
With automation, you can even set the upper limit of torque, so that in no event the motor would exceed the predefined limits. Thus, even in case of overload, your motor will be protected.
With the automated drives, you can do away with the mechanical gear boxes, since the drives operate at variable speed and adjust the speed according to the load and the motor. Thus, drives and automation not only saves money in terms of utility bills, reduced maintenance and longer motor life, it will also save space occupied by the gear boxes.
As you can see drives and automation will result in immediate savings in the working capital with reduced power consumption. Also, since it reduces the wear and tear of the motor, you’ll save capital expenditure in terms of motor replacement or rewindings.