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When should I upgrade my ABB drives?

As with most equipment within a plant or process, it’s important to know when you should upgrade ABB variable-speed drives in order to keep things running smoothly.

With this in mind, ABB have prepared a drives lifecycle management system that breaks a drive’s service life into four phases – active, classic, limited and obsolete. Let’s take a closer look at them:


These drives are in production and available to order, with the user benefitting from complete life cycle services, including:

  • Training and technical support
  • Spare part availability
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Retrofitting

The active phase is considered closed when production of the drive ceases, at which point ABB will make an announcement.


The classic phase begins once volume production for the drive in question has been discontinued. These drives are no longer promoted by ABB, but they are still available for purchase. Owners of classic-phase drives still enjoy the benefits of complete lifecycle services, while hardware and software may need to be upgraded in order to maintain optimum performance.


The limited phase denotes that development of the drive has ended, but spare parts are available providing components and materials can be acquired. Services will become obsolete during the limited phase; however, ABB will issue an announcement six months prior to this to allow users to upgrade to the latest technology.


This is the point at which ABB can no longer guarantee drive support or services at a reasonable cost.

ABB recommends that drives are kept in the active or classic phases, so that users have access to the full range of lifecycle services. This improves energy efficiency and productivity while minimising the risk of unplanned downtime.

To enquire about upgrading, retrofitting or replacing your ABB drives, call Alan Roberts on 07966 468430 or email

Variable-Speed Drives

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