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How to maintain your variable-speed drive’s efficiency

Variable-speed drives (VSDs) offer electric motor users the opportunity to precisely control their process while minimising energy consumption. A recent article from ABB’s Andy Preston highlights the fact that, while ABB drives are more efficient, productive and user-friendly than ever, like any piece of electrical equipment they must be properly cared for to ensure that they continue to provide the same level of service.

Mr Preston reminds drives users of four key points:

  • Dust removal
  • Moisture proofing
  • Tight connections
  • Preventative maintenance

Dust removal

Keeping a drive clean from dust is essential for maintaining optimum performance. Moisture-carrying dust that settles on circuit boards can lead to overheating and failure, so by using compressed air and an anti-static vacuum cleaner on a regular basis, dust can be eliminated.

Moisture proofing

Components within a drive exposed to moisture are vulnerable to corrosion and may short circuit at any time. A drive must be installed inside an enclosure with the appropriate Ingress Protection (IP) rating, depending on the application.

Tight connections

Mr Preston recommends that drive maintenance be carried out only by qualified personnel such as Authorized Value Providers (AVPs). However, if your drive is fully powered down and disconnected, external connections can be checked and tightened if necessary.

Preventative maintenance

While drives should only be repaired or serviced by an AVP such as Gibbons, there are certain preventative maintenance tasks that users can carry out themselves. By registering the drive with ABB, the user will have access to the installed base application which provides information that covers the device’s entire lifespan. Understanding which components are likely to fail and when means that breakdowns can be pre-empted and repairs or replacements carried out before this happens.

To benefit from the expertise of an AVP such as Gibbons and maximise the potential of your ABB drives, give Alan Roberts a call on 07966 468430 or email

Variable-Speed Drives, Electric Motors

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