Over the last several years, Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) have proliferated across many industries and are now installed in large numbers. In many cases, however, the true potential of these drives to optimize operational efficiency has yet to be fully achieved.
Most VSDs are directly linked to other devices (e.g., motors, pumps and other mechanical and electro-mechanical devices). Together these form a “driveline” where VSD is the only device that possesses embedded intelligence. This allows the drive to act as a Services Oriented Drive (SOD). The SOD concept enables VSDs to minimize their own downtime and also allows them to be utilized as smart sensors for the entire driveline (monitoring variables such as motor torque, motor temperature, mains voltage, and energy consumption of the load etc.).
As an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-ready version of the VSD, the SODs play two important roles in supporting industrial operations. Amongst many other features and benefits, they:
- collect, store, and integrate all energy-related data to create a layer of energy intelligence that exposes energy waste, unused capacity, and water waste (when connected to pumps)
- enable predictive maintenance analytics software to identify equipment performance issues before they cause delays or stoppages.
Consider some example of how SODs are impacting four key industries like Oil & Gas, Water/Wastewater, Mining/Minerals & Metals, and Food & Beverage:
Oil & Gas – SODs are providing benefit to Oil & Gas operations in the area of field maintenance. Tools such as QR code technology (for non-connected drives), and remote monitoring (for connected drives) help to link SODs to diagnostic experts. By flashing the QR code with their cell phones, the maintenance personnel can directly access drive related materials online and connect to the drive manufacturer hotline so that a drive can be started up to the proper specification.
Food & Beverage – Energy savings gains of up to 30% can be realized by making improvements to outdated Food & Beverage equipment components that waste electricity. Equipment like thermocouples, motors, and compressors can degrade over time and may not be operating at full potential. It is difficult to know when components are wearing out and whether the process will be affected. SODs provide visibility to these hidden potential problems by exposing more process related data to end users.
Water & wastewater – Each water management activity creates data that can reveal valuable network operations and business insight. SODs take a pump’s characteristics into account when they are configured, and track its efficiency levels using dedicated firmware algorithms. For applications like water level control, the algorithms can ensure optimum energy consumption by maintaining all the pumps in the system at their “Best Efficiency Point” By combining integrated power measurement and the pump’s characteristics, the SOD provides a specific energy consumption KPI (kWh /M3). This enables operators to monitor and manage the overall performance of every pump in their installation in real time.
Mining, Minerals & Metals – In these industries, VSDs support motors that are used for multiple applications, such as pumps, fans, gas compressors, kilns, conveyors, crushers, and hoisting devices. SODs enable condition monitoring and predictive maintenance analytics software to identify equipment performance issues before they cause delays or stoppages. They collect, store, and integrate all energy-related data to create a layer of energy intelligence that exposes energy waste or unused capacity.
To discover how Services Oriented Drives can positively impact your company’s operational efficiency, download the new Schneider Electric e-guide entitled “Experience the Benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Through Variable Speed Drives.”