The Benefits of Variable Frequency Drives

Benefits of VFDsPerhaps no other technological development in the past 40 years has done more to revolutionize overhead crane design than the AC Variable Frequency Drive (VFD). Today’s Variable Frequency Controls and Flux Vector Motor Controls have become the industry standard for crane control.

AC Variable Frequency Drives provide greater reliability, enhance performance, improve production throughput, prolong equipment life, and reduce maintenance costs, parts, and personnel in a variety of ways, including:

 

  • Reducing the characteristic high starting currents of AC induction motors
  • Minimizing the shock effect on both the load and the equipment
  • Offering features, such as programmable acceleration and dynamic braking that:
    • Produce softer stops and starts
    • Assure smooth transitions between speed steps
    • Reduce brake wear and required maintenance
    • Embedded Anti-Sway control

Crane-specific firmware, drive support tools, and wired/wireless communication with various peripheral devices provide valuable monitoring, status, performance, and diagnostic information.

Features are built-in and individually selectable:

  • Reverse Plug Simulation
  • Stall Prevention
  • Inching Control
  • Weight Measurement System
  • Micro-Positioning Control
  • Static Stepless Simulation

No two applications are the same. Variable Frequency Drives provide users with a variety of operating modes and a wide range of options. Most single-speed squirrel cage motors can be controlled by VFDs, including conical-rotor motors used by many European hoist manufacturers. Multiple control modes (two, three, and five step or infinitely variable speed) allow for changing the operation to suit the needs of specific applications or the desire of individual operators. A wider range of selectable speed choices (up to 1500:1) are available to the user compared to the fixed speed ratios provided by the typical two-speed motors (2:1, 3:1, or 4:1) or micro-drives (10:1).

Safety is built into modern Variable Frequency Drives. They include features that:

  • Reduce the possibility of lifting an over-capacity load
  • Minimize or eliminate dangerous load swing
  • Prevent overheating of the motor
  • Detect and minimize rapid increases in motor torque
  • Provide safeguards that limit unauthorized modification of drive parameters or programming unsafe parameters.

Today’s technology provides a cost-effective means to make your crane more efficient, productive, and safer.

Learn more about VFDs at www.magnetekmh.com.

Spectrum Analysis: Why Does It Matter?

Whether you are looking to diagnose current RF issues, expand your current radio control operations, or commission a new facility, spectrum analysis helps you navigate what’s “in the air,” reducing RF interference and costly troubleshooting. The RF Spectrum in the industrial workplace has been become increasingly crowded. Modern control panels, wireless networks, bar code readers, and two-way communication devices create signal traffic in a facility, all of which interfere with radio control systems.

One of Magnetek’s customers purchased a radio remote control system and after installation, experienced frequent dropouts, impacting workplace efficiency. Magnetek completed a spectrum analysis and was able to diagnose the interference and recommend a solution—a frequency change from the 900 MHz band to the 2.4 GHz band. This solution optimized the facility’s radio communications.

Our Spectrum Analysis Service includes a scan of your entire facility or a single area, indoor or outdoor. An average of 45-60 scans can be completed in up to an eight-hour period, five scans per location. Locations are determined by facility layout with a minimum of one location per operating area, typically three locations per bay. Scans are conducted on all the commonly used operating frequencies. You will receive:

  • Analysis of our findings
  • Scan screenshots
  • Identification of potential interference
  • Frequency recommendations

Whether an existing system or new radio control system installation, Magnetek’s Spectrum Analysis Service is the easiest way to navigate your facility’s airwaves.

For more information, contact your local Magnetek Sales Representative or 1.866.MAG.SERV (1.866.624.7378) or visit http://www.magnetekmh.com/Spectrum-Analysis-Service.

Take a Quick “Flip’ Through Magnetek’s Product Guide

 

Take a few moments to “Flip” through Magnetek’s Material Handling quick reference product guide for a fast look at our expansive selection of innovative products including:

All of Magnetek’s products are backed by the industry’s best warranty and service policy. In fact, our highly trained team of service technicians offers superior aftermarket support—24/7, 365 days per year.

We also provide on-site technical support, emergency crane control replacement, and on-site and in-house training programs. Our team is unsurpassed at providing you with service and support when and where you need it.

Click Here to take a quick look at Magnetek’s extensive line of Material Handling products.

Automated Systems Offer More Than You Think

Implementing an automated material handling system offers a variety of traditional benefits, like improved productivity and increased product quality.

But they also offer safety and health benefits that can provide a better working environment for employees, including:

Consistent, Predictable Operation
An automated system will run the process the same way each time, offering consistent, predictable operation. A Human Machine Interface (HMI) can also report data from each step to an operator, providing necessary information at a safe distance from the operation.

Built-in Program Safeties
Automated systems are always working and reviewing every step along the way. Built-in programmed safety logic is constantly checking the operation of the system, and ensuring that each step takes place at the proper time. The system will stop operation and alert an operator if there is a problem before an accident can occur, protecting employees and equipment.

Safer Working Environment
A safer working environment for employees is provided by eliminating an operator’s proximity to trip hazards and slick surfaces.  Exposure to caustic fumes, hazardous chemicals, and extreme heat can also be reduced.

Want to explore further?  Check out our free Automated Systems webinar, which explains types of automated systems, traditional benefits, and how to get organizational buy-in to implement an automated system.  It includes a complimentary Automation Preparation Worksheet to kick off your automation project.

 

Project Exploration: Red River Pedestrian Bridge

superior-5Springtime thaws and flooding along the Red River have been annual problems for the cities of Moorhead, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota. Occasionally, flood waters have risen up to 40 feet above the river bank and damaged businesses, homes, and surrounding infrastructure. To prevent recurring damage to a pedestrian bridge between the two cities and decrease removal and replacement costs, a 168-foot bridge was commissioned with a self-contained lifting system, including new Magnetek radio remote controls and adjustable frequency drives.

CHALLENGE

  • Introduce lifting functionality to a new pedestrian bridge
  • Decrease likelihood of inclement weather damage
  • Reduce costs for replacement equipment and seasonal bridge removal
  • Coordinate two hoist operations to balance lifting motions

SOLUTION

  • Two 40-ton hoists using Magnetek’s IMPULSE®•VG+ crane control drives and radio remote controls
  • Decreased potential damage opportunities from flood waters or thawing ice
  • Eliminated need for seasonal removal of the bridge by outside contractors
  • Trenched fiber optic cable beneath riverbed to synchronize lifting

Read more

New Magnetek Blog!

Welcome to Magnetek Material Handling’s new blog!

This blog will be packed with informative discussions on power control solutions that will improve the productivity and safety of material handling systems. Explore solutions and success stories that will improve the way materials are managed in your facility.

Be notified of the latest posts – enter your email address under “Follow Blog” in the right sidebar.

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The first 100 Blog followers will be entered into a drawing to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards!

 

 

Note: Employees of Magnetek and Columbus McKinnon Corporation are ineligible for the drawing.