AC Adjustable-Speed Drive Product Research (November 2005)

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’applications and needs regarding AC Adjustable-Speed Drives.


Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding AC Adjustable-Speed Drives.

Executive Summary

• Among those specifying, recommending, and/or buying AC adjustable-speed drives, 79% do so for in-plant requirements and 44% buy for OEM needs.

• Over one-fourth of respondents say pumps, fans, and blowers combine as the primary application for AC adjustable-speed drives.

• Over three-fourths of respondents use Volts/Hertz control (open loop) AC drives.

• 38% of respondents rate the NEMA 12 enclosure as very important when selecting an AC adjustable-speed drive.

• Over half of respondents rate medium-voltage operation (2.3kV and above) as very important when selecting an AC adjustable-speed drive.

• Nearly two-thirds of respondents use line conditioning devices and one-third use AC microdrives. • Over four-fifths of respondents have stand alone drives.

• Among the 42% of respondents who have networked drives, 4-20 mA is currently the most commonly used communication network. However, results indicate Ethernet TCP/IP will surpass 4-20 mA as the most widely used network over the next year.

• Seventy-four percent of respondents report 1 to 5 hp AC drives are used at their locations. With this group, the average number of such drives in use per location is 36. Results suggest all size ranges are widely used among those surveyed.

• Twenty-seven percent of respondents currently use integrated motor-drives, and another 9% plan to use them in the next 12 months.

• On average, 77% of the AC drives respondents currently buy are off-the-shelf. The remainder is customized. Results suggest future purchases will be segmented along the same lines.

• Fifty-eight percent of respondents purchased AC drives from Rockwell Automation in the past year; this being more than double the penetration of any other manufacturer. Twenty-five AC drives was the average number each respondent purchased in the past 12 months. This translated to average spending per respondent of $46,504.

• Fifty-six percent of respondents will increase their AC drives purchases in the next 12 months, and 41% will continue at their current purchase level.

• Sixty percent of Control Engineering subscribers responding do not receive AutomationWorld. Sixty-four percent do not receive IAN.

AC Adjustable- Speed Drives Product Research 2005

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