AC Adjustable-Speed Drive Product Research (November 2007)

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding AC Adjustable-Speed Drives.
By Control Engineering Staff December 4, 2007

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

Executive Summary
• Among those who specify, recommend, or buy AC Adjustable-Speed Drives, 76% do so for in-plant requirements, while 43% do this for OEM needs.
• Almost half of respondents mentioned pumps, fans, and blowers combine as the primary application for AC adjustable-speed drives.
• Almost 90% of respondents use Voltz/Hertz (open loop) AC drives. A little over half are using sensorless vector control.
• A little over two-thirds of respondents mentioned simple controls / setup as having great influence over which AC adjustable drives they purchase. 44% respondents mentioned torque control as an influential performance feature when deciding which AC adjustable drives to use.
• Nearly two-thirds of respondents use line conditioning devices and about one-third use AC microdrives.
• Almost 90% of respondents have stand alone drives. Most respondent locations are using 1 to 5 hp range AC Drives. The average number of 11 to 20 hp drives in use is 85 per respondent location.
• Three-fourths of respondents (75%) are not using integrated motor-drives.
• On average, 65% of the AC drives respondents currently buy are off-the-shelf. The remainder are customized. 5 years from now, there is not much difference in the use of customized AC drives.
• 58% of respondents purchased AC Drives from Rockwell Automation in the past year. ABB was purchased by one-quarter of respondents. The most notable write-in among “Others” included Lenze/AC Tech accounting for 3% of the total responding.
• 19 AC drives was the most frequent number of AC drives purchase by each respondent in the last 12 months. $28,000 was the most frequent amount spent on AC drives purchased by each respondent in the last 12 months.
• Forty-five percent of respondents stated their spending on AC drives will increase in the next 12 months. 53% mentioned it will remain the same.

AC Adjustable- Speed Drives Product Research 2007