Research delivers a dozen drives tips

Respondents of the motors and drives survey from Control Engineering give 12 tips related to motor drives. Online see more advice.

By Mark T. Hoske October 14, 2017

Advice for use of motor drives was included among in the responses to the Control Engineering motor drive research study. Respondents were asked what advice they would offer about motors and drives. Advice on drives included energy efficiency, integration, communications, and programming. 

1. Stamping presses and metal forming require careful ac drive selection, sometimes with regeneration and energy absorbing capacity.

2. Variable speed drives help clarify speed and torque curves.

3. Save money in applications by selecting separate, task-specific low-cost drives rather than all-in-one drives.

4. Use the safety interlocks feature, which is the ability to put a drive into a no-torque condition while remaining powered.

5. Select the right type of variable frequency drive (VFD) to fit the rotating equipment and operational load variations to achieve maximum power consumption reduction over time. Choose a VFD for longer availability.

6. When selecting a drive, a service back-up is important.

7. The fully integrated cost of a drive is much more important than just the cost of the drive.

8. Use care in applying active front end drives on typical commercial building applications.

9. Consider cable shielding and grounding, especially for medium-voltage (MV) drive applications.

10. Harmonics and power quality affect the motor and power system.

11. Don’t go for all of the bells and whistles. Basic drives do the same job and offer easier programming and troubleshooting.

12. Use drives to save energy.

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

More answers keywords: drives, VFD 

  • Research from Control Engineering on motor drives asked respondents for advice.
  • A dozen tips on drives were offered. 
  • Topics include selection, energy efficiency, and application fit.

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Author Bio: Mark Hoske has been Control Engineering editor/content manager since 1994 and in a leadership role since 1999, covering all major areas: control systems, networking and information systems, control equipment and energy, and system integration, everything that comprises or facilitates the control loop. He has been writing about technology since 1987, writing professionally since 1982, and has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from UW-Madison.