Servo Drive Improvement and Repair Options

Expert Fuji Drive RepairsVariable frequency drives for motor driven systems is pretty much a no-brainer what with the energy savings and process improvements.  If you are looking for some beneficial reasons to invest in a VFD take a look at this post I wrote awhile back http://www.acsindustrial.com/blog/industrial-electronic-repair-services/install-a-variable-speed-drive-and-reap-the-rewards/.  If you want to know the story about this bad-a@# drive read on.

Like anything else in your plant, drives can break down like the pictured Fuji drive .  This drive comes out of a facility making turned parts and they are busy…well, they were busy.   This drive has had a number of failures and alarms over the past year and eventually overheated, stalled the machine and melted the drill in the work piece. And as a final insult, when in constant surface speed the drive alarms out under voltage when the spindle accelerates hard.

However tempting, this customer did not drop kick the defective unit to the moon and instead sent it half way around the world to our expert drive repair team.  After evaluating the unit, replacing numerous parts, cleaning and testing, this bad boy is nearly ready to be carefully packed and shipped back to work.

Is your drive giving you a headache?  Get in touch with our expert drive repair team at drive repairs.  Maybe it’s your servo motor giving your drive the headache.  In that case, our servo motor repairs team is at your disposal.

How to Change Your Processes to Meet the EPAs NESHAP Rule 6X

Industrial Electronic Repair ServicesThe EPAs NESHAP Rule 6X went into effect in July 2011.  Did you miss the announcement of this rule?  If so, according to The Fabricator.com reports you are not alone.

The rule applies to companies that are primarily engaged (that is 50 percent or more of their total labor) in one or more of the following categories: electrical and electronic equipment finishing, fabricated metal products, fabricated plate work (boiler shops), fabricated structural metal manufacturing, heating equipment (except electric), industrial machinery and equipment finishing, iron and steel forging, primary metal products manufacturing, and valve and pipe fittings.  That describes quite a lot of our customers!

Operations that are impacted by this new rule include:  dry abrasive blasting (3 types), dry grinding, dry polishing with machines, dry machining, spray painting (2 types), and welding.

Excluded from this new rule are:  military installations; NASA facilities; national nuclear security facilities; military munitions facilities; some research or laboratories (defined by the Clean Air Act); tool, quality control, and equipment repair facilities; and welding facilities that use less than 2,000 lbs of rod or wire that does not contain any identified HAPs.

Why did the EPA establish this new rule?  To prevent cancer, birth defects, and other health effects caused by exposure to Hazardous Air Pollutants as defined by the EPA in 2008.  Just some of these materials are those that contain 0.1 percent by weight of cadmium, chromium, lead or nickel; or 1.0 percent by weight of manganese.

What should you do if you fall into the categories above?

  1. Notify the EPA
  2. Change your processes to eliminate the HAP (dust and fume collectors with high-efficiency cartridge filtration is considered acceptable)
  3. Conduct a Method 22 emissions test (See EPA.gov website for how to do this)
  4. Retest to confirm

If you want more information on this important subject, here’s a FAQ that can answer a lot of your questions:  http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/6x/metal_fabrication_q_a_nov-2011-rev3.pdf

ACS Industrial Services provides industrial electronic repair services for virtually all types of commercial and industrial electronics. Need servo motor repair?  Drive repair? Circuit board repair?   CNC repairs? Call our customer service team at 800-605-6419 for assistance or head straight to our website at www.acsindustrial.com to request a free evaluation and quote for repairs.

 

Can Today’s M9 Solar Flare Damage Your Industrial Electronics?

solar flareSolar flares can cause damage to electronics as they did in 1989 but be reassured that both you and your electronic equipment are in no danger from this large and spectacular solar flare.  It is big, but not that big.

Those of you that live in higher latitudes may be lucky enough to see an extraordinary display of aurorae (aka Northern Lights).  Those of us in lower latitudes will just have to make do with photos of this beautiful phenomenon.

The potential for damage could change over the next few years, however, as our sun is entering into a more active phase.  Larger solar storms induce huge currents in power lines overloading the grid which is precisely what happened in Quebec back in 1989.

That said, your electronic equipment is far more likely to be damaged from many other mundane causes here on earth.  The electronic axis of evil – heat, moisture, and dirt are always busy causing mayhem and literally gunking up the works.

If that evil trio have damaged your industrial electronic equipment check out our website at www.acsindustrial.com for help or call our resourceful customer service team at 800-605-6419 where you can get assistance with circuit board repairs, power supply repairs, encoder repairs, servo motor repairs and much more.

Thanks go to Phil Plait, Ph.D. of http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/ for explaining this flare phenomenon and where you can learn tons of cool stuff about our universe.

Electronic Repairs Faster and Better

Get Top Industrial Electronic Repair Services in 2012Personally, I have never made a New Year’s resolution, at least not in January.   Business-wise, however, that is another story.

The turn of the New Year is a very good time to take stock of your business from all angles, not just from the IRS angle.

It’s a good time to measure your success and to identify what you can do better in the coming year and to make specific plans to achieve those goals.

Customer service has always been ACS Industrial’s number one priority.  Whatever we can do to repair it faster, better, and for less money is where we shine our laser focus.  To that end, in 2012 ACS will be:

 

  • Moving our entire electronics repair shop and staff to a superior facility with more space, better layout, better lighting, better everything so that we can better service your equipment!
  • Adding new, dedicated test stations and cleaning stations to streamline the repair process and provide better testing capabilities
  • Making additional investments in the latest test and repair tools for all of our technicians
  • Completing our ISO 9002 Certification Plan

We wish all of you and yours a healthy and prosperous 2012!

As a reminder, ACS Industrial Services remains open for repairs during the week between Christmas and New Years.  We know many of you may be implementing plant shutdowns for maintenance and our technicians are here to help with your industrial electronic repairs.  If you need assistance, click on the following links to go directly to our website:  Power Supply Repairs, Servo Motor Repairs, Servo Drive Repairs, Monitor Repairs, CNC Equipment Repairs, and Encoder Repairs.

Just got a question? Talk to our always-helpful customer service team at 800-605-6419.

Tips for Servo Motor Repair and Troubleshooting

motor repairs magicAwhile back, in the best interests of your valuable servo motors, I wrote “Four Easy Ways to Keep Your Motor Up and Running”.   Hopefully, since then your equipment has been humming along in perfect working order.

But maybe things haven’t gone so well and maybe you didn’t keep that motor up and running and now it’s failed?  Worse yet, maybe it’s now out of warranty.

So what’s the good news in all of this?   The good news is, you DO have options.  Most servo motors are well worth repairing, even older obsolete models.

Want to know more about trouble shooting your servo motor before seeking repairs?  Being electronically inquisitive myself, if I were in your shoes, I might want to try to figure out what’s up with my servo motor before shipping it off for repairs.  I say might….but realistically?  I’m just too darn busy to mess with it.  (Tip to the wise:  testing your motor is fine but RESIST the urge to take it apart!)

However, for those of you determined to perform some DIY motor testing, here are some tips:

  1. Check the ground resistance between the motor body and the motor terminals.  This should be approximately 100 ohms or above.  Use a multimeter  to test  this.
  2. Find the winding resistance by connecting between the terminals.  This should be about 200 ohms.  Larger motors could have a lower ohm value.  Likewise, smaller
    motors could have an ohm value of about 100.  You can check with tech support at the manufacturer of the motor for the resistance specifications on your model.
  3. Check the motor at the winding terminals rather than the cable end because the wire in the cable could be corroded or broken.
  4. Disconnect the conductors from the drive control end and meg between cables and each cable to ground.  The megohmeter uses much higher voltages (usually 500VDC or 1000VDC) to check resistance.  Between the cables, it should give nearly the same value.  It should be 1-3 ohms for medium rated motors, higher for smaller motors.  Between each connector and ground, the megger value should be relatively high, about 1000 ohms or higher.  Your manufacturer can give you more specific values.
  5. Still not sure what’s going on?  Go back to the motor and disconnect the cable which isolates the motor.  Recheck the terminals which will tell you whether the problem is with the cable or with the motor.
  6. Let me repeat:  Do NOT take your motor apart if you are not trained/experienced in servo motor repairs; doing so may make repairs more difficult or impossible and the cost of the repairs higher.

If you’ve already got too much work on your plate to get into troubleshooting, just ship your damaged motor off to the best “motor repair magicians” you can find.   These specialized techs may seem like magicians, but what they really are is persistent, experienced, and precision-oriented AND they have the best test and repair equipment available.  How many times did I hear my Dad say “have the right tool for the right job” and boy was he was right!   No cheap chumping on test equipment in the repair shop!

The best servo motor repair shops will offer a free, no-obligation evaluations and quotes and a minimum of a one-year warranty on both parts and labor.

The repair shop should provide in-depth initial back drive testing and critical alignment verification before disassembly, testing of the stator windings at full voltage and current, and verify breakdown conditions under “real life” full load conditions.   They should record test data including winding waveforms, feedback signals, reverse generated voltage readings, shaft and encoder alignment data.

Check to see if they test the magnet assemblies for proper torque output. If the magnets test bad or are broken, they should be re-magnetized or replaced.  Also, find out if they offer machining services to re-machine sleeve endbells, shafts, and motor housings as needed.

 

About the Author:  ACS Industrial Services is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for printed circuit boards, drives, servo motors (most brands repaired including Mitsubishi, Allen Bradley, Toyo Denki, Yaskawa, Kollmorgen, Mori Seiki, Okuma, Baldor), encoders, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, light curtains, and much more, even for obsolete  equipment.  Evaluations and quotes are free with no obligation.  Our customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair concerns. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419 or going to www.acsindustrial.com .

2010 Automation Salary Survey Results are Finally In!

2010 Salary SurveyAt last, Automation.com has released the results of its annual salary survey and this year they collaborated with InTech.  I anxiously await the results of this survey each year because it paints a unique picture of what’s going on in the engineering and manufacturing world.

In a nutshell, job satisfaction has increased among automation professionals with more than 80% indicating they are satisfied with their job – although these days some level of satisfaction can come from just having a job at all.

Participants of this survey work in 40 different industry segments with the majority being in the Engineering Services segment.  Job functions of respondents ran the gamut from Application Engineering, to Consulting Engineering, to Facilities Management, to Plant Engineering to Sales to Training & Education, as well as many others in between.  More than 69% of respondents had a college degree or higher.

For you news bite junkies here are the highlights:

  • Average Salary for respondents in the U.S. for 2010 was $99,540; in Canada, $101,646.
  • The Top Five highest paid job functions were:  Consulting Engineering,
    Engineering Management, Safety Systems Engineering, General or Operations
    Management; Project Management
  • Salary for those who completed a graduate degree was the highest; those who had started but not completed a graduate program commanded only a marginal salary increase so clearly it pays to finish what you start here.
  • By industry segment, the highest average salaries were in Utilities – Pipelines except Natural Gas; in descending order the next highest were Oil & Gas Extraction, Petroleum Refining & Related Industries, Engineering Services, Utilities Combo (Nuclear/Fossil Fuel, etc.),Valves, Fittings, Fabricated Metal Products
  • By U.S. Region, the top salaried region is the Pacific West at an average of $101,877 and the lowest the West North Central Midwest at $93,240
  • By Degree, Electrical Engineering degrees were the highest earners at $109,492 and Liberal Arts the lowest at $91,000 just below IT at $100,000
  • The average salary for males was $100,422; for females $87,351
  • Professionals who were members of industry organizations pulled in higher salaries than those who were not
  • In a change from previous years, the average salary of independent contractors was almost identical to that of direct employees – previously independents received a few thousand dollars more per year
  • More than 30% of respondents say they will retire in the next 10 years and almost 14% in the next five years
  • Unsurprisingly, many respondents feel much greater pressure to increase productivity and reduce costs
  • The top four most important benefits cited by respondents were:  health insurance,pension plans/401K, flexible working hours, and paid time off
  • Average vacation time:  3 weeks per year
  • Most respondents clocked between 41-45 hours perweek work time

There’s more detailed information in this survey so for those of you who are either highly analytical or visual, here’s the link for a ton of nifty charts and graphs on the Automation.com website:  http://www.automation.com/.   For the full article on the InTech website:   http://www.isa.org/InTechTemplate.cfm?Section=InTech_Home1

ACS Industrial Services supports automation, engineering, and manufacturing by providing fast and accurate repairs for a wide range of industrial electronics from plc repairs, to servo motor repairs, to power supplies, monitors & touch screens, test equipment, circuit boards, cnc equipment, drives, encoders, light curtains and much more.  If you have questions or need assistance call our customer service team at 800-605-6419.  We’ve got your back!

Plant & Facilities Managers Ace Problem Solvers – Hear What’s On Their Minds

Three cheers for the facilities, maintenance, and plant managers out there!  No, make that TEN cheers!   What a great bunch of nimble and creative people who increasingly have to achieve more with less…and for the most part, enjoy that challenge.
Besides just flat out asking our customers what’s up in their world, I also like to participate in various online forums and social media for facilities, maintenance, and plant managers.  What I hear is that you all really love solving plant problems and finding solutions to nagging plant issues that effect energy efficiency, sustainability, construction, plant equipment, security, and safety.
You love the daily variety of the work and the chance to make things run better.  Not that things are always perfect.  I also hear your frustrations such as “maintenance is the first department to get budget  and staffing cuts”,  “ too many regulatory and  changing requirements”,  “ tough to find electrical technicians with the right set of skills”, and “adhering to someone else’s timeline”.
Nevertheless, I am awed by the overwhelming positivity you guys continue to express and the ways you find to solve the problems at hand.  For example, one fellow was frustrated with the fact that management made decisions and budget cuts without really understanding what he was up against.
He didn’t yell or go home and beat the dog; instead he threw a party in the engine room and invited management.  They came and were fascinated, learned a thing or two and got to meet the people that actually make it all work.  The next time they rework the budget, they will do so with a greater understanding of the facilities’ needs.
Our goal is to help you achieve your goals when you need industrial electronic repair services.  Whether it’s servo motor repairs, or drive repairs, power supply repairs… whatever it is, let us know the situation…the more we know the more we can help.  If it’s a super rush, let us know and our technicians will do everything possible to meet your requirements.
As one forum writer noted, being a Plant/Facilities/Maintenance Manager is not for the faint of heart nor the slow of mind.  I think we can all agree on that.