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How Remote Monitoring Medium Voltage Drives Saves Time and Headaches

There is never a good time for a Medium Voltage Drive to fail.

medium voltage drive failures can happen any time of day or nightDoes this scenario sound familiar to you? Your Medium Voltage Drive fails in the middle of the night, your on-call technician, although very sharp, is not a VFD expert, everyone at the manufacture’s tech support is asleep, and the drive’s fault code has you scratching your head.

Before the days of remote monitoring, this scenario would cost your production days or even weeks of downtime as you scramble to troubleshoot, find the root cause, gather parts, and get the drive back online. With DriveScan, your downtime can be drastically reduced. DriveScan remotely monitors the health of your Medium Voltage VFD 24/7/365, scanning every 24ms, and trending these results so users can see what was going on before, during, and after a failure.

Without Remote Monitoring your Medium Voltage Drive, here’s typical scenario when a drive fails…

Post-Fault Time Wasters and Headaches

Immediately following failure:

  1. Interrupt whatever you were doing
  2. Have someone physically go to the VFD
  3. Lock out/tag out
  4. Inspect the damage
  5. Assess/guess what happened
  6. Scramble to find someone who you think can fix it
  7. Check availability
  8. Find someone who is “available” (could be an hour, 4 days? Who knows?)

Repair Process Time Wasters and Headaches

Technician Travel (6 hours to 2 days):

In our scenario above a drive expert would need to be onsite to troubleshoot the problem, which often takes significant time. Dependable Medium Voltage VFD experts are rare and in high demand so having one to your site can take days, not minutes. Many Medium Voltage drives are at remote sites where the travel alone is a full day.

With DriveScan, the experts and EMA and Powerside can troubleshoot your drive from anywhere in the world. Many of the same metering tools we use in the field are built into DriveScan. It’s like you have a miniature engineer inside of your drive!

skip the frustration and avoid the headaches with remote drive monitoringInitial Troubleshooting (6 to 16 hours):

Once a technician arrives, he has to first determine what happened but taking numerous readings and inspecting numerous things. Because he has no data to refer to, the technician is essentially “flying blind”, starting from square one and methodically going through the VFD, element by element. In some scenarios the damage is very apparent, but for intermittent issues, this step could take days.

Root Cause Analysis (2 to 4 hours):

Given how expensive medium voltage VFDs are to replace, failures not only require repair, it is extremely advantageous to discover the root cause of the failure to prevent future downtime. Even the most highly training VFD engineer can only make educated guesses without proper forensic data; DriveScan offers that data. Without DriveScan, a VFD expert will spend hours testing components and inspecting outside factors. With DriveScan, the trends give the full picture quickly and concisely.

Gathering Parts (1 to 4 days):

It is always recommended to keep spare parts on hand, but that may not always be possible. The problem is that you cannot determine which parts are needed until AFTER the initial troubleshooting has been performed. Not only that, you truly only have until around mid-day to determine what parts are needed in order to make the day’s shipping window. With DriveScan, you’re well ahead of the game. EMA can help you troubleshoot the problem remotely to determine in minutes, not days, what parts you may need to fix the problem, so we can get them on order before any technician has to mobilize.

Post Repair Stress (Months):

In the typical scenario discussed above, the root cause analysis is based more on the technician’s experience than on facts. Without pre-failure data, there is a certain amount of worry that the initial root problem wasn’t resolved. EMA has seen countless scenarios where the drive was repaired yet the root cause was never addressed, causing the original failure to be repeated, starting the process all over again. The remote monitoring and trending ability of DriveScan eliminates that post repair stress. You can rest easy knowing the experts at EMA and Powerside are watching the health of your VFDs 24/7 before and after the repair has been made.

Reduce Time Wasters and Headaches

The beauty of DriveScan:  this data is not only available to you but to the experts at EMA and Powerside, who partner with you to resolve the problem. The remote monitoring capabilities of DriveScan save you numerous hours of downtime as well as the worry and stress of wondering when the problem is returning. You’re not alone, let DriveScan, EMA, and Powerside do their jobs, so you can get back to doing your job effectively.  Call us today to discuss or click the chat feature to the right.

medium voltage drive remote monitoring saves time and headaches


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