Putting the A.C. in AuCom
Putting the A.C. in AuCom
EMX3 retrofit at glass bottle plant - Minnesota
Application: 250HP, 480V, Quincy Compressor for Plant Vacuum
Issue: Repair of competitor’s soft starter that had failed was one option. But replacement with AuCom’s EMX3 Heavy Duty soft starter chassis unit was a faster and more economical solution. Even then, this ‘hard to start’ compressor was a challenge!!
The global market for soft starters is tipped to experience strong growth from 2015-2020, according to a report published by global research firm Markets and Markets.
Amidst soft global economic growth, the soft starter market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.7%, from $US1.2 billion in 2015 to $US1.7 billion by 2020, concludes the Markets and Markets study “Motor Soft Starter Market”, available online for purchase here.
Markets and Markets point to an increase in development projects in sectors like oil & gas, water & wastewater, mining industries and power infrastructure. “Increasing acceptance of motor control and protection across (these) industries has driven the demand for motor soft starters around the world,” says the report.
Topics: Soft Start Control
A key to clear communication and interoperability is having a shared understanding of the meaning behind terms and phrases.
The United States motor industry recognises the importance of nameplates using standardised jargon among all manufacturers and has been enforcing usage of the correct terminology for the past 90 years. Using the same terminology and education around the meaning of the terminology has paid off. Having a common motor nameplate language has helped make motors interchangeable and personnel able to correctly understand the specific features of the motor they are installing or replacing.
With an estimated 80% of electric motor applications being fixed speed processes perhaps it isn’t surprising that variable speed drives are consistently being misapplied. Many motor driven systems are being designed with VSDs to add flexibility that isn’t needed, compromising efficiency while adding to capital and operating costs.
US-based JDA consulting engineers (now part of global consulting firm Exp Global.) offer an interesting discussion of this phenomenon in a blog on the Staticworx website. “As JDA's team commissions large, complex mechanical plants, we find more systems where the VSD is practically abandoned in place. Rather than providing the precise control of flow and pressure or reducing energy consumption and demand, the VSDs appear to be "stuck" at a single speed.”
What are the trade-offs in oversizing a motor for your next application?
Oversizing motors for any particular application is becoming more popular, as engineers seek to provide some ‘insurance’ for a new system. Insurance against possible system failure (and resulting damage to their reputation), and insurance for unanticipated future demands on the application.
An Automation World study on oversizing has asserted that over half of engineers choose to over specify motors. It seems like a ‘no-brainer’ – put in place a motor with plenty of margin of error for rated load, and use a variable speed drive (VSD) to throttle it to meet the system’s actual power needs. Peace of mind guaranteed.
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