Most people know the rules of thumb when it comes to preventive maintenance. In personal life, it might be changing a car’s oil every few thousand miles. In the workplace, it includes inspecting variable frequency drives (VFD) annually. But why is VFD preventive maintenance so important rather than just performing maintenance on an as-needed basis?
When it comes to VFDs, just like oil changes for cars, we can predict when they’ll need maintenance. VFD preventive maintenance is the best method to extend the life of critical equipment and should be performed annually.
What If I Don’t Perform VFD Preventive Maintenance?
Without preventive maintenance:
- VFDs will eventually fail
- Life expectancy of VFD decreases as components become fatigued
- Related machinery will experience downtime
- The company will have to pay the cost of VFD repair, as well as equipment downtime
By performing VFD preventive maintenance, companies keep costs low, minimize unplanned downtime, and expand the life expectancy of both the VFD and the equipment.
Ongoing Maintenance Checklist:
Preventive maintenance should be performed on a periodic schedule and consist mainly of visual inspection, cleaning with appropriate tools, and setting up a replacement schedule for components with the shortest operational life cycles. Thankfully a simple yearly inspection of components will provide a path to maximum production performance and minimized unplanned downtime. Rockwell Automation provides a complete checklist for ongoing maintenance, which includes:
- Check for contamination
- Ensure cooling devices are functional (replace per manufacturer recommendation)
- Tighten terminals
- Ensure operating mechanisms are in working order – replace, retighten or lubricate parts as needed
- Check contacts for wear and dirt
- Check that locking and interlocking devices function
- Make necessary replacements
- Test the system under controlled conditions
- Keep good maintenance records
- Reform bus capacitors on spare inventory
Are you on track for your VFD preventive maintenance? If you have any questions, or are in need of any replacement parts reach out to your French Gerleman Account manager or contact us.