Advanced drive features give quicker, easier diagnostics and lower downtime

2014-10-22 - A range of diagnosis and keypad display features from ABB cuts the time needed to investigate process interruptions in variable-speed drive applications.

Drive trips occur to protect the driven machinery from faults that could cause damage and extended loss of production time. The diagnostic features and displays are designed to provide a highly effective set of monitoring variables which can be programmed to give early warnings to prevent trips happening, or to take evasive action to avoid the problem altogether.

They also provide maintenance triggers based on various operating data to remind operators when servicing needs to be carried out on the motor or machine. When problems occur, the diagnostic features provide clear instructions about the event and how to return the plant to service in the shortest time.

The ABB drives’ keypad features icons, hints, tips and help screens to show users where to look to investigate process events, helping find causes more quickly. The keypad screen displays flashing icons and pictures to attract attention and to show the reason for the event. Scrolling screens on the keypad give the user a better view of multiple events and hints.

All events are displayed with help text to identify the probable cause. Advice is given to guide the user to the part of the application likely to have caused the event, or the parameter setting that needs to be amended. Useful data from within the drive parameters are collected together for easy viewing. These include fan runtime counters and basic diagnostic words that allow efficient signalling between the drive and PLC.

The clarity of the display means it is now easier to see exactly which drive has tripped, allowing it to be quickly tracked down in a large room that could contain many drives.

Events are now time stamped. Time stamping is provided either by the keypad clock, the control card clock or the system clock for the whole process line (via the fieldbus), allowing the timings of events and faults to be determined.

The ability to log events from a "system time" and not simply from the keypad, allows the causes across a whole process line to be compared, synchronised and diagnosed.

Trip histories allow users to spot patterns of events. The trips and warnings are also time-stamped so the frequency of an event can be easily tracked, allowing preventive maintenance to be performed before a major issue occurs.

Another new feature is the ability to edit event description and I/O text. The drive contains standard text messages which are displayed whenever an event warning or interlock is triggered. However, these standard texts may not match the operator’s exact needs. The keypad allows the user to edit these basic texts, while also giving the ability to add descriptive hints and tips about the origin of the message.

The keypad is able to present a user-editable contact name and number to call if further help is needed.

A PC-based support package allows the maintenance engineer to get further help from ABB when needed. If a drive trips, or the customer is unable to resolve the issue themselves, they will need to contact ABB. The PC tool can generate a full support package, containing all the event data, the parameter files and other useful information. The support package can be e-mailed to ABB to help it diagnose the issue. It provides all the necessary data in one go, avoiding the need for several visits, saving time and giving a faster diagnosis.

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    The PC tool can generate a full support package, containing all the event data, the parameter files and other useful information.
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