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Inverter Drive Systems Ltd

IDS are ABB Inverter specialists. We specify, install, commission, repair, service and hire variable speed drives.

ABB General Purpose Drives – The all-rounder

ABB General Purpose Drives – The all-rounder

In this article, ABB’s George Dodwell shares his views on the ABB general purpose drives:

When we talk about General purpose drives it’s a broad topic, from a chicken shed in rural Norfolk to a plastics extruder in the largest moulding factory in the UK, for all these industries and applications the ABB general purpose drives fit the bill.

Ranging from 0.25kW all the way up to 6000kW. We have the range that covers it all from a 0.55 on the wall to a custom built 6MW cabinet drive the general-purpose drive is the all-rounder which cover the whole range of sizes.

The ABB general purpose drives can be signified by the product code, the first three letter are ACS. Theses drives are at home in many different applications and in a variety of environments. I will highlight a few from the different market selectors below:

Food – Refrigeration

The General-purpose drives are right at home here, this is due to the nature of refrigeration plant, where it needs a heavy duty variable speed drive due to significant overload requirements. The ACS880 which is typically used for this industry, can be varied in size depending on requirements but can also vary the flow based on demand which in turn helps to save energy and lower the carbon footprint of the plant. Typically, you find these drives on the main refrigerant pumps, along with the blowers as well as the ammonia and glycol plant where applicable. Have a read of this Case Study we produced for Cherry Valley, it highlights nicely just how much energy a food production plant can save when they apply variable speed drive control.

Plastics – Mixers and Extruders

Mixers within the plastics industry can be a real pain, especially with varying speed on fiddly belts and other complex applications where speeds need to be changed to meet the requirements of the product and process. Typically, you can find drives within the mixers as well as extraction systems fitted throughout the site. Check out this recent installation we completed at ARBO®, the solution sped up the mixing process.

Despite common perception constant torque applications can also benefit from ABB General Purpose Drives, take a look at what happened when a twin extruder application had a SynRM motor and drive installed – 15% less energy use, a reduction in motor maintenance and a significant drop in noise.


Aggregates  – Crushers

Typically, in a quarrying process you find a significant number of pumps as well as a number of other applications and with these applications being variable torque you can apply the cube law to make incredible energy savings from relatively small speed reductions, read how a quarry are set to save a massive £88K per annum.

Aquariums – Water Blowers

A slightly more unusual application here where else can you see a variable speed drive but under the sea… well not quite but you can see the effects in this Sealife case study, where we use the drive to vary the speed of the blower to control the amount and the flow of the oxygen blown into the water. You can read this interesting story here.

Pulp And Paper – Reel Transport

Here we are able to vastly improve the process of carrying the large reels of paper, this isn’t just limited to paper this could be any transport system. The drive helps to reduce the momentum of the product when moving, by a slow ramp up and a slow ramp down allowing the paper reels to come to a stop safely rather than an abrupt stop where they could swing causing damage to both plant and personnel. You can read how we applied inverter technology to improve this process here.

Working with IDS

IDS are an ABB Value Provider (VP) and as such have access to ABB technical support and in return ABB have trusted providers who are constantly assessing applications in diverse industries to continue to improve process control, reduce energy consumption and provide innovative solutions. If you have electric motors running any kind of application, then it is worth while having a chat with us to see if an energy survey could highlight energy savings or improve your process control call us on 0115 944 1036 or email [email protected]

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