Contributing Re.engineer: Lucas Laughlin
Challenge: A critical production unit was having some electrical reliability challenges with their variable frequency drive (VFD) technologies and they sought out the support from a power electronics subject matter expert to assist. The production unit had a VFD with full voltage bypass and if the VFD was to go into a fault then it would switch to running at 100% loaded. This kept some of the assets running but had the potential to cause other reliability risk that could possible led to a lost production of $3 million.
Solution: All of the VFD controls for switching back and forth were hardwired in the bypass cabinet, so the subject matter expert designed his own VFD to VFD bypass in a controlled environment. He also worked with a process automation resource to replicate the logic from the bypass cabinet to the control system. You could not tell the difference of switching from one VFD to another when a “test” asset was switched in this environment. Before applying this improvement, there was a 2 second delay, which would have caused the aforementioned production losses.
Results: The production team will be implanting this strategy during the next window of opportunity and at another production facility within North America. There are some hard dollar savings as well because the purchase of a “bypass cabinet” alone would be $100,000 but having a second drive and other supporting equipment is 50% of that, total value creation > $3 million.
Impact: >$3 million
instrument & electrical case studies
This section of case studies feature technologies that align to the instrumentation and electrical disciplines.