Introducing the New Commander Series

Control Techniques, part of the Nidec group of companies, has announced the return of its Commander family of drives.

The Commander series are simple and compact AC motor speed controllers that meet advanced requirements in a wide range of applications. Their small footprint – among the smallest in their class – makes them ideal for machine builders and OEMs, where size really matters.

The range also includes powerful functionality, designed with usability in mind. An on-board PLC, for example, provides embedded intelligence which removes the need for an external controller, saving on both cost and space when installing Commander drives into a system or cabinet.

Commander’s wide power range, from 0.25kW to 132kW, also makes it the perfect solution for both lower power and high-power applications. Additionally, in more complex applications, Commander benefits from compatibility with Control Techniques’ extensive range of plug-in option modules, expanding functionality and capability across a wide range of well-known fieldbuses.

A suite of tools is available to ensure commissioning and maintenance tasks run smoothly.

For fast task-based commissioning and easy maintenance, Connect offers a familiar Windows interface and intuitive graphical tools to enhance data analysis. The dynamic drive logic diagrams allow the visualization and control of the drive in real time. The parameter browser enables viewing, editing and saving of parameters as well as importing parameter files from our legacy drives.  

For more advanced applications, Machine Control Studio provides a flexible and intuitive environment for programming. This is possible thanks to the on-board PLC that increases the drive’s functionality at no extra cost.

Control Techniques also provides support for customers’ own function block libraries, with on-line monitoring of program variables with user defined watch windows and help for on-line change of program, in line with current PLC practice.

The Diagnostic Tool is a fast and simple tool, which allows users to quickly solve any error codes the drive may show. Built within the app are easy to locate wiring diagrams for first time setup and fault finding with links to the relevant comprehensive manuals. The app also has full contact details of the technical support teams around the world to aid you with technical assistance.

The new Commander drives also mark a return to a more familiar visual aesthetic.

“Control Techniques has been the home of the green Commander drive since its introduction in 1983,” said Anthony Pickering, president of Control Techniques; “This new range picks up the baton to continue that lineage.

“The Commander name has a lot of heritage within Control Techniques, and the drives industry, which makes this new range hugely exciting for us. For almost as long as there’s been variable speed drives there has been a Commander drive from Control Techniques. It’s a name which people know and trust, and we’re pleased to be able to bring it back to market.”

Quantum Controls are an Official Drives Service Partner for Nidec and Control Techniques, offering sales, support and service to the complete range of drives.

UK’s Leading Variable Speed Drive Repair

Load Test Facility at Quantum Repair Centre

Our DriveCare Repair Services can offer:

  • Repair available for all makes of Variable Speed Drives
  • 12 month warranty included for all repaired drives
  • Speedy turn-around – within 24 hours if needed
  • Not just repaired – fully restored
  • Load tested – certificates issued
  • Fully qualified drive engineers carrying out repairs
  • Installation and commissioning service available

An average cost of lost production is £12,000 an hour, this is not an option on a busy production site. If your drive breaks down you’re expected, as an engineer, to get it back up and running as quickly as possible.

We offer fast, reliable on-site repair services at your facility, so you don’t need to worry and can leave it to one of our expert engineers to guarantee a fixed drive. This enables you to minimise downtime by getting your out-of-service equipment fully repaired and back into production.

All equipment requires maintenance or repair at some point. Whether dealing with an unexpected breakdown or replacing worn parts at a scheduled maintenance interval, we provide all levels of repair for all makes of VSD equipment – from minor repair to full overhaul. Depending on the nature of repair and the size of your equipment, we offer onsite repair and workshop repair services.

A qualified service engineer brings a fully equipped service vehicle with the right tools and original spare parts to your facility, we have a large supply of ex-stock spares and ABB Spares Suitcases. The service engineer assesses the situation and repairs equipment on-site. If required, your equipment may be brought to one of our service centres for workshop repair and tested in our state of the art Load Test Facility.

We guarantee a ‘first site visit fix’ when coming to your site, with our ABB Spare Suitcases, a range of ex stock as spare parts and our bespoke weatherproof hire drives ensuring we get you back up and running first time. Our unique Hire Drive Solution gives you fast access to our broad range of well-maintained, market leading drives up to 1.5MW power rating and in weatherproof enclosures.

Conducting on-site repairs at your facility provides a timely, cost-effective way to resolve problems associated with unexpected failures. Plus, all repairs are backed by a solid Quantum warranty. The next time you need a drive repair, don’t hesitate, call us on 0330 9000 247, your drive emergency support number.

Introducing Innovative New Features in Drives – Danfoss VLT Aqua Drive

Most modern drives have features incorporated as standard that can provide huge benefits to the user. In this new monthly feature from Quantum Controls, the UK’s leading independent supplier of Drives Services, we introduce to you the very best features from all major manufacturers.

The VLT® AQUA Drive is designed to provide the highest level of performance of AC-motor-driven water and wastewater applications, suitable for all types of pumps. Featuring a wide range of powerful standard features, which can be expanded with performance improving options, the drive is equally suited to both new and retrofit projects.

The unique back-channel cooling concept transfers 90% of heat away from the room, resulting in high energy savings relating to additional air conditioning. Back channel cooling is possible in drives 11kW and up.

With the drives’ control algorithms and design, energy efficiency is maximised. The VLT® AQUA Drive can realistically offer first-year cost savings of between 10–30% compared to traditional drive solutions.

Unique dedicated water and pump features such as burst pipe monitoring, dry-running protection and flow compensation secure and empower your pumping application independent of the motor technology.

Flow Compensation – A pressure sensor mounted close to the pump provides a reference point that enables pressure to be kept constant at the discharge end of the system. The drive constantly adjusts the pressure reference to follow the system curve. This method both saves energy and reduces installation costs.

The Pump Cascade Controller distributes operation hours evenly across all pumps. Wear and tear on individual pumps is therefore reduced to a minimum, extending their lifetime expectancy and reliability considerably.

Quantum Controls are an Official Drives Service Partner for Danfoss Drives. Delivering sales, service and technical support for the complete range of Danfoss Drives, call us on 01661 835 566 or email us at

Download the Danfoss VLT AQUA Drive FC 202 Brochure here.

Introducing Innovative New Features in Drives – Schneider Electric

Most modern drives have features incorporated as standard that can provide huge benefits to the user. In this new monthly feature from Quantum Controls, the UK’s leading independent supplier of Drives Services, we introduce to you the very best features from all major manufacturers.

Schneider VSD’s now measure energy consumption, efficiency and performance and can reduce electrical consumption by at least 30% by controlling attached ancillary systems at their best efficiency point.

92% of senior manufacturing engineers believe that ‘Smart Factory’ digital technologies – including Artificial Intelligence – will enable them to increase their productivity levels and empower staff to work smarter (Annual manufacturing report 2018). A positive outlook for the future, perhaps, but uncertainty still exists. A recent survey by Boston Consulting Group found that a significant gap lies between an organisation’s ‘ambition and execution’, with only one in five companies incorporating AI into one or more of their processes.

Schneider Electric have taken particular focus on energy consumption and the increased pressure on performance with their latest variable speed drives. Helping Industrial stakeholders achieve lower total cost of ownership, greater
efficiency, and improve energy management.

Their new IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) features a smart device with built in intelligence to gather data, the device has the capability of passing along that gathered data to other connected products. This can provide business optimisation through enhanced energy management, asset management and process optimisation.

Services oriented drives are the next iteration of VSDs, designed to reduce TCO, improve efficiency and energy management. They measure energy consumption, efficiency and performance, they are capable of advanced asset diagnostics, giving complete asset performance management of the drive, motor and mechanical transmissions and can reduce electrical consumption by at least 30% by controlling attached ancillary systems at their best efficiency point.

Drive connectivity is not new to the market, but what is new in services oriented drives is embedded sensing capabilities, primarily based on electrical measurement to provide an electrical signature that can be translated into operation performance dashboards.

Integrated intelligence improves asset performance, both in terms of operational automation performance, energy performance and maintenance costs reduction, hence improving TCO.

In addition, services oriented drives have advanced web capabilities such as Ethernet connectivity and Web Server to integrate seamlessly with IT functions and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Essentially, services oriented drives provide an embedded web page that can be customized by the customer and accessed through a choice of web browser running on smart phone, tablet or PC.

For more information on Schneider Drives or to buy online visit

Bearing Failure – The Facts

Motors don’t fail just because of age or operating hours. 51% of failures are bearing related. And here are the reasons why:

1. Insufficient lubrication

Re-greasable bearings need regular maintenance… don’t fit and forget. For example:

TECHNICAL – Insufficient Lubrication

Refer to the manufacturer operation and maintenance annual for specific re-lubrication intervals for your motor.

TIPS – Insufficient Lubrication

Look for this plate on your motor. It gives you the detail you need to re-grease your motor bearings.

FAQ – Insufficient Lubrication

Do I have to re-grease sealed for life bearings?

No, these bearings are permanently greased (sealed for life) and can not be re-greased

2. Excessive greasing

Yes this can overheat bearings and lead to failure.

TIPS – Excessive greasing

  • Ensure grease relief valves are open during the re-greasing process to allow excess grease to purge from the bearing housing.
  • A bearing lip seal will typically fail at 500 psi, yet grease guns can produce up to 1500 psi
  • Add each shot of grease slowly to avoid pressure build-up

FAQ – Excessive greasing

What is the best way to control over-greasing?

  • Always make sure relief valves are cleaned out of any dirt or hardened grease
  • Remove grease outlet plug or open outlet valve where fitted
  • Slowly pump grease into the bearings every few seconds
    (avoid quick-lever actions as pressure will build and damage seals)
  • Discontinue greasing if any abnormal back pressure is felt

3. Wrong lubricant

Check that you are using the right grade or type of grease.

TECHNICAL – Wrong lubricant

When re-greasing, use only special ball bearing grease with the following properties:

  • Good quality grease with lithium complex soap and with mineral or PAO-oil
  • Base oil viscosity 100-160 cST at 40°C
  • Consistency NLGI grade 1.5 – 3

Temperature range -30°C – +120°C, continuously.

TIPS – Wrong lubricant

  • Do not mix different types of grease.
  • Incompatible lubricants may cause bearing damage.

FAQ – Wrong lubricant

Are there any specific greases I need to use in specific applications?

Yes, there are specific greases you need to use for say high temperature or hygienic applications. Refer to the lubricants section of your motor operation manual.

4. Misalignment

It’s essential that the motor and load are correctly aligned under actual operating temperatures and conditions. Machines that are correctly aligned at room temperature may become badly misaligned due to deformation or different thermal growth associated with temperature change. The alignment must be checked, and corrected, if necessary, after the motor and driven machine have reached their maximum temperature under load.

TECHNICAL – Misalignment

Soft foot is one of the main causes of misalignment.

The 2 types of Soft Foot are:

  • Angular soft foot
  • Parallel soft foot

Common Causes of Soft Foot:

  • Bent or deformed shim
  • Bolt hole with a burr
  • Bent motor foot
  • Deformed machine base

TIPS – Misalignment

When torqueing the holding-bolts of your motor, use a cross-torque pattern to ensure an even secure fit.

FAQ – Misalignment

How often should I check the alignment of a motor?

  • ABB technicians recommend a motor should be checked approximately every 2,000 hours.
  • Both operating and non-operating alignment should be checked.

5. Shaft overload

  • Excessive loading through the shaft of your motor may cause failure.
  • Belt driven pulleys often put high load directly onto the shaft bearing.

TECHNICAL – Shaft Overload

Pulley diameter

When the desired bearing life has been determined, the minimum permissible pulley diameter can be calculated with FR (right).

TIPS – Shaft Overload

For motors in frame sizes 160 and above, on belt driven applications fit roller bearings.

FAQ – Shaft Overload

How do I tell if an existing motor is suffering from shaft overload?

  • Rapid wear of belts is a simple visual sign of an overloaded shaft.
  • Check how often your belts are bottoming out – if it is happening a lot – shaft overload could be the cause.

6. Vibration

  • Excessive vibration can lead to premature bearing failure.
  • Check motor mounting bolts are secure as vibration may cause them to become loose during operation.

TECHNICAL – Vibration

Motor vibration causes can be:

  • Electromagnetic
  • Mechanical imbalance
  • Rubbing parts
  • Bearing failure
  • Resonance

Measure vibration on all 3 planes:

– Vertical

  • Horizontal
  • Axial

TIPS – Vibration

  • Vibration causes are often in one of two areas:

– Shaft vibration

– Housing vibration

  • Check vibrations with a combination of

– Magnetic accelerometers (ensure they are mounted correctly)

– Proximity probes  (commonly known as Eddy probes)

FAQ – Vibration

How do I tell if the vibration on my motor is normal?

Stringent specifications for Motor vibration call for:

  • A maximum velocity level of 0.1 in./sec on the housing
  • 1.5 mm of displacement vibration on the shaft

7. Over-heating

  • Make sure your motor is designed to cope with the heat it is subjected to
  • Bearings have different clearances to allow for thermal expansion in operation.

TECHNICAL – Over-heating

Keep an eye on your bearing temperature and ensure you use the correct grease for high temperature applications.

TIPS – Over-heating

  • For every 15°C cooler you typically double the re-greasing interval / bearing life!
  • Keeping the motor operating environment as cool as possible will greatly increase motor life.

FAQ – Over-heating

How do I tell if the motor bearings are overheating?

  • Use a temperature probe or thermal imaging camera to test bearing temperature.
  • Make sure the readings are within the tolerances of the installed bearing.

We provide 24/7 Technical Support to engineers, our dedicated Support line is available 8am – 5pm every day, manned by one of our fully qualified engineers.

If you need further assistance on how to prevent your motor from failing, call us, day or night, on 0330 9000 247.

Achilles Verify B2 Audit Results – 100%

We are very proud to announce we have achieved an overall score of 100% in our recent audit for our Achilles Verify accreditation at the B2 Level, maintaining our accreditation level from last year.

We have all pulled together and worked extremely hard to achieve this high score, thank you to all the staff involved in the audit especially our Operations Director, Karen Hall, we are absolutely delighted with the results.

We achieved 100% in both the Management System Evaluation and the Site Assessment.

What a fantastic result yet again from Achilles UVDB, those in the Water Industry will know just how much effort goes into maintaining standards to achieve this level of accreditation again.

Daniel Fitzsimons, Sales Director

ABB ACS550 & ACH550 Drives are now Obsolete

The ACS550 and ACH550 ABB Drives are no longer being manufactured and are now in the obsolete stage of their life cycle, with the respective 580 Drives being their direct replacement.

Due to that transition, ABB Helsinki factory production lines for the ACH550 and ACS550 have now closed, they have been converted and modernised to be used to produce ACx580.

ABB’s ACS/ACH580 will physically fit into the same space as a 550 however please note that it has a different software platform and keypad. Unfortunately, parameter settings cannot be transferred to the 580 via 550 keypad downloads.

Replacement ACS580’s will need re-programming and commissioning.

There is a massive install base of these drives in the UK, and Quantum Controls team are here to help you deal with the obsolescence of these drives.

Quantum still have a stock of ACS550 drives but this stock is limited and cannot be replenished once it has gone.

Please note his does not necessarily mean your ACS550 drives need replacing.

Quantum still stock, and will continue to do so, all major spare components for the ACS/ACH 550 drives in our spare’s suitcases. These suitcases are stocked throughout the UK at our regional Drive Service Centres and covered the complete 550 power range. Meaning we can repair your 550 if you have a breakdown. Our expert drive engineers can also assist with new installation, application programming and commissioning with our Drive Care Services.

ABB have released a replacement guide that takes you through the process of upgrading from the 550 range to the current 580 ranges, if you would like to receive a copy of this document please email us at and we will send you a copy for Free.

Or simply call our Drives Team on 01661 835566 to save yourself the hassle of finding a suitable replacement drive, we can tell you straight away which 580 is best for your application. We have largest stock of ACS / ACH580 Drive in the UK


How to correctly set up a VSD?

A Variable Speed Drive controls motor speed and torque by varying the motor input voltage and frequency. A very close match between motor speed and the output requirements of the machine it is driving may therefore be achieved.

Variable Speed Drives offer the user a number of advantages including:

  • Energy savings
  • Elimination of expensive mechanical drive components
  • Increased motor longevity
  • Reduced power line disturbances
  • Reduced risk of motor damage during start up and stop


But how to set up correctly a VSD? Control Techniques have a step to step guide on their website. If you have a Control Techniques drive, here is what they recommend:

Step By Step Guide!


Source:  Control Techniques


We are the Official Service Partner for Controls Techniques and can provide 24/7 Technical Support on all Controls Techniques drives. When you have a breakdown give us a call, day or night, on 0330 9000 247 or send us an email:

Take your motor failure rate to zero in 2019

The technology is now available that can totally prevent electric motor failures, saving you tens of thousands of pounds in lost production and costly motor rewinds and repair.

Find out how you can get ownership back of your maintenance budget.



We will be hosting this presentation at Quantum Controls Head Office in Prudhoe, Northumberland. The presentation will take 3 hours and will include lunch, a live demonstration of the technology and a tour of our facility.

We will have the sensors fitted to 90kW motors and running. With full display on a 50 inch screen you will be able to physically see exactly how these incredible sensors read 3 axis of motor vibration, motor heat, speed and power usage all in real time and much, much more.

This solution can stop downtime, extend lifetime and increase energy efficiency. This is set to revolutionise the motor industry and deliver huge reductions in motor maintenance costs and potentially eradicate the need for motor rewinds.

This is the most amazing advancement in motor technology and all of Todays Engineers must familiarise themselves with the revolution that is happening in motors.

Get ownership back of your maintenance budget.

15th March

22nd March

29th March

Spaces are limited so RSVP as soon as you can by emailing Jenny at


Data sheet – ABB Ability Smart Sensor for motors

Product Note – ABB Ability Smart Sensor for motors

Power failure: What does a drive do when power dips?

Public electricity supplies are generally reliable, but they do suffer disturbances. Obviously a total loss of supply results in all electrical equipment stopping, unless it has a backup supply such as a UPS and/or backup generator connected. When the power returns the equipment re-starts from the off state in the way it was designed to start. However there is a class of disturbances which takes the form of short interruptions or voltage dips where the behaviour is not so obvious.

Short voltage dips are not uncommon. They can be caused by line faults triggered by lightning or falling objects such as trees etc. Whenever a fault occurs in the public power system a voltage dip propagates from the fault point around the whole system. The power company protection gear trips the faulty circuit on a timescale in the region of 200 ms, after which power recovers for most consumers, sometimes after several attempts by auto-reclosing circuit breakers. However during this time power consumers experience voltage dips of various depths depending on their electrical distance from the fault. In heavy industry, voltage dips also occur when starting large motors direct on line.

It is important for electrical equipment to behave correctly during and after a dip or interruption, a matter which is easily overlooked. It should ride through a short or shallow dip. If this is not possible, the correct behaviour depends on the application. in some applications the equipment must stop and wait to be re-started, either manually, to avoid a hazard from unexpected starting, or automatically but under coordinating control for multiple motors. Other applications need the equipment to re-start automatically when the power returns, in a controlled manner.  Failure to re-start correctly can cause lost production in manufacturing plant, emergencies such as people stuck in lifts, air-conditioning systems tripping, and all kinds of electronic devices needing an expensive service visit to reset them.

Dips and interruptions

The shortest dips and interruptions are typically about 10 ms, or one half-cycle of mains, in duration. Anything exceeding about 10 s would be considered a power loss. The range of durations where we need to look closely at behaviour is primarily from 10 ms up to about 500 ms. In this range, design errors can result in incorrect behaviour such as processors hanging or crashing, or data being corrupted.

In a three-phase system faults often affect only one phase, since lightning and falling objects often only affect one phase. The fault may however spread to all three. A single phase-to-ground fault in the high voltage transmission system appears as a line-to-line fault in the low voltage distribution system, after the delta-star transformers. Dips from motor starting affect all three phases.

Energy storage and ride-through

In a typical mains-powered electronic circuit there is a fairly large capacitor connected in the internal DC supply line to smooth the rectified voltage, and it usually stores enough energy to keep the circuit running for around 10 ms to 20 ms. For shorter dips or interruptions it continues to operate normally, and there may be a power monitor circuit which detects a low voltage. There is then time to run a short routine to save some essential data in the non-volatile memory and put the system into a known state, from which it can restart once the power supply returns. If ridethrough up to about 100 ms is required then this can be achieved by adding extra capacitance, beyond which some kind of battery or UPS would be required.

In a typical variable speed drive, because of the high power throughput the capacitors do not store enough energy to supply the rated load power even for 10 ms. There is no realistic possibility to ride through the dip in a simple way by using the capacitor stored energy, unless the load power happens to be very low at the time. In some special applications additional external capacitors, super-capacitors or batteries have been connected to the DC bus to ensure ridethrough, but this is usually too expensive.

On the other hand, there may be some useful energy stored mechanically in the motor inertia. Depending on the application, it may be possible to use some of this energy to keep the drive in a viable state ready for when the power returns.

Ride-through for drives

Figure 1 shows the main power components of an AC drive.  The chokes are optional and have little effect on ridethrough.

Figure 1: Main power components of an AC VSD


The rectifier is unidirectional, power can only pass from the AC supply to the DC bus. The inverter and motor are bidirectional, so it is possible for energy to return from the motor to the drive DC bus, provided there is also enough energy to keep the motor magnetised.

The drive controller has a measurement of the DC bus voltage, so it can detect a drop in voltage. A short interruption of the AC supply has the same effect as a dip, since the DC voltage falls as the capacitor discharges. There are several possible situations, and the detailed behaviour depends on the motor control mode being used. Let us consider a simple open loop control with basic fixed V/f ratio.

In any case where the voltage recovers before the supply loss detection level is reached, normal running then continues.  There is a short surge of input current as the capacitor re-charges without the benefit of the soft charge circuit.  The drive is designed to withstand this surge without harm, but it has been known for circuit breakers to operate in this situation, especially where a number of drives are fed from the same breaker.

Supply loss routine:

There is a user-selectable mode parameter which gives the choice of three actions, which can be chosen to suit the needs of the application:

  1. No action (supply loss function disabled)
  2. Ramp to stop
  3. Ride through

In option 1 the motor coasts to a stop. The drive performs no action when the voltage drops below the supply loss detection level. If the voltage continues to fall to below the under voltage detection level, the drive is disabled and the motor coasts to a halt. If the power returns the drive executes an automatic restart if the enable and run commands to the drive are still present.

Option 2 would normally be selected where the application requires multiple coordinated movements and it is important that the drive should not attempt independent actions. The motor is ramped to a stop when the voltage drops below the supply loss detection level. If the power returns while the drive is decelerating the motor, the drive continues to ramp the motor to a halt, otherwise the drive enters the under-voltage state and shuts down.

There is a difference in detailed behaviour between some Control Techniques products once the drive reaches a stop if the supply has returned:

  • For Unidrive M700 and related products: Once the motor has reached a stop, the drive enters the disabled state and requires the enable signal to be toggled before it can run again.
  • For Unidrive M100 to M400 and related products: Once the motor has reached a stop then as long as the enable and run commands are still present the drive restarts and ramps the motor speed back to the speed reference.

Option 3 would normally be selected where the application requires the drive to continue in independent operation as far as possible. The drive reduces the motor speed setting in a controlled fashion so that motor flux is maintained and mechanical stored energy in the motor and load is returned to the drive as the speed falls. The energy is used to maintain the motor magnetising current and to supply power to the control circuit of the drive. If the power returns before the energy is exhausted then the drive accelerates the motor back to its set speed.

The chance of successful ridethrough clearly depends on the mechanical loading at the time and the specific inertia of the motor and its load.

Note that if the voltage dip occurs in only one phase of a three-phase supply then the recovered energy has only to “fill the gaps” for the rectifier during the missing phase voltage intervals, which requires much less energy than for a three-phase dip and is most likely to result in successful ridethrough.

Limit to number of auto-reset attempts

This can be set to a desired number or unlimited.

Spinning motor restart:

In all of these options, if automatic restart is selected then it must be considered whether the “catch a spinning motor” routine is required. Where the drive has maintained control of the motor, i.e. in a ramp or ride-through state, this is not necessary. However once the under-voltage trip has occurred the motor is no longer controlled. It may continue to spin as a result of its inertia and/or external factors such as air flow in a fan. In that case the re-start might fail unless the spinning motor algorithm is enabled.

Standards and requirements for power dips, interruptions and ridethrough

There are international and EU harmonised standards for immunity of electrical products  to power dips and interruptions. In the EU this is covered legally by the EMC Directive. In the rest of the world it is generally considered a matter of product quality rather than EMC law. For equipment rated below 16 A per phase the test standard is IEC 61000-4-11 (EN 61000-4-11 in the EU), but this standard gives a wide range of optional test levels and no pass/fail criteria. The product standard has to be consulted to find the precise requirements. A typical requirement can be taken from the generic immunity standard for industrial equipment, IEC 61000-6-2:

The equipment has to operate as specified during the dip and afterwards, and no loss or corruption of stored data must occur. Note that this does not require literal ride-through, in the sense of continuing to supply rated output power, but only operation as intended. The purpose of the test is to find errors or bugs such as hung states or corrupted stored data following the dip/interruption. If the test is applied to a machine which incorporates drives then the drives must be correctly configured to ensure that the complete machine behaves as intended during and after the dips.

For equipment rated at over 16 A per phase there is another test standard IEC 61000-4-34. This standard is little used, because of the difficulty and cost of the test equipment. The behaviour of a high power drive can be predicted reliably by simulation and by scaling from a lower power model.

Another standard for power disturbances comes from the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) in the USA and is sometimes specified for IT equipment.  It does not define a test method but only a terminal voltage behaviour. The ITIC curve (previously CBEMA curve) shows continued operation for interruptions of up to 20 ms. It only applies for single-phase supplies and does not readily adapt to three phases.

From the previous discussion you can see that a drive may be able to achieve this in ridethrough mode provided sufficient stored energy can be recovered by decelerating the load, particularly with a three-phase supply.

Figure 2: The ITIC (formerly CBEMA) curve


Source: The Automation Engineer, Control Techniques.


We are the Official Service Partner for Controls Techniques and can provide 24/7 Technical Support on all Controls Techniques drives. When you have a breakdown give us a call, day or night, on 0330 9000 247 or send us an email: