Not to blow our own trumpet, but we’re pretty good at inverter repairs and have been carrying them out since 1978. We’ve made our AC drive repair process as simple as possible for you, whilst still providing a thorough, reliable service with a unique No Fix No Fee promise.
We support all the major brands and ranges commonly found in industrial environments as well as more obscure, obsolete AC inverter drives. Typical brands include:
Control Techniques Emerson
Yaskawa & Omron
ABB are the biggest variable speed drive manufacturer in the world. We provide ABB drive repairs for all types of ABB drive including inverters from legacy brands like Brown, Boveri & Cie. We support the entire ACS family including the ranges listed below as well as lesser known ranges.
Allen Bradley are part of Rockwell Automation, a huge name in industrial automation who are based in the USA. Variable speed drives are just one of the items manufactured by Allen Bradley that we repair. Here you can find support for all popular Allen Bradley drive families including PowerFlex and Bulletin.
For over 10 years we have been a trusted partner of Control Techniques. As a certified Integration Partner we are authorised to provide the support you need including Control Techniques drive repairs, supply of new parts and upgrades. From the earliest AC drives to the most recent releases such as the Unidrive M.
Danfoss are a leading global supplier of variable speed drives. Did you know we are an official Danfoss distributor and provide authorised support for all your current and obsolete Danfoss drives? We can help whatever issue you are having with your Danfoss drives from all series and ranges including:
Lenze are another popular brand who are well known for their automation products. Some of their most popular parts are their drives including AC inverter drives, DC drives and servos. Here you can see some of the variable frequency drive ranges we repair including current and obsolete Lenze drive ranges such as:
Mitsubishi’s best known drive family is the FREQROL which comes in a vast array of series. Variable speed drives manufactured by Mitsubishi are installed all over the world from Asia to America. If we listed all the Mitsubishi drives we repair, the list would be longer than this page! So we’ve listed just a few below:
Schneider Electric are a huge global brand that has many other renowned brands under their umbrella including Telemecanique, Square D and Modicon. We support all current Schneider AC drives as well as legacy speed controllers from brands like Telemecanique.
Yaskawa are a world renowned brand known for their automation and motion control products. The brand originated in Japan but now has their products installed all over the world in applications including welding, packaging, assembly, coating, cutting, material handling and general automation. You may know some of the Yaskawa drive ranges as Omron and vice versa, this is because Yaskawa drives are often rebadged for the European market as Omron. We support both brands and all ranges such as:
Cutting corners is easy. Since our warranty is all inclusive and covers the entire drive, not just the parts we change, we do a full preventative maintenance service. This involves replacing all serviceable components that degrade with age, such as capacitors and fans, to prolong the lifespan of your drive.
Each part is given a unique job number so that we can track it every step of the way during a repair.
We change all serviceable components within the drive to increase the overall lifespan and reliability.
Parts are cleaned inside and out, removing contaminants from fans and the internal PCBs to increase longevity.
Each drive is tested under load for several hours before it is returned to you to make sure it is 100% functional.
Capacitors are found in each and every drive we repair and are a major pain as they are one of the root causes of drive failure. The liquid electrolyte in each capacitor dries out over time lowering the ESR until the caps blows. Depending on the environment your drive is kept in, this process can be dramatically sped up directly affecting the lifespan of your drive which is why we replace them for new ones.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR CAPS GO BAD...
Before the unit is even fully disassembled you can see the capacitor has blown a hole through the side.
As the liquid electrolyte dries out the ESR lowers until the caps blows, in this case spectacularly!
You can see the inside of the capacitor has blown through the full length of the drive.
You can see the hole it's made as the leg of the capacitor has shot straight through the steel side plate.
Experience isn't something that happens overnight. As one of the UK's longest established inverter repair providers we have repaired thousands of drives over the years. We've seen everything - from drives that would fit into the palm of your hand to massive 300kW monsters.
Our engineers have undergone training with leading OEM's such as Siemens, Control Techniques and Danfoss.
We've been carrying out inverter drive repairs since 1978 and have experience in all kinds of inverter repair.
Our 25,000 sq ft state of the art repair facility has bespoke test rigs in place for all your AC drive repairs.
Our process is certified to ISO 9001 accreditation so that you can be 100% confident in the quality of our automation repairs.
Testing is an important part of the drive repair process which is why we test each drive under load for several hours. We've spent lots of time developing test rigs to be able to functionally test drives in a vast power range to ensure only functioning inverter drives leave our repair facility.
INDIVIDUAL COMPONENT TESTING
Before we reassemble a drive we individually test each component to be sure the fault is eradicated.
BACK IT UP
We always back up your drive where possible so that we can reload parameters for you quickly after the drive repair.
BESPOKE TEST RIGS
We've spent hundreds of hours building bespoke test rigs to fully functionality test many different brands and ranges.
The last step of any inverter is to load test the drive for several hours before we return it to you.
We understand that our customers would prefer not to need an emergency inverter repair. In the ideal world inverters, AC drives and variable speed drives would be serviced during a period of planned downtime. This is why we have shared our top tips for keeping your drives running longer:
In a production environment dust and dirt can easily clog up heatsinks. This can cause the inverter to overheat and internal components to malfunction. Dust and dirt can also absorb moisture which can contribute to inverter failure. Simply running an ESD vacuum cleaner over the heatsink or blowing out the heatsink with compressed air is a good preventive maintenance measure and can add years to the life of your inverter. Don’t forget to lock fans.
To ascertain how often you should be checking your air intake filters, frequently check them when the drive is new. This should give you an indication of how often they need to be cleaned and eventually replaced. If you don’t have a dedicated system for planned maintenance simply set a reminder in your Google Calendar to get an email when it’s due.
Malfunctioning fans are a major cause of inverter failure. Fans help cool the internal components found within the VSD including electrolytic capacitors. The capacitors are prone to drying out much faster when the internal temperature is too high and can lead to the drive developing intermittent faults such as tripping out after a period of time. Don’t underestimate the effects of heat on an inverter drive, many manufacturers recommend derating the output by up to 15% if the temperature is higher than just 40°C.
Keeping the control panel well ventilated is necessary to ensure sufficient air flows through the drive to keep it cool. Letting your drive overheat can cause all sorts of problems, from capacitors drying out much faster to complete failure of the VSD.
My Dad always said “to do it right make sure it’s tight.” This is something many people forget to include in their preventative maintenance plan. Loose connections can be attributed to many problems including extra heating and/or arcing, to the extent that connectors can actually be melted down. Other problems that can be caused due to loose control and power terminals include intermittent operation and reduced efficiency. It is recommended that the tightness of connections is checked annually.
Sounds obvious but many engineers do not have backups of their inverter parameters. This means that should your drive one day fail beyond repair, you can commission a new inverter in as little time as possible. For many users, particularly those with complex applications, the parameters are worth more than the drive, so it only makes sense to keep a backup.
Any electromechanical and switching parts are subject to wear, as the contacts become pitted they can lead to an imbalance on your supply causing problems with your AC drive’s bridge and DC bus.
Leaving an LCD programming keypad attached to a drive is a sure fire way to reduce the keypad’s lifespan. As many of the keypads stay on constantly, the LCD screen eventually dies. This is because they usually have a lifespan of a certain amount of hours and will burn out once they reach the set time. Removing the keypad when not in use will prolong the life so that when you do have a fault with your drive you don’t have to wait for a new keypad before diagnosing it.
This is especially important for drives with an IP00 or IP20 rating. Drives with these ratings are particularly exposed to contamination from dust. Too much dust can restrict airflow which in turn reduces performance of fans or heatsinks – this can eventually lead to the failure of your drive.
Keeping a drive with a low IP rating in a moist environment is also another sure fire way to lead to inverter failure. Moisture getting into the drive can cause a range of problems, most notably corrosion to the circuit board.
Sending your variable speed drives to Northern Industrial every five to eight years can significantly increase the lifespan. By booking a service, you can schedule when it is convenient for you to remove the inverter from operation. During a service we complete all of the above steps as well as replacing components which have a limited life like fans and capacitors.