Save money by following these simple and quick periodic maintenance tasks Learn how to properly prepare a drive that has not been in service for a while to get the maximum life out of the drive.
All electronic devices have a limited life and Drives are no exception. But, with just a little preventative maintenance, you can help ensure optimal drive performance and get the longest possible life of your GS4 Drive, which saves you money. Of course, whenever doing maintenance on the drive, please keep safety in mind. The voltages and currents used in the drive can be very dangerous and drives typically control machinery that can be dangerous, so use proper personal safety equipment, be mindful of whether the drive is powered up or not, and just exercise extra caution when working around a drive. Remove conductive items like watches and rings, use insulated tools. Etc. You know the drill. And please, pay attention to all the warnings and cautions in the user manual – they are there for your safety. Before using the drive, ask yourself, how long has the drive been sitting un-powered? If it has been around a year since the drive was last operated, then one of the best things you can do to extend the life of your drive is to re-charge – or “re-form” - the big electrolytic capacitors in the drive BEFORE using the drive to control a motor. Why? Because the big capacitors in the drive discharge over time which relaxes the oxide in the insulation layer of the capacitor. If you apply a voltage when the capacitors are discharged, then the capacitors are essentially a short circuit and the huge resulting inrush current can damage the capacitors, which shortens the life of the drive and costs you money. So, reforming that oxide layer BEFORE using the drive is really important. The good news is, it’s easy to do. Just remove the motor from the drive, and apply input power for about 2 hours. That’s it. The oxide layer in the capacitors is now reformed and your drive is ready to use. Once the drive has been re-formed, installed and is up and running, you will want to do some periodic maintenance tasks to ensure a long efficient life. The good news is, Chapter 6 of the GS4 user manual gives you a step by step checklist of recommended periodic maintenance items. How often you do these and which ones you do depends on your application and your environment of course, but this is a really good starting point. And look, most of these are just quick visual inspections and screw tightening. One word of caution, before you stick any tool into the drive, PLEASE, after the drive has been powered down for a few minutes, take a second and measure the voltage between the plus and minus DC bus terminals and make sure it is below 25 Volts. That will ensure you have a safe environment to work in and that there is no risk of harming yourself or the drive. And remember: Since a 230 volt drives have bus voltages in the range of 400 volts DC, and 460Volt drives have DC bus voltages around 900 volts DC, make sure you have a category three volt meter that can handle those kinds of voltages. One other cool thing about the GS4 User manual is it shows you images of typical maintenance issues to look for and the solution for each issue. All so you know exactly what to look for. So, the bottom line is: Taking a just few minutes each month to do these quick and simple Preventative Maintenance tasks will extend the life of your drive and save you time and money in the long run. Click here to learn more about the GS4 Drive. Click here to learn about AutomationDirect’s free support options and click here to subscribe to AutomationDirect’s YouTube Channel so you will be notified when we publish new videos.