Sponsored content: Modernization – extend the lifetime of your drives and avoid up to 55 percent of emissions

As variable speed drives get older, modernization offers a circular solution that extends the lifetime of the equipment, enhances performance and provides the latest technology and long-term support.

By Oswald Deuchar October 2, 2023
Courtesy: ABB Motion

Often a business will wait until equipment comes to the end of its life, then fully replace it. But this might result in costly unplanned downtime and a lot of unnecessary waste and scrap material.

Even before a drive reaches the obsolete phase of its life cycle, and it no longer qualifies for service support, you can perform modernization services to bring the drive back into the active phase of its life cycle. This extends its lifetime by up to 15 years, avoids material waste from premature scrapping and avoids up to 55% of CO2 emissions compared to a full replacement. It’s a cost-effective, circular approach.

A modernization service is performed on-site and only replaces essential components, avoiding the need to rip out and fully replace old equipment, such as cabinets and cabling, as well as altering civil works. Modernization returns drive equipment back to its original reliability, potentially increasing its performance and providing greater flexibility with new features.

Courtesy: ABB Motion

Courtesy: ABB Motion

Modernization also enables the availability of the latest digital solutions – like cloud-based condition monitoring that allows service engineers to spot failures before they even occur. This enables them to reduce costly downtime and optimize system performance.

The key to modernization is that it can be performed quickly at the same time as regular, scheduled maintenance – minimizing downtime. For example, installations with an ABB ACS800 drive can get a new lease of life by replacing the internal components with the latest ACS880 technology, normally within an eight-hour maintenance break.

Modernization in use

Modernized drives offer all the benefits of brand-new ones – higher serviceability and uptime and lower harmonics – but with a lower carbon footprint and less waste. For example, Swedish utility, Jämtkraft, saved 10 tons of CO2 emissions with this circular approach – the equivalent of a gas car running for 5 years. “We completed retrofits on nine of our existing drives to bring them into the active phase of their life cycle,” said Anders Gjerstad, Automation Engineer from Jämtkraft. “Since we kept the existing cabinets were used for the retrofits, there were no substantial modifications to the current infrastructure. This reduced the overall expenditure, while also allowing us to execute the project more sustainably.”

Courtesy: ABB Motion

Courtesy: ABB Motion

Closing the circularity loop

It is often said that around 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the design stage. To address this, suppliers are investing R&D into “designing for circularity” – where equipment can be upgraded and retrofitted over its lifecycle, as opposed to being scrapped and replaced. This ensures that, as a society, we maximize the full use of resources.

With a growing need to act more sustainably, plant operators can improve resource efficiency by the way they source and use equipment, by extending the life of assets rather than buying new.

Click here for modernization options for ABB’s ACS800 drives – https://explore.abb.com/acs800/

Author Bio: Oswald Deuchar, global head of modernization services, ABB Motion