Ancient HMI Repair

Last week a facility maintenance contractor contacted us about repairing a VERY old Johnson Controls HMI panel for a swimming pool at a local country club. This unit’s push buttons were only working intermittently. No replacements were available from the manufacturer or any of its’ distributors around the country. A used, untested, and no guaranteed unit was found on E-bay for $3000.00! The client certainly didn’t want to pay any where near that amount of money for this old of a unit. When asked if we could repair it…..We told the contractor that we would certainly “give it a try”!

Johnson Controls HMI

He brought the unit over. The case was cracked and broken into many pieces. Upon examination, all of the unit’s push buttons were just worn out and not working. We found that we had some very similar replacement push buttons in stock. Each buttons case took some grinding and filing with a Dremel tool to properly fit, but they worked! All of the units buttons were replaced and then some serious “body” work was required to be done on the exterior case of the unit. With some epoxy and a lot of technician patience, the unit came back together. Having no way to completely test the unit, we contacted the client and informed him about what we had done to his unit. He picked up the unit, reinstalled it and it worked perfectly! This repair was performed in less than one day, and WELL under the used unit cost.

Quantum Backplane Expander Installation Tip

The 140XBE10000 Back-plane expander and Cable allows you to add a second back-plane to a local or remote drop.  The cable (P/N 140XCA71703/6/9, depending on length) can be 1, 2, or 3 meters long respectively.  The back-plane expander modules are identical, with the module located in the rack containing the CPU or RIO adapter considered Primary.  The cable ends appear to be identical; however, the cable end with the label closest to it is considered the Primary end.  This end MUST be connected to the Primary XBE module, and will not work when reversed. There is no indication if the cable is installed incorrectly.  Also, the cable must be installed before applying power to the back-planes.  For further information, please refer to the Quantum Automation Series Hardware Reference Guide (840 USE 100 00).

140XBE10000

Current COVID-19 Update

Delta Automation Inc is open and our repair team as well as our sales and field service are in full operation and working on our customers’ equipment and performing without interruption. We are taking all precautions to keep our employees safe. Some of our customers are putting their repair needs in their shipping/receiving areas for us to pick up to limit contact. Some of our customers are choosing to ship their repairs to us. We at Delta Automation Inc, will work with all our customers and follow any restrictions we are given. During this very difficult time for everyone, we are standing by to help you in any way we can.

With the recent actions of some states to close all non-life-sustaining businesses, we want to reassure you that Delta is not impacted. Delta is a critical supplier of infrastructure as defined under Department of Homeland Security Cyber & Infrastructure Security Agency’s (“CISA”) Critical Infrastructure Sectors.  Delta provides equipment to facilities in every Sector of the Critical Infrastructure through Health Care & Public Health, Food Preparation and Agriculture, Water Management, Energy Generation, etc.  Our products are the backbone of the operations that are going to help sustain critical services during this pandemic. 

 We’re confident in our ability to continue to deliver our products and services, and we want to share Delta’s commitment to you and the steps that we’re taking to protect all of our customers, partners, and employees:

  • We’re carefully monitoring the rapidly changing situation, following guidance from both the CDC and Federal, State health authorities.
  • We’re encouraging our team members to follow health authority best practices like frequent hand washing, social distancing, and staying home if they’re feeling ill.
  • We’ve significantly increased our remote support capabilities, while at the same time maintaining our strong field response capabilities in coordination with our partners.
  • Ensuring that team members working remotely use company-issued secure computers complete with end-point protection and connection to our network using a secure VPN.
  • Ensuring dedicated safety processes are in place for field service representatives, following the latest Federal, State and Local health authority guidelines and regulations.

While it is difficult to predict the impact of the COVID-19 situation, Delta’s top priority is the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and communities. We understand the challenges facing our customers and we aim to support their needs in any way we can.

Emergency VFD Replacements at a Level 1 Trauma Center

Last weeks multiple massive thunderstorms caused major power dips, voltage spikes/surges, voltage fluctuations, phase losses and generator switch-overs. All of these electrical events  can create havoc upon sensitive electronic devices. VFDs are no exception.

During these storms with all of the electrical activity occurring, 4 separate, critical VFDs running air handling systems throughout the hospital unit failed. Clean, filtered air flow is a necessity in these locations. Delta was called to evaluate these failed units on an emergency basis. The hope was that Delta could quickly repair these VFDs. Unfortunately, all 4 of the units were damaged beyond any economical repair. Delta immediately provided 4 new replacement VFDs and had them all retrofitted into the old VFD panels, up and running, overnight.

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Utilizing Inverter Duty Motors with VFDs

This is a good article from the U.S Department of Energy discussing the effects of VFDs on non-inverter duty rated motors. It discusses the insulation class recommended, in this article, “class H” is suggested. I previously had been recommending at a minimum, “class F” motor insulation. The article further discusses the use of load reactors and dV/dt filters to reduce the damaging effects upon motors, and mentions that these issues are especially high when running multiple motors on one VFD.

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/04/f15/motor_tip_sheet14.pdf

Typically when clients ask about running non-inverter duty rated motors with a VFD, they want to know if the motor will fail. The answer is: eventually. I inquire about the criticality of the application. Is this an application that demands constant up-time? If so, then it is wise to replace the motor when installing the VFD. Some VFD/motor manufacturers will extend their warranty if both are replaced simultaneously. If the application lends itself to some down-time, such as a multiple pump application, then run the motor until it fails, to maximize its’ initial ROI. This may be weeks, months or years later, but it will eventually fail.  However, the best practice is still to be certain that the motor is rated for inverter duty to insure the longest lifespan. As the above article states, a work-around to this dilemma, rather than replacing the motor, is to install a load reactor or dV/dt filter between the VFD and the motor(s). Especially if there are multiple motors and/or the motor leads (commonly called “T” leads) are longer than about 100 feet. In these two particular applications (multiple motors or long leads), a reactor or filter is a good practice even when the motors are rated as inverter duty. Different VFD manufacturers recommend different maximum cable lengths before requiring reactors or filters. Check with the manufacturers recommendations to be certain.

Delta Automation is Prepared to Assist any or all of our clients in the the wake of the Hurricanes

Graphic courtesy of NOAA

cone graphic

Delta Automation is prepared to assist any or all of our clients that were in the path of Harvey or may be in the path of  Irma. Our stock of new and refurbished equipment is ready to go to get you or your clients equipment up and running as soon as possible.

Our field service team will be on alert to assist with any on-site needs as well.         Please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email!

804 236 2800 or 1 888  PC DELTA          Email:  sales@deltaautomation.com