Mechanic standing still.

The Most Common Causes of Variable Frequency Drive Failure

A quality variable frequency drive should be the workhorse of your line, providing you with a massive boost to your machines' efficiency. A good workhorse, though, isn't indestructible.

When your VFD breaks down, the best place to start is by identifying the cause. When you know what breaks your machines, you can help prevent further damage and improve your overall maintenance. 

To help identify the root of the problem, let's dive into 5 of the most common causes of VFD failure.


Troubleshooting Your Variable Frequency Drive

To troubleshoot a VFD, first, you should understand how VFDs work. The drives adjust the output of variables like torque and electrical output to produce only what it needs to produce. If the machine changes its needs, the VFDs adapt to the machine. This reduces wasted energy by a massive amount. 

While they are putting the extra effort into efficiency, these common issues can befall them. 


1. Buildup Within the Drive
The simple gunk within the gears problem can be hazardous. The buildup of dust, grime, and oil can clog up the gears and strain the machine. If it goes on too long, it breaks.

Frequent cleaning is a simple and easy solution. 


2. Excessive Heat
Often a secondary cause of buildup, excess heat comes from the VFD overworking to perform its basic function. Excess heat can damage circuitry and even wear down gears. 

A temperature gauge can help monitor heat. Alongside cleaning, make sure to replace faulty parts, so everything runs at a smooth level. 


3. Corrosion From Moisture
Moisture can be a very common problem within an industrial plant. Corrosion can ruin electrical pieces and buildup onto gears to create the above two issues.

Dehumidifiers can be a lifesaver in a humid plant. If you face poor circulation and ventilation in your plant, you may need it.


4. Loose Connections
Sometimes a machine is malfunctioning by a simple loose connection. This can be a wire or connecting vent that has fallen out of alignment due to vibrations or worn screws. 

The good thing is reconnecting loose connections is an easy task and checking connections should be a regular part of maintenance.


5. Damaged Components
Sometimes a loose connection goes too far. Damaged components will often result in the VFD not working at all. Any component that takes damage can disrupt the entire process, so even the smallest of screws or gears are vital.

Damage often comes from all of the above problems. Damage can also be a common issue with the misuse of the VFD. Make sure your employees know how to operate and manage the VFDs at all times. Work safety in any industrial plant should be paramount and that starts with education about equipment. 


Protect and Repair With Southern Rewind


Each of these issues comes with simple fixes but they are also common for a reason. Simple maintenance can help to keep your machines lasting longer and performing better but eventually, age and use will get to them. 

When your variable frequency drive or other machines do break, getting professional quality repairs is important. We here at Southern Rewind, LTD are here to help! Contact us today for more information.