Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to shut my line down for a long extended outage to do a complete system upgrade?
A: A complete system upgrade can be broken up into many short-outage stages. IPSI can integrate new equipment into an existing process line to allow a large system upgrade to be broken into smaller iterations, requiring less continuous down time. In return, IPSI’s approach creates fewer interruptions to sales and production.
Q: Do I need to replace my DC motors with AC motors when I upgrade?
A: No, there are many options on modern DC drives that will allow you to keep your DC motors, upgrade your current DC drives, and integrate the new DC drives into a modern control system.
If you so choose to switch to AC motors, they have a lower cost of ownership and AC torque vector drives now allow vector duty AC motors to have torque-speed characteristics previously exclusive to DC motors.
IPSI’s employees are well versed in both AC and DC motor properties, drives, and placement in a coordinated control system.
Q: Do I need to replace everything during an upgrade?
A: IPSI can integrate older automation hardware with newer components. In many instances, we can perform a targeted upgrade on critical elements and assimilate the new hardware with the pre-existing control system.
Q: What is the difference between “coordinated drives work” and “drives work”?
A: A non-coordinated drive works to control and protect the motor based on the application. A coordinated drive lineup must additionally keep the process material (e.g., steel or aluminum) coordinated between each other to: properly accelerate and decelerate in conjunction; maintain proper strip tension; and, in some cases, time in acid, material thickness, or coating weight.
Q: I have very large industrial equipment that must move slowly to prevent damage and/or to maintain position accuracy. Can the speed of my equipment be safely increased?
A: Yes, our services can turn a piece of large industrial equipment (i.e., an automated crane, automated transfer car, or arc furnace lid) into a “virtual motion axis.” This makes the machinery behave like a large robot and improves both speed and positioning accuracy.
Q: Some integrators lock-down their control code and provide little or no documentation so only they can service the equipment. What is IPSI’s policy on control code and documentation?
A: Full transparency of action is key to the IPSI impact. For every project, IPSI provides their customers with documented control code and drawings reflecting any changes made to the system.
Q: My power bill has a “demand charge” component. What is this and how can I reduce my power bill?
A: The demand charge reflects the peak power usage during defined “demand time” periods. This can be measured, for example, in half hour intervals from 4:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. (e.g., 4:00 A.M. – 4:29 A.M., 4:30 A.M. – 4:59 A .M., 5:00 A.M. – 5:30 A.M.). The highest power usage during one of these clock half hours will determine the “demand charge” for the month.
By calculating where your projected power usage will be with and without a key piece of equipment, and either cutting off the equipment or adjusting the equipment’s start time, you can manage your demand charge. This practice can drastically reduce your power bill with little or no impact on overall production for the month.