As India gears to become the manufacturing hub of the world, there are several challenges that Indian industry faces to produce global standard products.
Drives are an important ally in this process. To understand their importance, we spoke to Mr BK Bhayana, Director – Product Marketing, Delta Electronics India, a leading automation giant with several top-ranking Drives in their portfolio
What is the role and importance of Drives in an automated process?
Drives optimise the process. They help the machine adapt to the different requirements of production like a change in thickness, change of speed, change in torque, change of load with the same equipment to increases functionality and cost-effectiveness. There are various types of Drives which are suited to different needs. Delta’s AC Motor Drives include Variable Frequency Drives (VFD), Low Power, Mid-Power and High Power Motor Drives based on the factory or process they are required for.
The Low Power Motor Drives cater to processes requiring up to 5 kW and deal with basic processes like wood cutting, wire drawing machine and the conveyer belt. The Mid Power Motor Drives which range from 5 to 40 kW have more applications like Municipal works, Mining, Metallurgy, etc. We also have the High Power Motor Drives cater to requirements of 40 kW or more mostly found in heavy industries like Paper factories, Cement plants, Sugar factories, Thermal Power Plants, etc.
What are the advantages of using Drives?
Drives provide the accuracy and precision customised according to the requirement. This accuracy also adds more safety. Drives in general improve the efficiency and save energy in processes. Used in Pumps, Fans and Blowers, High Power Motor Drives in particular show a prominent percentage of energy savings between 30-70%.
What is the level of market penetration of Drives both in the Indian Industry and globally?
Drives have low penetration but huge potential in the Indian industry. As manufacturing shifts to China and India, the use of Drives is declining in western countries and rising here. Currently, many Indian factories rely on electrical systems alone. The immediate cost of this system is low as Drives are an additional cost but in the long-term, the efficiency, variance, accuracy and energy-savings that Drives provide make them a cost-effective addition.
How has the pandemic affected the market for Drives?
2019 saw great sales and then the first lockdown of 2020 threw industry off gear as the only manufacturing operating was related to essential services for 3 months. But by September demand picked up speed. This demand accelerated manifold in 2021. Today despite the overall shortages of electronic components at Delta we are managing well and forging ahead of the competition.
What differentiates Delta’s Drives from the competitors?
Delta Drives have ensured a growing loyal customer base for us. Firstly, the VFD E Series, MS300 series and the VFD-C200 series Drives have a built in PLC function. This eliminates the purchase of a separate PLC and reduces the wiring thus bringing down the chance of an equipment failure.
Delta VFD-C200 series Drives also offer the option to project the heat dissipating component of the Drive outside. Heat is often the cause of equipment failure and this option found in makes the equipment last longer. Of course, the superior quality and performance of Delta’s Drives are backed by energy-efficiency, a huge dealer network and a prompt after sales service network spread across the country.
What new applications are innovations are likely to emerge in Drives and specifically in High Power Motor Drives?
As the Induction Motors make way for motors like Permanent Magnet Motors (PMM) and Reluctance Motors, new innovations are following this trend. Delta already has PMM applications in low power in the VFD E series and MS200 series Drives. We are now looking to introduce Drives which work in accordance to Reluctance Motors. The future of Drives is even greater energy and motor efficiency.
B K Bhayana is an Electrical Engineer, having vast experience in the field of Electrical Engineering in general and Variable Speed Drives in particular. Technical background coupled with marketing skills makes him an unmatched blend of a rare professional in the industry. His superb presentation skills and creative marcom designing skills make him stand out. Analytical approach is the hallmark of his strategy. Adaptability to the needs of the organisation/situation, even if out of box for his profile, makes him valuable for the organisation (e.g., using CPFR software for inventory management, digging out pain areas in the organisation and solving them).
He also happens to be a patent holder for solution to avoid over voltage tripping of VFD when used for 220V three phase pump motor for Solar Pumping.
The interview was published in Industrial Automation magazine