Thursday, July 28, 2011


In today's world of social media, I have been led to believe that we also needed a Facebook page.  So to stop the onslot of nagging about it, E.C.T. Sales and Service has a Facebook page. 

You are invited to check it out and if you visit it, please "Like" it because for some reason it is important to do so.  Just call me what you like but it is getting hard to keep up with all the things I am suppost to do to keep up with everyone else or whatever the case may be for these things. 

My goal is to keep all our customers informed and have data and material for them at their finger tips at all times and I hope we are doing that much.  If there is something you need in the way of informational documentation, drawings, application data or something else, just let me know and I will do what I can to get it to you.

We are continually adding information to the website under the appropriate vendor as I come up with it.  Facebook may be okay for the social aspect but it will not (at this time) take the place of the website for this kind of information.

Baah humbug....


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More temperature related issues

I can’t stress enough the need for good ventilation and cooling for your electrical equipment, especially this time of the year. In the past few weeks, we have been out on numerous service calls all heat related.

From blown capacitors to overheated input wires we have seen a bunch of heat related issues. This time of year, most of the VFD’s in the field are running pumps and doing it at full bore to try and keep up with the demand. The drives can do it provided they are clean and proper cooling is provided for the environment they are in.

The other problem we see this time of year is input problems due to power surges. These are usually the result of nearby lightning strikes. In some areas, there are stresses put on the utility lines caused by addition loading as a result of the temperature. This can cause blackouts, which causes spikes and surges on the electrical system that can cause input problems.

I know this time of year is a busy one for most but that is no excuse for not making sure that your equipment is clean and cool. Thousands of dollars have been spent with us in the past few weeks and we are not complaining, just sad to see it happen when it could have been avoided within a few minutes with a shop vacuum and a bit of preventative maintenance.


Friday, July 15, 2011

One more of the Nine used up

After a few procedures over the past two months, I went to the doctor yesterday and he asked me "how many times in your life have you dodged a bullet like that one"?  He then proceded to tell me just how lucky I am that they were able to remove the cancer as easily as they did. 

One more time folks, don't put off what needs to be done.  In my case, it could have cost me my life.

On another note:

Madhu was gone to India for the past few weeks and I have been holding down the fort for service.  Almost every service issue I was involved with was related to either heat or a housekeeping problem.  Remember, keep them clean and keep them cool and they will run forever!  Just a friendly reminder.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Unusual VFD problem

So here is one that doesn't happen very often.  Back in March, we had a customer that lost a 900 horsepower drive that was over 10 years old.  Due to the age of the drive, the customer decided that they wanted to strip out the guts of the old unit and retrofit the cabinet with a new 2 module unit. 

Zach and Brandan when to the site and did this work in a couple of days.  Following them getting done, Madhu went up and did a start-up on the unit.  All seemed to be well and we all felt pretty good about the work that was accomplished in the short amount of time.

About 4 to 5 weeks after the installation, the customer had a power bump and the drive would not start back up.  They were on the phone with Madhu describing the problems when Madhu just told them to reset the unit and try it started and we forgot the entire episode.

Last week, the drive was shut down due to a problem with a stack fan.  When the customer went to start the drive back up it started again to fault out on M2 overcurrent. 

They had me on the phone for the better part of the day and I had them run various tests on the drive.  The drive passed every test we put it through but still continued to fault out on the M2 OC fault.  After consulting with the factory and doing my own thinking about this, we all reach the conclusion that the motor must have a problem. 

We shipped up the spare we had in our warehouse.  They installed it but this did not fix the problem.  The motor that was removed was not meggering correctly so the focus then turn to the motor leads.  The customer went through the process of changing out the leads but this did not clear the problem either.

Thursday night, 10:20 pm:  The customer calls me and wants me at the site to get the beast to run.  I left early the next morning and during the course of traveling the 500+ miles to the site, I had parts shipped in to the local airport.  After arriving at the site, we did several tests on the unit.  In checking the unit I noticed that the dip switches on both paralleling boards we set the same (to module 2).  This is not correct as the dip switches are what set the address for each module.  As soon as I changed the settings the fault moved to module one.

After going to the local airport and getting the parts, I went back to the site and started the process of elimination to see what could be wrong.  After a quick check of several items and eliminating them as the problem, I decided to change something that I have only seen go bad 2 other time in the past 28 years, the Hall CT's.  That did the trick. 

I still don't understand what happened or whether they were bad from the beginning but that did it.  Odd thing about this, I did numerous voltage checks to make sure the Hall CT's were operating correctly and it seemed that they were.  Obviously they were not.