What are ABB Variable Frequency Drives?

ABB Drives are the core industrial devices of automatic networks and are used in across a wide range of industries to improve energy efficiency. ABB is the largest supplier of industrial drives and motors.

Control Concepts services all of them!

  • AC & DC drives 
  • Variable frequency drives (VFDs)
  • General purpose drives machinery drives
  • Industry specific drives

Control Concepts has over 30 years of experience in ABB drive repair, service, and support. Contact us today.

ABB AC Variable Frequency Drives, both low and medium voltage, are used in industrial manufacturing. They offer specific functionality in all applications and are designed to control different types of motors.

ABB VFDs have the flexibility to connect to automatic networks and provide adjustable motor control from basic applications such as pump and fan operation to intricate applications for a broad range of industries, especially process industries:

  • Pulp and Paper
  • Metals
  • Mining
  • Cement and Concrete
  • Power
  • Chemical
  • Oil and Gas

Fun Fact: Did you know ABB pioneered the world’s first electrically powered industrial robot?

Types of Motor Drives

General Purpose Drives

A General Purpose Drive is used in pumps, fans, and conveyors. It is recommended for its simple installation and programming and for situations that do not require custom engineering. General purpose drives are easy to set up and operate, providing several built-in features.

Industry Specific Drives

ABB produces drives for specific industries:

  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Water pumping
  • Waste water management
  • And more

ABB drives are designed for optimal operation performance and energy reduction. 

Machinery Drives

ABB drives are used as component drives and high performance machinery drives. They provide precise speed control in a diverse set of applications; they are found in spa bath motors and treadmill motors as well as in high precision applications in positioning systems and synchronization systems.

Common Drive Failures

  • Drive doesn’t run the motor
  • Drive keeps blowing fuses or tripping breakers
  • Loose connections
  • Non-functional cooling fans
  • Software or programming problems
  • Circuit board failure 

The Repair Process

We check the motor drive and terminals for substandard connections which can be caused by anything from heat cycles and mechanical vibration to reusing or over-tightening torque screws.

We conduct diode and IGBT tests on the input/output power sections before applying power to the drive unit. This is to protect against further damage from a short.

We power up the unit and perform amp readings and output frequency tests, slowly increasing the voltage until the rated input voltage of the drive is reached.

If everything functions properly, we use the drive to run a motor through basic jog functions after backing up existing programs. If the motor does not run, we check the output voltages and current ratings going to the motor to check drive function for motor rotation.

Most drive failures can be avoided through preventative maintenance.


Control Concepts provides 24/7 service and support. Contact us today.