What are the benefits to users of service-oriented drives?

Industry 4.0 and 4IR are generally though about in terms of networking and connectivity of machines, but of equal importance is the driving of embedded intelligence down into equipment and devices used in these machines. Intelligent devices and components take intelligence to the point of operation and back into the system.


Schneider Electric’s Altivar Process drives are one example. Called Service Oriented Drives, the ATV600 and ATV900 can be used for speed control and energy saving across a wide range of applications. However, by leveraging their onboard intelligence, they improve safety and productivity, and reduce machine downtime.



VSDs are generally installed within system of electromechanical devices including circuit breakers, motors, gear boxes and mechanical transmissions. Collectively these are referred to as driveline. However, the VSD are different, as their electronic are the enablers for service-oriented drives. They allow the drives to minimize their own downtime and be utilised as smart sensors for the entire driveline (monitoring, for instance, motor torque temperature, main voltage, and load energy consumption).


Reducing down-time

Reducing down-time is an important productivity metric. In most operations, maintenance practices are estimated to be 60% reactive, 30% preventive and 10% predictive. Reactive, or corrective maintenance, is a response to an unanticipated problem or emergency. Preventive maintenance implies the systematic inspection and detection of potential failures before they occur.


Predictive maintenance is a type of preventive maintenance which estimates and projects equipment condition over time, utilising probability formulas to assess downtime risks. The service-oriented drive concept helps facilities managers and maintenance personnel to move in the direction of the anticipative behaviour (predictive) model.


According to ARC Advisory Group, recent surveys indicate that global process industries lose an estimated $20 billion annually due to unscheduled downtime (equivalent to 5% of production revenue). This loss significantly impacts manufacturers’ profitability and efficiency. To address this issue, many industries are reducing overall downtime impact by migrating to technologies designed specifically to maximize uptime.


The service oriented drive approach represents a new generation of devices that are integrated with services allowing for minimal downtime. They help manufacturers moving to smart factories by connecting key devices and information. Their data collection and analysis capabilities to allow proactive and predictive maintenance to become a reality.


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