Variable Frequency Drive Cable Best Practices

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Correcting common mistakes that affect performance and safety

BY PETER COX, Belden, Inc.

Most industrial operations today are looking for ways to reduce costs in these tough economic times. Variable-frequency drives (VFDs) are popular in many applications because they provide energy savings and a “more precise” control over the electric motor. Moreover, VFDs use sensitive communications data to control mechanical devices, allowing operators to increase precision, reduce waste, and increase motor life by reducing wear and tear on motors.

Good installation practices and the right cables for integrated systems are important to the long-term success of any installation. However, poor installation or use of the wrong power and communications cables on these systems can result in reduced or even unsafe performance. This increases the possibility of system failure and expensive downtime and it shortens the life for both motors and cables.

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