DSG does more than supply products. We also offer services and expertise that may not be as visible as our warehouses or our trucks. Here is one of our capabilities that might surprise you.
There’s nothing worse than when you get to the end of a project and discover that there’s still a lot left to do. That can be the case when it comes to prepping electrical drives for operation, a process commonly referred to as a Drive Start-up. Thankfully, DSG’s panel shop offers a way for customers to breeze through this step.
When a DSG expert performs a Drive Start-up for a customer, he or she not only certifies the drive for its intended use, but also extends the warranty by six months simply by doing so. Primarily, these are done on Schneider Electric drives, including everything from ATV12s to ATV900s. (DSG is also authorized by Yaskawa.) A Drive Start-up begins with DSG’s trained drive experts documenting all of the proper information (e.g., model, voltage, control type and a number of other parameters) and then programming the drive, verifying all of the settings, connections and motor performance. They then finalize all of the information and send the proper documentation to Schneider Electric, who then provides confirmation that the warranty has been extended for another six months beyond its standard one-year duration.
The process usually takes less than a day, but the benefits it provides last much longer. According to John DeYonge, automation project manager at DSG, the warranty extension isn’t the only advantage that DSG’s Drive Start-ups offer. “Many times, it’s a matter of convenience and peace of mind,” he says. “A common misconception is that the drives come programmed, but they don’t. Sometimes, a drive can come with just a simple start guide, or it comes with a web link that takes you to a more complex manual online that, in most cases, won’t have the specific instructions for our customers to set up the drives per their unique application. It’s easy to get lost in all of the information. When we perform the Drive Start-up, customers can skip all that, and they know that the drive is programmed the way it’s supposed to be.”
On the flip side, a drive that is not programmed correctly can lead to serious problems down the road, and not just with the drive itself. Motor failure and fires can cause entire operations to shut down. Improperly programmed drives can also cause electrical noise that can disrupt other equipment. “We’ve seen a case where a drive was in charge of bringing water from a well to cattle on a dairy operation,” recalls DeYonge. “The cattle had RFID chips in them to track the number of times each cow was milked per day and each one’s daily milk production. The electrical noise from the drive was interfering with reading the chip, and the loss of information caused a financial setback to the dairy operation.”
In addition, if a warranty does need to be utilized, the process goes a lot quicker if DSG has performed the start-up. “We have all of the documentation here at DSG,” DeYonge says. “And as an ACE Distributor, we have a higher level of access to Schneider Electric support. That means that everything gets expedited when we get involved.”
DSG actually keeps both an electronic copy and a paper copy of the drive program. This can come in handy if a customer wants to replace a drive or duplicate its operation for a new application. “There’s a lot of flexibility when a customer has us perform the Drive Start-up,” DeYonge adds. “If a customer wants a drive program to be altered during start-up, we can easily adjust settings and parameters.”
DSG has been offering its Drive Start-up service to customers throughout the Midwest for more than ten years. Its experts are trained and certified by Schneider Electric, and DSG has authorized team members in Sioux Falls, SD; Fargo and Grand Forks, ND; and Rochester, MN. To take advantage of DSG’s Drive Start-up services, speak with your automation sales representative at DSG. They can help you to quote the start-up service into your next project.
Learn more about DSG automation at www.dakotasupplygroup.com/automation.