VARIABLE SPEED DRIVES OVERLOAD

A large pharmaceutical plant based in the South of Ireland needed our help to prevent damaging downtime. The plant, which manufactures market-leading medicines, had issues with overloading of variable speed drives. There were faults identified on the secondary side of UPS.

INDUSTRY SUCCESS

Directly employees

30,000

people

Estimated

10

invested in the last 10 years

Top

10

of the worlds pharma companies based in Ireland

THE CHALLENGE

A fault on the secondary side of a UPS was reported by the pharmaceutical plant after it had caused process downtime of more than two hours. This resulted in the loss of product and resource downtime which was estimated to cost the business in excess of €2 million. We were called in to investigate the case, find out exactly what went wrong and make recommendations to prevent it happening in the future.

HOW WE HELPED

Our first port of call was to carry out an analysis of the power quality data for system performance versus IEC standards for critical infrastructure. With this information, along with our extensive power quality metering assessment, we were able to identify the vulnerable points on the network and highlighted significant breaches of the voltage harmonic limits for controlled and sensitive equipment as stipulated by the IEC 61000-2-4 standard.

Following on from this we were able to model the facility’s electrical distribution network using our specialist software analysis programs. Then using this model we were able to size a filtering solution that would mitigate any further harmonic issues.

THE RESULT

After carrying out various investigations we were able to offer the client a number of recommendations that included dual feeding arrangements, installation of harmonic filters, upgrading of the existing power monitoring system to include integration of alarms and control for uninterrupted power supplies, variable speed drives and revised maintenance programmes.

THE CLIENT

This client is based in the biopharmaceutical industry, working from a state-of-the art facility in the south of Ireland. They employ over 600 people that work tirelessly to develop and produce medicines, particularly for rare and chronic diseases.

"Using our specialist equipment and knowledge, we could design a power analysis model of the distribution system and identify vulnerable parts of the network experiencing significant breaches of the voltage harmonic limits. We are seeing a number of clients suffering issues with overloading of variable speed drives, throughout their facilities."

George MoklLead Electrical Engineer

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