VFD brands I should consider?
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  1. #1
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    Default VFD brands I should consider?

    I have been working to refresh/service a 1941 South Bend Lathe and I am starting to look at the electrical requirements to power it from my single phase 220. I am impressed with what I have read about VFD's and want to narrow down a couple brands/models to look at. I have a lot of time invested in the machine already and want to pair it with a high quality component that will be kind to my motor. What brands should I be looking at? If anyone has recently added one to a similar spec motor and is happy with it what make/model did you use? Thanks for any feedback!

    motor tag

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    Kind of mid pack price wise for 3Hp and under with single phase input, I think you will find that any of the following VFDs will be more than adequate:
    Hitachi WJ200
    Yaskawa V1000
    Teco E510
    See Fuji Frenic being recommended by WOLF Automation, haven't worked with them. Have installed quite a few VFD systems mostly with the WJ200 and V1000, haven't had any issues and sufficient programming parameters for this application. Automation Direct has a new line of VFDs (GS4) but more expensive and feature wise I do not see they offer anything more other than better tech. support. You will find many mechanical lathe OEM VFD manufactures using the Yaskawa. Many lessor cost VFD's may lack programming parameters and/or ability to use an external braking resistor. The only VFD's I have seen either DOA or failure in the field are the generic Chinese brands/HY.

    You will be more limited by the machine/drive as opposed to the VFD. You may want to use an external braking resistor if you have the ability to lock the chuck, otherwise it could spin off. Also the belt will slip. As far as motors,if you want to use the stock motor than keep the carrier frequency lower (6kHz or lower) and maybe maximum Hz of around 75, minimum of 30Hz. I am not aware of any one VFD that is better than another with regard to using them on an older motor. You could consider a VFD output reactor that may tame the output spikes, but other discussions suggest on a 240VAC motor with short motor leads, probably of minimal benefit. If you decide to upgrade the motor, than about any TEFC or TENV inverter rated motor will work just fine. Probably go with 2 Hp, not sure if the belt drive can handle anything more, but you loose Hp below 60 Hz so one reason people will oversize the motors to get more speed range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mksj View Post
    You will be more limited by the machine/drive as opposed to the VFD. You may want to use an external braking resistor if you have the ability to lock the chuck, otherwise it could spin off. Also the belt will slip.
    Do you think this is a big concern if I select one that has a "ramp" up and down feature?

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    They all have ramp up and ramp down parameters in addition to defining if it is linear or S curve. One of the advantages of a slower acceleration is less belt slippage on start-up. Generally set acceleration to 5 seconds, for braking I set it at 3 seconds linear for default, but do a secondary braking of 1 second for threading, etc. I would not recommend 1 second braking on this model. All these VFD's have fairly extensive parameters, most of which are not used in this type of setting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mksj View Post
    They all have ramp up and ramp down parameters in addition to defining if it is linear or S curve. One of the advantages of a slower acceleration is less belt slippage on start-up. Generally set acceleration to 5 seconds, for braking I set it at 3 seconds linear for default, but do a secondary braking of 1 second for threading, etc. I would not recommend 1 second braking on this model. All these VFD's have fairly extensive parameters, most of which are not used in this type of setting.
    Quite a few views and no one is challenging your suggestions so I guess they are solid! I have been looking them over and I see that no one sells direct so there is a middle man involved, not what I am used to. Is there a smart way to find a good reseller or are they all pretty much the same?

    Also are all these about the same to program and understand for a newb? I see the teko/Westinghouse one has a digital display and even though I usually prefer more simple items so there is less to go wrong. In the case of something like this, that I have no experience with, maybe the screen makes it easier to use? and has more helpful information? I plan on using input controls in the form of a rotary switch so there is some extra work for me. Also the Teko is about 3 lbs heavier than the lightest one of the three you posted.

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    For the most part, any of the "major" manufacturers make good products, otherwise they could not afford to stay in the VFD business. Support is expensive, support for bad products is REALLY expensive if you have a brand reputation to protect.
    The exception to that rule however are the cheap Chinese products you see on FleaBay and Amazon with either no name, some unknown Chinese name (or one, such as Huan Yang, that is so bad you cannot even discuss them here), or some sort of cheesy “Chinglish” name like “Super Special Good Drive”. Most of these are cheap crap, spit out by factories that might even make good drives for other larger companies under contract, but dispense with any quality control for their secondary products targeted to the “how low can you go” price only market. They are cheap, but they get there by cutting so many corners that they will not last long yet there is almost no support. The Fleabay / Amazon resellers disappear shortly after selling out their inventory, then create a new “company” name in China to sell some more. I know people that have bought them, convincing themselves that the savings are so phenomenal that they can afford to replace them. But when they go down and your machine stops making you money, that cost savings becomes inconsequential.

    Teco (not Teko) make a good product, they have a decent reputation. I personally think their manual is slightly less "Asian" than the others like Hitachi. By that I mean that some of the Asian mfrs translate their Japanese or Chinese language manuals directly, so they are difficult to understand in terms of context and syntax. Teco has partners here in the US where they have people that interpret and re-write the manuals (I was one of those people years ago, I wrote the manuals for the FM-50, EV and N3 models, much of which carried through into the 510 model manual).

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    They all will be far more than you need. They are sold through distributors, Wolf Automation probably would be the most informative and helpful regarding the Teco and Hitachi VFDs, although I have purchased from Drives Warehouse.On the Yaskawa I use Motors and Controls for various VFDs including Yaskawa, but there is also Galco (they tend to be a bit more expensive).

    I suggest you look at the manuals first and also do some calling to the vendors as far as recommendations/support. They all have numerous parameters, so often hard to understand for first time installers. Teco and Hitachi are probably a bit easier to follow, Teco has better manuals. Yaskawa can be a bit more intimidating but they are maybe a bit higher end quality wise. There are lots of other good brands like ABB, Danfoss, etc.., the brands I previously mentioned are just the ones I predominately use in this application, and at the price point of around $300. They all have digital displays for the models below. They have the ability to be programmed from a computer, but for one off programming I do not recommend it. Teco comes in different models, the heavier version is a sealed unit and more expensive (E510-202-H-U NEMA1/IP20 vs. E510-202-H1FN4S-U NEMA 4/12), the standard models are all close in weight, it doesn't really matter as they all work well.

    WJ200-015SF | Hitachi Drives | AC Drives
    E510-202-H-U | Teco Westinghouse | AC Drives
    WJ200-015SF 2HP 1.5kW 230V Single Phase Input VFD - Hitachi
    CIMR-VUBA0010FAA - Yaskawa - AC Drives | Galco Industrial Electronics
    Yaskawa CIMR-VUBA0010FAA, 3 HP, 200-240V, VFD

    E510-202-H1FN4S-U NEMA 4/12
    https://www.wolfautomation.com/ac-dr...uty-230v-2-hp/

    Per Wolf Automation's site:
    The Teco E510 series is a great cross reference to these manufacturers drives:
    Mitsubishi D700
    Hitachi WJ200
    ABB ACS310
    Schneider Electric Altivar 312
    Yaskawa V1000
    Danfoss VLT FC280
    Toshiba VF-S15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jraef View Post
    For the most part, any of the "major" manufacturers make good products, otherwise they could not afford to stay in the VFD business. Support is expensive, support for bad products is REALLY expensive if you have a brand reputation to protect.
    The exception to that rule however are the cheap Chinese products you see on FleaBay and Amazon with either no name, some unknown Chinese name (or one, such as Huan Yang, that is so bad you cannot even discuss them here), or some sort of cheesy “Chinglish” name like “Super Special Good Drive”. Most of these are cheap crap, spit out by factories that might even make good drives for other larger companies under contract, but dispense with any quality control for their secondary products targeted to the “how low can you go” price only market. They are cheap, but they get there by cutting so many corners that they will not last long yet there is almost no support. The Fleabay / Amazon resellers disappear shortly after selling out their inventory, then create a new “company” name in China to sell some more. I know people that have bought them, convincing themselves that the savings are so phenomenal that they can afford to replace them. But when they go down and your machine stops making you money, that cost savings becomes inconsequential.

    Teco (not Teko) make a good product, they have a decent reputation. I personally think their manual is slightly less "Asian" than the others like Hitachi. By that I mean that some of the Asian mfrs translate their Japanese or Chinese language manuals directly, so they are difficult to understand in terms of context and syntax. Teco has partners here in the US where they have people that interpret and re-write the manuals (I was one of those people years ago, I wrote the manuals for the FM-50, EV and N3 models, much of which carried through into the 510 model manual).
    What are you saying? You are going to be there for me when I screw it up, if I get the Teco? LOL

    I am totally on board with buying quality! I am of the cry once mentality and am used to paying a little more so I dont have to have buyers remorse.

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    I bought the motor and VFD from wolf automation. They work very well so far its been two years. no complaints whatever.

    GP0024 Motor, 2hp, 1800rpm, 145T frame, 5.48 FL Amps (230V), Rigid Base Mount 1 $222.30

    WJ200-022SF AC Drive, 3hp, 200V, Single Phase, Sensorless Vector 1 $363.80

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    Thanks so much for all the feedback guys! I ordered the Teco 510. I really liked this video too that shows me pretty much what I will be doing.



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