Manufacturing sites are transforming rapidly through digitization and automation. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are playing a more and more important role to operate today's advanced production facilities stably even with fluctuating power environments. It should be noted that, however, to use UPSs with peace of mind requires periodic maintenance.
M Corp. manufactures and sells various production systems, industrial robots, and logistics equipment. The company had multiple UPSs operating in their factory to prevent production system downtime.
But when they had a power outage due to lightning, however, their UPSs could not provide backup power to production facilities, causing a downtime. "The downtime was never supposed to occur with UPSs operated, but it did. I needed to know why and started investigating the cause," said Mr. R of the company's production control department. He then explained the cause:
"The investigation found that the UPS's battery was drained much faster than expected and the remaining battery life at the time of the outage was less than required. Further investigation also showed that the cause was the facilities in the factory. It was highly likely that a high momentary current and voltage dip occurred every time large power equipment in the factory was started up, frequently causing the UPS to transfer to battery power, which drained the battery faster than expected. This surprised me because I thought transfer to battery would only occur in the event of a power outage."
Moreover, he had a hard time dealing with battery maintenance.
"Each UPS unit had a varied degree of battery drain, so it was difficult to manage battery replacement," he said. "We used to get a sudden alarm that required maintenance each time, sometimes causing production downtime. It took a long time to resume operation, which affected production efficiency."
▲ Hybrid UPS operation modes
Mr. R decided to consult SANYO DENKI, which had previously worked with other departments in the company. After listening to his problems including the input voltage range in the factory, a SANYO DENKI sales representative proposed their new SANUPS E11B, a hybrid UPS featuring standby and double conversion online topologies.
"The proposed hybrid UPS," he explained the product, "executes the standby topology to reduce power consumption when the power supply is stable, and it automatically switches to the double conversion online topology when the power fluctuates; it provides high-quality, reliable power to loads while achieving energy saving. In addition, its wide input voltage range minimizes transfer to battery power even in environments where power fluctuates, preventing battery drain. This extends battery life and reduces the number of replacements, reducing maintenance costs and time. This hybrid UPS achieves both high reliability and high efficiency, and I believed it would make a perfect fit."
▲ Hybrid UPS operation modes
The company soon decided to use the SANUPS E11B UPSs in their factory.
The E11B has relieved us from the need to be prepared for sudden possible alarms followed by maintenance work, making things much easier. I am grateful to SANYO DENKI for the offer and all the useful advice."