A variable frequency drive (VFD) is a device that controls the speed and torque of an electric motor by adjusting the frequency and voltage of the power supply. VFDs are widely used in various industries, such as water and wastewater, HVAC, oil and gas, mining, food and beverage, and elevators, to improve energy efficiency, productivity, and reliability of motor-driven systems.
There are many VFD manufacturers in the world, offering different types of drives for different applications and markets. Here is a list of the top 10 VFD manufacturers in the world, based on their revenue, market share, product portfolio, and customer satisfaction.
Top 10 VFD Manufacturers in the World
1. Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation is a leading provider of industrial automation and digital transformation solutions, including Allen-Bradley PowerFlex VFDs. PowerFlex VFDs are designed for flexibility, scalability, productivity, and ease of use. They can handle both low voltage and medium voltage applications, with a comprehensive range of power options and innovative features. PowerFlex VFDs offer real-time predictive analytics to increase throughput, uptime, and energy savings. Rockwell Automation also offers packaged solutions and on-machine drives for various industries.
Danfoss is a global leader in engineering solutions that enable sustainable development in the fields of climate change, food supply, energy efficiency, and smart infrastructure. Danfoss Drives is one of the largest VFD manufacturers in the world, offering a wide range of VLT and VACON drives for low voltage and medium voltage applications. Danfoss Drives are optimized for specific industries, such as HVAC, water, industrial, and food and beverage. Danfoss Drives also provide DrivePro services to improve uptime and performance of the drives.
3. Invertek Drives
Invertek Drives is a global manufacturer of VFDs for energy efficient control of variable speed electric motors in fans, pumps, industrial automation, HVAC building services, and elevators. Invertek Drives offers a range of Optidrive products that are easy to install, commission, and operate. Optidrive products feature advanced technology, such as sensorless vector control, dynamic torque control, energy optimization, and smart communications. Invertek Drives also provides technical support and training to its customers worldwide.
ABB is a global technology company that specializes in electrification, industrial automation, motion, robotics, discrete automation, and power grids. ABB offers a broad portfolio of VFDs for low voltage and medium voltage applications under the brand names of ABB Ability Digital Powertrain, ACS (low voltage), and ACSM1 (medium voltage). ABB VFDs are suitable for various industries, such as oil and gas, mining, metals, pulp and paper, cement, marine, water and wastewater, and water and wastewater. ABB VFDs also feature ABB Ability digital solutions, such as remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, and energy management.
Siemens is a global powerhouse in the fields of electrification, automation, and digitalization, offering innovative solutions for smart infrastructure, sustainable energy, intelligent manufacturing, and healthcare. Siemens offers a comprehensive portfolio of VFDs for low voltage and medium voltage applications under the brand names of SINAMICS, SIMOTICS, SIMOGEAR, and SIMOREG. Siemens VFDs are designed for high performance, reliability, and efficiency in various industries, such as chemical, oil and gas, mining, cement, marine, water and wastewater, and food and beverage.
6. Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is a global leader in energy management and automation solutions, serving customers in over 100 countries. Schneider Electric offers a range of VFDs for low voltage and medium voltage applications under the brand names of Altivar and Altivar Process. Schneider Electric VFDs are suitable for various industries, such as HVAC, water and wastewater, oil and gas, mining, metals, food and beverage, and material handling. Schneider Electric VFDs also provide EcoStruxure solutions, such as cloud connectivity, edge control, analytics, and services.
Yaskawa is a global leader in motion control and robotics solutions, offering products and services for industrial automation and mechatronics. Yaskawa offers a wide range of VFDs for low voltage and medium voltage applications under the brand names of GA800 Configured Drives (low voltage), GA800 Industrial Drives (low voltage), U1000 Industrial Matrix Drives (low voltage), Z1000 HVAC Drives (low voltage), Z1000U HVAC Matrix Drives (low voltage), P1000 Industrial Fan & Pump Drives (low voltage), A1000 High-Performance Vector Control Drives (low voltage), J1000 Compact V/f Control Drives (low voltage), V1000 Compact Vector Control Drives (low voltage), G7 Low Voltage Industrial Drive (low voltage), P7 Fan & Pump Drive (low voltage), F7 General Purpose Drive (low voltage), E7 HVAC Drive (low voltage), MV1000 Medium Voltage Drives (medium voltage), MV1000 NEMA 3R Medium Voltage Drives (medium voltage). Yaskawa VFDs are suitable for various industries, such as HVAC, water and wastewater, oil and gas, mining, metals, food and beverage, and material handling. Yaskawa VFDs also feature advanced technologies, such as matrix converter, vector control, regenerative braking, and harmonic suppression.
8. Mitsubishi Electric
Mitsubishi Electric is a global manufacturer of electrical and electronic products and systems, covering fields such as energy, industrial automation, information and communication, electronic devices, and home appliances. Mitsubishi Electric offers a range of VFDs for low voltage and medium voltage applications under the brand names of FR (low voltage) and 800 Series (medium voltage). Mitsubishi Electric VFDs are suitable for various industries, such as HVAC, water and wastewater, oil and gas, mining, metals, food and beverage, and elevators. Mitsubishi Electric VFDs also provide smart functions, such as energy saving, predictive maintenance, network compatibility, and safety features.
9. Fuji Electric
Fuji Electric is a global manufacturer of power electronics products and systems, covering fields such as power generation, transmission and distribution, industrial systems, social systems, and consumer electronics. Fuji Electric offers a range of VFDs for low voltage and medium voltage applications under the brand names of FRENIC (low voltage) and FRENIC-MEGA (medium voltage). Fuji Electric VFDs are suitable for various industries, such as HVAC, water and wastewater, oil and gas, mining, metals, food and beverage, and elevators. Fuji Electric VFDs also provide eco-friendly solutions, such as energy saving, CO2 reduction, harmonic suppression, and noise reduction.
10. Delta Electronics
Delta Electronics is a global provider of power and thermal management solutions, covering fields such as industrial automation, building automation, telecom power, data center infrastructure, EV charging, renewable energy, energy storage and display. Delta Electronics offers a range of VFDs for low voltage applications under the brand names of C2000 Series (general purpose), CP2000 Series (fan/pump), CH2000 Series (HVAC), MH300 Series (micro), MS300 Series (compact), ME300 Series (machine), VFD-DD Series (servo), VFD-EL Series (elevator), VFD-VL Series (crane), VFD-E Series (sensorless vector control), VFD-VE Series (vector control), VFD-B Series (standard), VFD-F Series (high performance), VFD-M Series (mini), VFD-S Series (simple), VFD-L Series (small). Delta Electronics VFDs are suitable for various industries,
such as HVAC, water and wastewater, oil and gas, mining, metals, food and beverage, and material handling. Delta Electronics VFDs also provide smart functions, such as energy saving, sensorless vector control, PID control, and communication modules.
VFDs are essential devices for controlling the speed and torque of electric motors in various industries and applications. They can help improve energy efficiency, productivity, reliability, and safety of the motor-driven systems. The top 10 VFD manufacturers in the world are Rockwell Automation, Danfoss, Invertek Drives, ABB, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Yaskawa, Mitsubishi Electric, Fuji Electric, and Delta Electronics. They offer a wide range of VFD products and services for low voltage and medium voltage applications, with different features and technologies to meet the specific needs of different customers and markets.
Most Asked Questions and Answers about VFDs
Q1: What is the difference between VFD and VSD?
A1: VFD stands for variable frequency drive, while VSD stands for variable speed drive. They are both terms used to describe devices that control the speed and torque of electric motors by adjusting the frequency and voltage of the power supply. However, VFD is more commonly used in North America, while VSD is more commonly used in Europe and Asia.
Q2: What are the benefits of using VFDs?
A2: Some of the benefits of using VFDs are:
They can save energy by reducing the power consumption of the motor when it is not running at full speed or load.
They can improve productivity by allowing precise and flexible control of the motor speed and torque according to the process requirements.
They can enhance reliability by protecting the motor from overloading, overvoltage, overcurrent, overheating, and other faults.
They can increase safety by providing soft start and stop functions, emergency stop functions, and isolation functions.
Q3: What are the types of VFDs?
A3: There are three main types of VFDs:
Volts per hertz (V/f) control: This type of VFD maintains a constant ratio between the voltage and frequency applied to the motor. It is simple and inexpensive, but it has limited performance and accuracy.
Sensorless vector control: This type of VFD estimates the motor speed and torque based on the motor current and voltage. It provides better performance and accuracy than V/f control, but it still has some limitations in low-speed and high-torque applications.
Field-oriented control (FOC): This type of VFD uses a feedback sensor to measure the actual motor speed and torque. It provides the best performance and accuracy among all types of VFDs, but it is also more complex and expensive.
Q4: How to choose a VFD?
A4: Some of the factors to consider when choosing a VFD are:
The power rating and voltage rating of the motor
The type of load (constant torque or variable torque)
The speed range and accuracy required
The environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, dust, etc.)
The communication and integration requirements
The safety and protection features
The cost and availability
Q5: How to install a VFD?
A5: Some of the steps to install a VFD are:
Read the user manual carefully and follow the instructions
Choose a suitable location for the VFD that is away from heat sources, moisture sources, vibration sources, electromagnetic interference sources, etc.
Mount the VFD securely on a flat surface or a DIN rail
Connect the power supply wires to the input terminals of the VFD
Connect the motor wires to the output terminals of the VFD
Connect any external devices or sensors to the control terminals of the VFD
Configure the parameters of the VFD according to the motor specifications and application requirements
Test the operation of the VFD and motor
Q6: How to maintain a VFD?
A6: Some of the tips to maintain a VFD are:
Perform regular inspections and cleaning of the VFD
Check for any signs of damage or wear on the wires, terminals, components, etc.
Replace any faulty or worn parts as soon as possible
Monitor the performance and status of the VFD using indicators or diagnostic tools
Follow the recommended maintenance schedule and procedures provided by the manufacturer
Q7: What are some common problems with VFDs?
A7: Some of the common problems with VFDs are:
Overheating: This can be caused by insufficient cooling, excessive ambient temperature, improper installation, etc. It can lead to reduced efficiency, shortened lifespan, or even failure of the VFD.
Harmonics: These are distortions in the power supply waveform caused by the switching action of the VFD. They can affect the power quality, cause interference, or damage other equipment connected to the same power source.
Ground faults: These are short circuits between the VFD output and the ground. They can be caused by insulation breakdown, moisture ingress, loose connections, etc. They can damage the VFD or the motor.
Parameter errors: These are incorrect or inconsistent settings of the VFD parameters. They can affect the performance and operation of the VFD and the motor.
Q8: How to troubleshoot a VFD?
A8: Some of the steps to troubleshoot a VFD are:
Identify the symptoms and possible causes of the problem
Refer to the user manual or the error codes displayed on the VFD
Use a multimeter or an oscilloscope to measure the voltage, current, frequency, etc. of the VFD and the motor
Use a megger or an insulation tester to check the insulation resistance of the VFD and the motor
Use a clamp meter or a current probe to check the current waveform and harmonics of the VFD and the motor
Use a logic analyzer or a communication analyzer to check the communication signals and protocols of the VFD and any external devices
Isolate and eliminate any external factors that may affect the VFD, such as power supply quality, environmental conditions, load characteristics, etc.
Reset or reprogram the parameters of the VFD according to the motor specifications and application requirements
Replace any faulty or worn parts as needed
Q9: How to optimize a VFD?
A9: Some of the ways to optimize a VFD are:
Choose a suitable type and size of VFD for your application
Adjust the parameters of the VFD to match your process requirements
Use energy-saving functions, such as sleep/wake mode, automatic voltage adjustment, etc.
Use predictive maintenance functions, such as fault detection, condition monitoring, etc.
Use smart functions, such as remote control, data analysis, cloud connectivity, etc.
Q10: What are some trends and innovations in VFDs?
A10: Some of the trends and innovations in VFDs are:
Modular design: This allows for easy installation, configuration, expansion, and replacement of VFD components and modules.
Wireless communication: This enables wireless connection and data transmission between VFDs and other devices or systems using technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, etc.
Artificial intelligence: This enables VFDs to learn from data and experience and provide intelligent control and optimization of motor-driven systems.
Internet of Things: This enables VFDs to connect to the internet and share data and information with other devices or platforms for enhanced performance and functionality.