By Josh Olive, power control area manager, Rockwell Automation
Unplanned downtime is a difficult challenge to address.
For example, last year I heard a story from an employee at a tissue manufacturer. They had a large coordinated drive system with high-power drives running a tissue machine. At the end of the line, the tissue was wound into a large roll — think of an enormous roll of toilet paper.
After 12 years, they started experiencing drive modules faulting, and in some cases failing. When a drive on the machine faulted out and the roll was no longer being driven, the tissue ripped, creating a mess of tissue until the machine was stopped.
Then the tissue had to be cleaned up and the machine rethreaded — slowly restarted by pulling the tissue through all of the rolls on the machine.
Of course, the faulty drive module had to be troubleshooted and replaced. This caused several hours of unplanned downtime and lost production.