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The future development trend of VFDs

Release time:2021-12-10 Click amount: 811

Recently, Dong Ruiyong, vice president of Industrial Automation Business Group of Shenzhen INVT Electric Co., Ltd. was interviewed by Automation Panorama. The full text is posted as follows.

After years of rapid development, the domestic VFD industry has made great progress from product performance to appearance, and many manufacturers have emerged. With the impact of the Sino-US trade war and COVID-19 epidemic, we can find that leading users with large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises as the core begin to gradually accept the concept of localization, which is a huge market opportunity for domestic manufacturers. Recently, due to price increase of bulk materials and chip shortage, the VFD market begins to enter the integration period and market orders are gradually focused on the leading enterprises.

VFDs also continue to grow in product technology level, as reflected in the following aspects.

1.Scenario-based and industry-specific VFD models are developing rapidly while the general-purpose VFD market continues to be maintained. The traditional practice of covering all industries with general-purpose VFDs has gradually been replaced by precise designs based on industry scenarios. More and more domestic manufacturers are developing customized solutions based on specific industries, customers and equipment to better fit customer applications, solve customer pain points and enhance product competitiveness, which has become the mainstream practice in the OEM market. Certainly, this practice requires manufacturers to possess strong technology strength, rapid market response, and industry process accumulation, which is also a key point that leads to fragmentation of the future VFD industry market.

2. Transform from traditional VFD development to industrial automation integration capabilities. Developing industry-specific models is no longer limited to VFDs, but required to integrate the entire automation capabilities into a complete solution, which requires the integration of servo, HMI, PLC or even visual, pneumatic and other capabilities. A competitive solution needs to integrate all these capabilities into one, which is also a key variable that leads to fragmentation of the future automation market.

3. Building data-based access capabilities. Industry 4.0 has become a standard configuration for future manufacturing industry. For automation manufacturers, they need to consider how to seamlessly connect their own equipment to Industry 4.0 network. The product is no longer a drive on a single point, but a terminal on one edge side of the field device, which not only achieves the function of individual device, but becomes an interface that connects the field device to the Industry 4.0 network, including maintenance, diagnosis, and information calculation of the field device, or even a field device management terminal with edge computing capabilities.

4. In the future, the VFD is a platform rather than an original product. Based on different industries, there are different manufacturers to provide complete solutions, and any automation manufacturers cannot take all. In consequence, we need to transform from a single drive to an open automation platform in the future, and all kinds of users can realize their own know-how understanding for the industry on the platform through platform-based configuration and integration, ultimately forming their exclusive intellectual property rights.

All changes in VFDs are deployed based on changes in the industrial automation industry. With continued deepening of the demand for large-scale customization, we need to have more changes. Whether the single category of VFDs will disappear with the integration of the overall technology of industrial automation in the future, this problem remains to be seen. But in the conceivable future, the integration and development of multiple products will become a mainstream.

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Dong Ruiyong, vice president of Industrial Automation Business Group of Shenzhen INVT Electric Co., Ltd.

Automation Panorama: How did your VFD products develop in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021? What achievements have been made?

Dong Ruiyong: INVT VFD products are in short supply in Q1, and VFD productivity has been used to the greatest extent with year-on-year growth of more than 30%.

Automation Panorama: Which industry sectors are your VFD products mainly applied in? What do you think is the core advantage of your VFD products in the market competition?
Dong Ruiyong: INVT has rich VFD production lines and various product portfolios are used both in the project markets such as metallurgy, port, non-ferrous metals and chemicals and in the OEM markets such as compressor, printing and packaging, textile, etc. After years of development, our company has perfect channels and stable VFD product quality. Rich product portfolios, fast product iteration and customized demand response have been developed as our main advantages in the VFD field.

Automation Panorama: Please introduce one of your latest and most representative VFD products. In what aspects are its innovation reflected?

Dong Ruiyong: Goodrive300-01A-RT series VFD is a single-VFD integrated machine for air compressor industry developed by INVT, which adopts compact structure design and integrates air compressor-specific control logic to directly connect to various signals of the air compressor, such as emergency stop, pressure, temperature and fault signals. With exclusive solenoid valve terminals, it can directly drive the solenoid valve. Fit the touch screen special for INVT air compressor without external controller or PLC, greatly simplifying the electrical system design while realizing excellent variable-frequency control. Its performance features include:

1) It integrates drive and control of master and fan.

2) It is compatible with asynchronous/synchronous motor drive.

3) With air compressor-specific logic design, it is easy to debug.

4) With pluggable and anti-misplugging terminal design, it is easy to use.

Automation Panorama: The variable-frequency technology is a relatively mature technology, and VFD products tend to be homogenized. In what aspects your future VFD products will be innovative and improved? What value will bring to users?

Dong Ruiyong: Firstly, Develop customized solutions based on specific industries, customers and equipment to better fit customer applications and solve customer pain points, provide customers with electrical system integration capabilities, effectively reducing system complexity, and customize professional electrical system platforms for customers. Secondly, with the change of business model, especially the development of IoT, our products & systems will develop towards intelligent terminals and form new categories through Internet+. The device can seamlessly connect to Industry 4.0 network through the building of device data access capability, and the product is no longer a drive on a single point, but a field device management intelligent terminal with edge computing capability. Thirdly, build new intelligent business scenarios by building intelligent terminal + cloud service + artificial intelligence.

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