World’s Largest Syringe Powered by ABB Variable Speed Drive

he world’s largest syringe, used as a consultation room, is making use of an ABB variable-speed drive (VSD) to help raise awareness of substance abuse.

As part of a campaign to help people recover from drug and alcohol dependence, the ABB drive helps the Walking Free ministry to publicise its work by raising the syringe on its trailer. This attracts attention by giving people at the venue an excellent view of the syringe, which is 33 feet long and 6 feet in diameter.

Designed by Control House Limited of West Yorkshire, the drive and control package operates a hydraulic scissor lift on which the syringe is mounted.

Edward Stewart, control engineer for Control House, says: “The hydraulics are driven by a three-phase motor which was originally powered by a three-phase, 415 V supply. However, where the syringe is intending to go the likelihood of there being a three-phase supply is quite slim and in fact sometimes there is no supply at all. So we needed a solution to drive the three-phase motor on single phase and possibly off a generator as well.”

Control House changed the connections of the motor from star to delta so that it no longer needed 415 V three-phase but would run on 230 V single-phase. This was achieved using a 1.1 kW ABB micro drive. A long ramp time was set on the drive, making the motor starting current exceptionally low. This allows the inverter to be run from a small generator when needed.

A simple two push button control panel for the operator is hard-wired to the drive via its digital input. The ‘raise’ button commands the motor to run, raising the hydraulic scissor lift. When the ‘lower’ button is pressed, the motor does not run but a valve is opened, releasing the hydraulic pressure and allowing the fluid to flow back to the holding tank.

Edward says: “I picked an ABB product as I know they are reliable, easy to use and competitively priced.

“The drive was easy to set up but I also had the confidence that ABB were on hand to offer help if I needed it.”

ABB Ltd (Drives)

Automation Update