23 Jul 2024


New-for-old swap scheme cuts drive and motor prices by 17.5%

ABB has launched a scheme that will allow UK customers to trade in old drives and motors from any manufacturer for new ABB products, and receive a discount of at least 17.5% off list prices. The “swappage” scheme covers new drives from 0.12–400 kW and new motors from 0.75–710 kW.

The scheme addresses the expanding market for replacement drives. ABB expects that 40% of all new drive purchases this year to be replacements for existing drives. It argues that newer drives are more efficient and reliable than older equipment, and will usually save space.

“The reliability of well-maintained drives gradually declines once they get to between 15 and 20 years of age,” points out Steve Ruddell, manager of ABB’s discrete automation and motion division in the UK. “To avoid costly downtime towards the end of the product’s life, our scheme identifies the older drives, gives advice on the installation issues and recommends a drive replacement programme. As drive losses are typically reduced by more than 10% with a modern drive, the replacement and retrofit installation often pays for itself with the increased energy savings.”

According to Ruddell, users normally replace drives only after a breakdown when they find either that spares are unavailable or that a repair would be too expensive. He estimates that at least half of all drives sold today are retrofits to improve the efficiency of existing systems, and that a significant part of this involves replacing older drives.

Turning to motors, Ruddell worries that the importance of energy efficiency to a motor’s lifecycle costs is often not well understood. “It is startling to realise that an 11kW motor, costing about £700, can consume more than £67,000 worth of electricity over a 10-year operating life,” he says. “Energy efficiency is far more significant to the bottom line than the purchase price.

But when a failed motor needs to be replaced, “the natural instinct of many plant managers is to send [it] out to be rewound,” Ruddell suggests. “Blindly following this habit can cost a company many thousands of pounds in unnecessary energy costs every year as rewinding can cause a decrease in efficiency.”

ABB has timed its swappage scheme to coincide with the recent introduction of the government’s CRC energy efficiency scheme and hopes that it will give organisations an additional incentive to meet their carbon dioxide reduction commitments.

To ensure that the new drive or motor matches the needs of an installation, ABB is offering a free, no-obligation energy appraisal. An engineer will visit a customer’s site and carry out an appraisal of how energy is being used and the how much could be saved by installing new equipment. They will also offer advice on applying for interest-free loans and Enhanced Capital Allowances via the Carbon Trust.

♦  IMO Precision Controls, which introduced a similar new-for-old drive replacement scheme a few months ago, reports that the scheme has attracted new business from North America and Asia, with nearly 100 new enquiries from these regions during its first three months.  

For more information on the ABB swappage scheme call 07000 DRIVES (374837) or email energy@gb.abb.com quoting “swappage”.