The B&D Technologies team just completed the ABB Certified Start-Up/Commissioning Training in Atlanta. This training is one of several regional events planned for the official November launch of the new ABB ACS580 General Purpose Variable Frequency Drive (VFD).

Many things have changed on the VFD design, in addition to the training process. Here are some of the highlights:


  • Same tools, software, and parametrization as the ACS880 and ACS380. This will be the norm moving forward for the ACS480, DCS880 and any other new platforms being introduced by ABB.
  • The keypad is similarly compatible with the same look and feel— even the amazing bluetooth option that is so popular on the ACS880
  • The performance is the biggest change in my humble opinion. We have had a few beta-units over the last year and really put the drive through performance paces. The step response and speed control are significantly better than the 550. I would say that this “general purpose drive (GP) ” outperforms many “high performance” drives from our competitors.
ABB ACS580 tested in B&D Technologies’ Norcross testing lab

Training and Certification Changes

  • A total hands on approach of wiring the power source transformer, fuses, VFD, motor and I/O.
    • No longer using just the pre-made demo-case
  • Writing work permits, LOTO and correct PPE
    • Working with live 460VAC in a classroom environment and everyone had to bring their own locks for safety portion of training
  • Distributors like B&D Technologies (the only ABB Authorized Value Provider in the Southeast) was asked to be a co-instructor for the class. It was a great honor for me to be one of the first people chosen to teach the certification!

Our in-house Applications Engineering Group learned amazing things while beta testing in a B&D Technologies testing lab and in the classroom.  The ACS580’s performance was shockingly good for a GP drive. The feature set is an extension of the new ACS880 and utilizes the same tools and options. The power density allows for smaller frame drives.

ABB has changed their process on training in an effort for representatives and users to really understand the safest and correct way to apply the VFD from start to finish. This is a fundamental departure from previously just showing someone how to program the VFD only.

Lastly, the ACS580 will be another great product from ABB to continue pushing the envelope on general purpose industrial applications, water pump designs and HVAC applications.

C. Tolbert DOE