Jeff Bergman

ABB is one of the most recognized names in digital technology, and the company now offers a ten-year warranty on standard, dedicated water and wastewater variable frequency drives, including ABB’s ACQ580 series. Below, to discuss what these and other ABB drive products can offer customers, is an excerpt from Jeff Bergman’s, director of sales and marketing for ABB’s water and wastewater segment, recent visit on MPT’s podcast, The Efficiency Point.

MPT: Can you tell us a little more of what the new ten-year warranty means for drives customers?

Jeff Bergman: We’re really excited about the opportunity to offer the ten-year warranty with our standard drive products, and the great thing about our industry is that when they build something, it’s there for a long time. You go to plants or lift stations, the equipment is there for a long time, and as a result of that, we end up with structures that tend to be older. 

And we’ve all heard complaints and problems with our aging infrastructure—and the water and wastewater segment is just one area. Also, the ten-year warranty offering helps to extend some of the life of these aging infrastructure facilities that people have been running into problems with by standing behind the product for ten years were saying ABB will take responsibility for the drive. You have a problem, you pick the phone up, you call, and we support you and take care of it and get it fixed. 

MPT: Infrastructure concerns are important to a lot of people working in the municipal market. If I were a treatment plant operator, what are some of the obstacles in my way of putting these drives in place?

Jeff Bergman:It’s really easy. We’ve got absolutely incredible industry specialists out there in the market, our channel partners that we work with across the United States that bring their expertise, domain expertise, in to help these operators and engineers to utilize the product for their facility. Some of the advantages of our diagnostic product is you can literally use it on just about any type of pump or application in the plant, so you don’t have to have one kind for us and another kind for a blower—it’s all the same drives. So by reaching out and talking to our channel partner network, you get the expertise. People who know the industry understand how to apply them, understand the buzz words, and can help you adapt the product to customize it for your application.

MPT: Where do you see these drives finding the most purchase and what are customers most excited about?

Jeff Bergman:We’ve had excitement literally from Orlando to Maine, Maine to California, Hawaii and Alaska. We’ve really had a lot of fantastic calls for these. We use variable frequency drives to help make the process work better and to save energy. We’re out there selling it as we’re doing it for process control. It allows us to handle surges a little better and to handle low dry spots or other conditions we might see in the plant—much easier and much better than we can at just full speed operation. 

MPT: What are some of the ancillary benefits that come out of this process?

Jeff Bergman: When you start looking at the mechanical wear and tear, nonrevenue leak reductions, water hammer reductions, check valves—in some plants, the check valve will slam very hard and the pump comes off—by using the check valve to ramp down on the drive, we allow that check out very quietly, very smoothly, and then once the valve is seated, we turn off the pump. So it’s not just the energy saving, and it’s not just a process control. It’s really looking to extend the life of all of the parts of the infrastructure that are affected with water flowing through the wastewater or blowers or aeration or whatever you’ve got.

To listen to an extended version of this interview, be sure to subscribe to MPT’s podcast, The Efficiency Point.