With today’s complex & integrated systems, specialists hired to resolve a seemingly isolated issue often run into challenges troubleshooting when the root cause is outside their expertise. Comprehensive service providers like Zeller have the breadth & depth to assess issues with context of the entire ecosystem.


A national recycler faced a significant challenge when multiple Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) started failing one after another, disrupting their operations. Faced with frequent breakdowns and the need for urgent replacements, they sought a solution. Turning to Zeller, they decided to switch to ABB ASC 355 drives. This decision stemmed from the pressing question: why were so many drives failing?


Regional Recycler & Waste Manager


Drives, General Plant Power


“After months of continued downtime and chasing down electrical ghost with other vendors and consultants it was Zeller Electric that hooked up the right equipment, analyzed the data and solved our issue.  If it was not for Jim and his crew I am confident we would not be running today.”

– General Manager

The recycler was having trouble keeping their machines running smoothly. The Variable Frequency Drives/VFD’s that control the conveyor belts were being destroyed by the incoming power anomaly. These VFD’s control the motor speed that are attached to the belts. These belts separate and process different recycled materials to their perspective locations and are vital components to the process.

The problem lasted for 18 months, showing how hard it was to fix. At first, they thought the machines they bought from another company were the problem. They tried a lot of things to fix it but couldn’t figure it out. Then, they worked with us, who knows a lot about power and specializes in drives, and they finally understood what was wrong.

In addition to technical solutions, the resolution of the power anomaly issue involved coordinated efforts with the local utility company. Zeller’s expertise and proactive approach led to the identification of the anomaly, which was subsequently observed with the help of the local utility and resolved in ONE day. The collaboration between the recycler and the utility company played a pivotal role in diagnosing and addressing the underlying power deficiencies, ultimately leading to the successful resolution of loss production.


Among several companies previously contracted to address the issue, we emerged as the sole provider capable of offering a viable solution. While third parties billed exorbitant prices reaching hundreds of thousands for resolution, Zeller proposed a cost-effective alternative, charging only $3,600. This stark difference in pricing underscored the value of Zeller’s expertise and commitment to delivering efficient solutions tailored to the recycler’s needs.

The VFD’s failed so often that the original OEM could not supply anymore drives from their vendor due to lack of inventory within the U.S and Canada.  Every drive failure was analyzed by Zeller, upon investigating every unit blown, which was well over 55 units, they found B and C phase blown open on the incoming bridge which made Zeller question the incoming power from the grid.

“My Production facility was suffering from major electrical variants, costing us millions in downtime.   We had power experts, consultants and electricians trying to figure out the issue for months.   It wasn’t until we worked with Zeller that our problem was solved.   They became our partner in this issue.  Their expertise, knowledge of what needed to be tested and the proper use of the right equipment is what solved our issue and put us back into production.  We have not had an issue since.   I will always call them first in the future!”

– General Manager