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Old April 25th, 2018, 07:38 AM   #1
busarider29
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Moving a machine to China?

Greetings,

I've been tasked to inquire the feasibility of moving a working machine from our facility here in the states, to China. The problem obviously is that everything in the machine from a controls standpoint is spec'd for typical industrial control power used here (480VAC, 120VAC 60Hz), not China (280VAC, 50hz). Are there any other options other than replacing the drives, motors, etc that use 480VAC? The machine's controls platform is an AB CompactLogix PLC, AB 755 series motor drive, 480 motors, various 110VAC and 24VDC components. I'm 98% sure that replacing all of that and/or building a new machine specific for China power is the only options, but wanted to check here first. Has anyone ever done this before?
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Old April 25th, 2018, 07:54 AM   #2
JesperMP
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China is usually 400V/230V 50Hz.

110VAC control voltage is OK to keep. Maybe you have to check if there is a problem with contactors if they go from 60 to 50 Hz. There are "universal" contactors that do not care if 60 or 50 Hz.

If there is a control transformer to go from 480V to 110VAC, maybe you can easily connect the transformer for 400V. If not replace the transformer.

You mention "drives". Are all the motors driven by VFDs ? If so, then you dont have to worry about the 60/50 Hz difference. Otherwise, the lower speed may be a problem for the functionality of the machine.
480 to 400V for the various drives means a 30% drop in available torque, even if the motors are with VFDs. Maybe that is a problem, maybe not at all.
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Old April 25th, 2018, 08:52 AM   #3
James Mcquade
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when moving a machine to China,
have everything declared in your customs documentation.
there may be a restriction on the cpu, not sure.
check with customs in regards to the paper work.
someone may have to go there to train and commission, find out.
have your shots and passport up to date if you do.
Be SURE to have your laptop backed up and hard drive encrypted.
We have had our laptops and tablets confiscated by the China officials before.
all laptops / tablets that leave the plant are encrypted, corporate standard, so they didn't get anything.
I use western digital portable drives with their encryption and sandisk jump drives with encryption.

james
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Old April 25th, 2018, 09:12 AM   #4
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I've been with some guys in large companies (that are in both marine and weapons manufacturing) and standard procedure for visiting China is to leave their personal laptop behind, take a newly set laptop, use data on a USB stick with them at all times, never save anything to the laptop and upon arrival the hard drives on the laptop are erased or disposed of completely.
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Old April 25th, 2018, 10:19 AM   #5
Ronnie Sullivan
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I have a friend who regularly travels to China for work.
He takes a new laptop and phone each time.
He takes all precautions but is hacked just about every trip.
He even makes a new gmail address for the visits and soon noticed someone else is reading his email.
I thought it was just Russia but China seem worse.
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Old April 25th, 2018, 12:10 PM   #6
Toine
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I concur with all that has been said.

In addition: if your system is remotely accessible for instance for updating the software, don't count on that anymore for any support or updates. Over the last few months VPN traffic to and from China other than state approved and monitored has has been forbidden and is actively being blocked.
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Old April 25th, 2018, 06:38 PM   #7
Aabeck
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I travelled to China a couple years ago.

One thing they are big on, on Chinese airlines and at the airports, is lithium batteries.

Phones and laptops have to be powered off - not even airplane mode - on a Chine airplane. You can use a tablet on the plane.

Only 1 other lithium battery or battery pack can be taken per person - in checked luggage only, and there is a serious size limitation on it - every powerbank I have is too big (I didn't take one) and I HAD a rechargeable flashlight in my checked luggage that tripped their sensor and was searched and confiscated because its single battery was too big. If I remember the second battery could not be larger than 1200mAH.
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Old April 26th, 2018, 02:26 AM   #8
JohnCalderwood
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Interesting to read these comments as I was part of a team that built and commissioned a pigment factory in China in 1997...

This was before laptops/memory sticks, we had one email address for the site and a slow modem.

All equipment came from the Uk/Europe as we required it to be the same as the factories here. Specification was not a problem. Cable specifications were difficult, as they had no armoured cable. Electrical items were sourced from Hong Kong, and you had to watch for counterfeit items like MCBs - they looked almost the same...

But, then as now, customs were a nightmare. Everything had to be detailed else it would not go through. Anything amiss, the whole shipment was stopped and fully searched.

If you are trying to ship things through that were made in China, exported to your country, then added to the kit, they sometimes are not happy that you are importing Chinese items back in...
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Old April 26th, 2018, 02:46 AM   #9
gbradley
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We have 380V here in South China
I've built a few Kinetix driven MPL servo drives machines, 480V 60HZ.
I commission the machines in the U.S., and then just change the Control transformer from 480/120 to 380/120, and I have had no problem with the different frequency.
I use the PHxx Automation Direct transformers, and they are really good and really cheap.
I don't do any of the Duties or tax ramifications, that's someone elses problem.
One thing to note, If your working machine is old and tired looking, don't even bother.
They won't take our old stuff. If it's not New or almost new, your not getting it over here, so I'm told.
Good Luck
Enjoy the Dim sum
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Old April 26th, 2018, 03:32 AM   #10
cardosocea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCalderwood View Post
If you are trying to ship things through that were made in China, exported to your country, then added to the kit, they sometimes are not happy that you are importing Chinese items back in...
This made me laugh... they certainly know about quality.
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Old April 26th, 2018, 04:44 AM   #11
Ronnie Sullivan
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On another note; I have a friend that travels to Moscow once every year.
He is a normal electrician and goes to do work for Rolls Royce at an exhibition.
All the taxi drivers wants to buy Levi jeans (even now)
and he is followed wherever he goes.
He says they are not even subtle about it.
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Old April 26th, 2018, 06:29 AM   #12
busarider29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbradley View Post
We have 380V here in South China
I've built a few Kinetix driven MPL servo drives machines, 480V 60HZ.
I commission the machines in the U.S., and then just change the Control transformer from 480/120 to 380/120, and I have had no problem with the different frequency.
I use the PHxx Automation Direct transformers, and they are really good and really cheap.
I don't do any of the Duties or tax ramifications, that's someone elses problem.
One thing to note, If your working machine is old and tired looking, don't even bother.
They won't take our old stuff. If it's not New or almost new, your not getting it over here, so I'm told.
Good Luck
Enjoy the Dim sum
Okay, so swapping out the control transformer will be easy enough. What about the VFDs and induction motors? I have two AB 755 series VFDs driving two 480VAC induction motors. I also have a tank heater that is 480VAC powered.
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Old April 26th, 2018, 06:42 AM   #13
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Most people hear Rolls Royce and think fancy cars... the Chinese Government hears Rolls Royce and think of advanced engineering.
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Old April 26th, 2018, 07:19 AM   #14
gbradley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busarider29 View Post
Okay, so swapping out the control transformer will be easy enough. What about the VFDs and induction motors? I have two AB 755 series VFDs driving two 480VAC induction motors. I also have a tank heater that is 480VAC powered.
I can't say for sure how your system will work, but I have AB drives, and AB motors that were setup and run fine on 480V stateside, but when I send them here, they work the same on 380V 50hz as far as I can tell.
I remember when I first decided to do this, I couldn't find the answer I was looking for, so I just decided to do it.
Expensive drives and motors I was gambling with.
Maybe I just got lucky?
YMMV
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Old April 26th, 2018, 01:59 PM   #15
busarider29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbradley View Post
I can't say for sure how your system will work, but I have AB drives, and AB motors that were setup and run fine on 480V stateside, but when I send them here, they work the same on 380V 50hz as far as I can tell.
I remember when I first decided to do this, I couldn't find the answer I was looking for, so I just decided to do it.
Expensive drives and motors I was gambling with.
Maybe I just got lucky?
YMMV
From what I've learned from another online source.....according to that source.... "the VFDs and motors will run fine on 380VAC @ 50 Hz. However, the motor HP parameter in the VFD needs to be derated by 5/6th in order to maintain max torque of the motor. You can decide not to derate the motor HP in the VFD, but then you lose max HP of the motor due to the lower supply voltage. If you can live without max rating of one or the other, you're good. Otherwise, something has to change somewhere, likely the motor".

Since you're doing this or have done this as well, thought I would pass the information on to you too. Thanks.
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