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SRC pump control application at Highland Valley Copper, Canada.
SRC conveyor application at PT Freeport, Indonesia.
WHO WE ARE: Innovation

Drive Solutions by Synergy Engineering

Around the globe, Synergy is making its mark as the leader in the development of technologically advanced Engineered Drive Systems and as an end-to-end solutions provider for large-scope projects in the mining and material handling industries.

Delivering safe, reliable, efficient, and cost-effective drive solutions, Synergy is a full service systems integrator with a demonstrated expertise in power distribution, drive systems, and instrumentation & control.

"Synergy provides the drive control systems and motors that power massive crushers and conveyors," says Rick Neuman (P.Eng.), Founder, President and Chairman of Synergy Engineering Ltd. "Our company has become successful because we provide solutions that work, and we do it on time, for a lump sum, at a fixed price. Synergy takes on full responsibility for the project and takes the risk away from the client.

"We have a lot of satisfied customers and we get a tremendous amount of repeat business, because of our reliability. We’ve had no equipment failures to date in the Secondary Resistive Controller and Wound Rotor Induction Motor packages that we’ve engineered."

The core of Synergy's drive business is an innovative SRC/WRIM technology developed by Neuman. Secondary Resistive Controllers are drives that are engineered to run larger horsepower wound rotor motors. Synergy has made a name for itself by engineering this lower cost alternative to variable frequency drives.

The solution involves inserting resistance in the rotor circuit to change the speed of the wound rotor motor. Synergy provides these systems for controlled acceleration of many applications including conveyor systems and rock crushers.

"These SRC motor controllers offer many advantages over the variable frequency drive," Neuman explains. "SRC solutions are very cost-effective and can be less than 65% of a VFD for large horsepower applications, and they have several other advantages. With VFD, electronics are involved, so it’s not robust in harsh environments, but SRC is very robust. The Secondary Resistive Controller shuts down in power failures, but it will start up again. VFDs will shut down and maybe won’t start up again, so SRCs are more reliable, which is especially important in remote locations."

Additional cost savings are gained because staff electricians can do field repair, testing, and maintenance, instead of having to utilizing the trained technicians and specialized testing equipment required for VFD repair. As a result, downtime is reduced with SRC. Recommended spare components are kept to a minimum, further reducing the money invested in the system.

"One of the greatest strengths of the SRC product is the technological and operating life expectancy," notes David Atkinson, Synergy’s Executive Vice President and Director. "In most cases, the technological life of a variable frequency drive is five years, and the reliable operating life is ten to twelve years.

"For medium voltage applications, the capital cost on the SRC and motor system is lower than VFD and motor system. It is roughly half the cost to two-thirds the cost for large, medium voltage systems and the SRC portion is less than the VFD portion by a greater ratio.

"For low voltage small applications (range of 200-500Hp for example), the capital cost on an Secondary Resistive Controller solution is higher than on a variable frequency drive, however the life-cycle cost is much lower.

"Typically, many end-users have a VFD system in place and they shouldn't. The good news is that replacing a VFD pays for itself very quickly. Customers can replace their VFD with a more reliable, maintainable system and achieve payback in less than a year."