Changes to TechConnect Power Control Support

| Michael Martinson

Power Control Support

As many of you may already be aware, Rockwell Automation® has recently adjusted power control support. Like most change, this has generated quite a bit of concern for those customers being impacted. Let me explain the details of these power control changes and why Rockwell Automation feels this in our customers’ best interest. My hope is many of you reading this will breathe a little easier after.

Late last year, Rockwell Automation announced they would be moving towards a new power control support model for North American customers effective on April 1st, 2021. This change allows Rockwell automation to align North America’s support for power control product coverage on a global scale. Historically, North American customers who purchased a variable frequency drive (VFD) or motor control center (MCC) have received complimentary tech support through the drive system group for the first year after purchase. This left our customers with a different phone number to call for new power control products and another one for all other support calls. Confusing right? Rockwell Automation thought so, to the point they needed to align power control support at the global level. 

Making Sense of The Changes

So, what does this mean for existing TechConnect customers’ power control support? Let us start by looking at a few example scenarios. 

  1. You currently don’t have any VFDs installed. Well, no action or concern is needed. Your support will be unchanged! 
  2. If you currently have drive support for VFDs and you renewed prior to April 1st, 2021, nothing is needed until your renewal is out. When the renewal is sent, we will include the statement below about power control support with your renewal. Basically, all we need is the quantity of VFDs and what horsepower ranges they fall under. The same goes for any medium voltage drives and a number of vertical sections on motor control centers. Once we have this information, we’ll provide an updated fixed price renewal. 
  3. If your TechConnect support is currently in the renewal period and it has drives support listed, you should have received similar verbiage as below for power control support, asking for the number of low voltage VFDs, medium voltage drives, and MCCs. If this information is not supplied by our customer, support will be excluded from any renewal we process.

As you may be aware, Rockwell Automation is changing how they support drives coverage to better align with their global support strategy and provide you with enhanced support. If you would like the ability to receive drives support, it is important for us to know the approximate quantities and the horsepower of your drives to ensure your support will be seamless. 

  • Low Voltage Drives below 30HP

  • Low Voltage Drives between 31HP to 350 HP

  • Low voltage Drive greater than 350 HP

  • Medium Voltage Drives

  • Medium Voltage Starters

  • MCC’s with Network Capability

If you do not identify any drives in the above categories, support for those categories will not be provided. Your updated TechConnect will reflect the coverage you have. Should you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me directly by phone or email.

Power Control Support Example

Now, let’s say you add a 400hp PowerFlex 755 VFD to your facility, but you already have drives support for the first two horsepower ranges above, up to 30hp and 31-350hp. In this case, you would have to notify us of the addition, and at that point, we could provide the uplift pricing to bring the 400hp VFD under support. On average, this equals roughly 1-3% of the product cost. 

Impact on SI and OEM Type Customers

Lastly, for our system integrators (SI) and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers who currently utilize a Toolkit, power control support is included for your project development phase. If you’re physically at your customer's facility troubleshooting and need to contact Rockwell Automation tech support, you will be required to call in using the end user’s TechConnect contract or support could be denied. Power control support in toolkits is for SI and OEM internal development purposes only. Our SI and OEM partners also can resell the first-year TechConnect to their customers if they don’t already have one. Or you could purchase on their behalf and charge them through your service calls.

We Can Help!

For more information on these recent changes to power control support and TechConnect support agreements, please reach out to your local Horizon Solutions representative.