Siemens Simodrives – Still Going Strong After All These Years Thanks to MRO Electric

As Siemens moves forward to create integrated drive systems, their Simodrive series still stands strong in factories across the world.

Cary, NC, August 20, 2015 --( Siemens Energy & Automation originally rolled out the Simodrive 611 U series in 2001 with the goal of supplying a drive series that could work with a number of motion control applications. The drives would work with synchronous servo motors, asynchronous servo motors, and standard induction or linear motors. The Simodrive were built to be compact, multi axis drives that would be perfect for a number of industries, from packaging to textile to printing. These drives were sold and installed across the world, and over a decade later are still staples of the manufacturing and CNC industry.

Currently, Siemens is manufacturing newer, state of the line integrated drive systems that are focused on helping their customers save energy and optimize efficiency on existing or new systems. Since the Simodrive 611 series, Siemens has come out with the Sinamic series along with the Micromaster series, hoping to keep improving on their success in the automation industry. Still, even with their retrofit programs and improved designs, Siemens has had a difficult time convincing customers to move away from the Simodrive 611 series. From talking with longtime users of the series, you can easily understand why they are unwilling to abandon the machines that they’ve been working with for years.

“We get customers calling us every day to get their Simodrives repaired,” says James Trasatto, a technician with MRO Electric, a small company that specialized in repairing Simodrives and other obsolete items. “Most of these lines have been running the same Simodrives for about 10 years, and rather than tearing it down to put in a new system they’ll look to repair the component that failed and get their line back up and running. These Simodrives were built to last, and I could certainly see them lasting another 10 years.”

This aftermarket repair of obsolete drives has created an entire industry, with shops similar to MRO Electric popping up around the country to cater to customers who want to keep their lines running without replacing everything if one component goes down. The original manufacturers will support their obsoleted products for years after discontinuing them, but when a series stopped being made before the new millennium, it’s difficult to expect a company to not recommend getting a current model. Charlie Dougherty, owner of MRO Electric says, “I understand why some manufacturers will stop offering repair on these obsolete parts. It just becomes costly for them to train their technicians on every single series they’ve ever produced. Still though, there are enough customers out there looking for repair on obsolete items, so we’re happy to offer the service to them.”

Just from looking at the Simodrive 611 series, you can tell that they were built to last. The stereotype of German engineering, the drives are plain metal boxes that will be running assembly lines or CNC machines for another 10 years, especially with the help of companies like MRO Electric.
MRO Electric and Supply
Joe Kaminski