Which Control System is Best for Your Hoist or Crane: 2-Speed Controls or VFDs?

When it comes to hoists and cranes, control systems are an essential component for ensuring safety, efficiency, and productivity. While there are a variety of control systems available in the market, two of the most common options are 2-speed controls and variable frequency drives (VFDs).

Each system has unique advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the best option depends on various factors, including the application, the load, and the desired level of control.

This blog post will help you explore the differences between 2-speed controls and VFDs and assist you to determine which control system is best for your hoist or crane. Let us start with understanding the terms 2-Speed Control and Variable Frequency Drives.

Understanding 2-Speed Controls and Variable Frequency in Hoist or Crane

2-speed controls are a type of control system that allows the motor to operate at two different speeds, typically a high speed and a low speed. This feature is often used in applications where the load needs to be moved quickly over longer distances and then slowed down for precise positioning.

With 2-speed controls, the operator can switch the motor between the high and low speeds using a control switch or button. This allows the operator to quickly adjust the speed of the load based on the needs of the application.

Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) are a type of control system that uses frequency to control the speed of the motor. By adjusting the frequency of the electrical signal that powers the motor, VFDs can control the speed of the motor in small increments, allowing for precise and accurate control of the load.

A Comprehensive Comparison of 2-Speed Controls and VFDs for Hoists and Cranes

Let’s break down the comparison between two-speed controls and variable frequency drive controls based on several aspects:

Factors   2-Speed ControlsVariable Frequency Drive Controls  
Speed adjustmentTwo-speed levels are provided by the motor manufacturer, and no further adjustment is available.       Multiple speed settings are available along with customization options.
Load controlLimited precision affects load swing and shock loading and even affects the hoist lifespan.           Smoother acceleration minimizes load swing and prolongs hoist motor lifespan.
BrakesFrequent replacement and uncontrolled or sudden braking can cause swaying of load.Systematic slow down with dynamic braking. Uses a break mechanism for emergency and parking stops only, extending the brake system lifespan.  
EfficiencyConstant energy is dissipated due to speed resistors.Power is consumed only when the motor needs it, saving the rest of the energy.
Hoist lifespanShortened hoist lifespan due to increased cleaning and maintenance of speed registers and brakes. Prolonged hoist lifespan with overcurrent protection and thermal overload.  A ramp-to-stop braking system for emergencies and parking situations is also present.  
Regenerative energyEnergy is dissipated and lost through brake shoes or speed registers.        Energy is transformed into heat with a braking resistor and can be conditioned and reused, saving energy.
Digital diagnosticsNo diagnostic information is available.       Digital diagnostics are available for troubleshooting and maintenance.  

Wrapping up:

When it comes to choosing the ideal control system for your hoist or crane, several factors must be considered, such as the application, load, and level of control required.

Here, VFDs offer many advantages over two-speed controls, including prolonged equipment life and significant energy cost savings. Furthermore, at BAJAJ INDEF, we offer a range of material handling products and services equipped with VFDs, including our bestselling iR Series wire rope hoists, HC+ Series electric chain hoists, Single Girder EOT cranes, Double Girder EOT cranes, and more.

To learn more about our offerings, do contact us at +91 (22) 489-33303 or send an email to enquire@indef.com.