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Basics for the GFM

(Section copied from web manual “globalmanual-all-languages/html/en/Dual-Redundant-GFI/h3-GFM.html”)

GFM (Section copied from web manual “globalmanual-all-languages/html/en/Dual-Redundant-GFI/h3-GFM.html”) 1 | P a g e

The Ground Fault Module (hereinafter abbreviated to GFM) is part of a safety system for integral transformer manually-operated resistance welding guns. It mounts inside a resistance welding control. Its purpose is to detect certain conditions which may expose the person operating the welding gun to an electrical shock. These conditions are:

1. Excessive leakage current to ground in the welding transformer primary circuit (Ground Fault Current).

2. A voltage greater than 24V between the welding gun frame and safety ground at the welding control.

3. Excessive electrical resistance (greater than 1 ohm) between the grounded welding gun frame and safety

ground at the welding control.

4. Insulation breakdown between the primary and secondary windings of the resistance welding transformer.

If any of the four conditions is detected, the GFM enters the “tripped” state. In the “tripped” state the weld controller is immediately placed in “Control Stop” to abort the welding process (Hard Control Stop) and current to the coil of the isolation contactor is interrupted.

In response only to condition #1, the circuit breaker is tripped to remove incoming power. Once the GFM enters the “tripped” state, it saves the event in non-volatile memory where it remains until the user resets the GFM.

The GFM has self-diagnostic capability built-in. At every power-up and at least once every 25 hours, the GFM does a self-test to assure that it is functioning properly. If any malfunction is found, the GFM will shut off power to the isolation contactor coil and place the welding control into CONTROL STOP mode. The nature of the malfunction is shown with indicating LEDs and reported to the weld timer via the SSPI communication link. Welding is prevented until the malfunction is resolved.

GFM LED Matrix

The GFM connects to a toroidal current transformer capable of measuring AC ground fault currents of less than 10 milliamperes. Both wires going from the downstream side of the isolation contactor to the welding

transformer primary pass through this coil. The current transformer also has a test loop through it which

connects back to the GFM through a twisted-pair wire.

30 milliamperes ground fault currents to assure that the current transformer is connected and working correctly.

The test loop is used by the GFM to simulate 10 and

The current transformer is housed in a metal box which mounts separately from the GFM circuit board. The metal box is equipped with a 4-pin Molex Mate-N-Lock connector for a cable to connect to J4 on the GFM. In dual redundant applications, two current transformers are mounted in the same metal box with a separate 4-pin Molex Mate-N-Lock connector for each current transformer.

The ICEN output is a separate electromechanical relay contact output (2 wires) designed to be wired in-series with the isolation contactor coil. These contacts are closed (to allow contactor actuation) only after the GFM is powered-up and everything is operating properly.

The CSTOPO output is a SPDT electromechanical relay contact output which operates in conjunction with ICEN. CSTOPO is designed to be wired into the Control Stop input of the welding control when the GFM is not being used with a WTC 5000 series weld timer. Both Normally-open and Normally-closed contact are provided to accommodate either positive or negative logic inputs. The CSTOPO relay is activated by the GFM only after the GFM is powered-up and all of the self-tests have passed.

The CBTRIP output is an electromechanical relay contact which is activates the circuit breaker trip coil. Operation with either a shunt trip or undervoltage trip is selected with the FAILSAFE input.

There is also an output (RGLITES) that can be used to control a set of RED/GREEN indicator lights which are external to the GFM. The RED indicator is wired to the normally-closed contact and the GREEN indicator is wired to the normally-open contact. The relay is activated only when no fault or error conditions exist in the GFM.

The T/R input is for a manual test pushbutton. The GFM responds to the T/R input when the AUX contact input indicates that the Isolation Contactor is open (off). When this switch is closed to reset a tripped condition, the GFM first resets the tripped condition and then performs a self-test without tripping the circuit breaker at the end. If the switch is held closed for more than one second but less than five seconds, the GFM goes through a self-test sequence without tripping the circuit breaker at the end. If the test/reset switch is held closed for five seconds or more, regardless of whether the isolation contactor is open or closed, the GFM opens the isolation contactor, shuts the CONTROL STOP output OFF, goes through a self-test sequence and then trips the circuit breaker at the end. The voltage applied across the open switch is 24VDC nominal and the current through the switch when closed is 10 milliamperes nominal.

If the T/R input is activated for more than 1 second, but less than 5 seconds, the GFM will perform a self-test without tripping the circuit breaker. Following the self-test, the GFM will turn the TCOM output ON (closed) for 2 seconds. This will cause the second GFM in the dual-safety system to also do a self-test.

If the T/R input is activated for more than 5 seconds, the GFM will perform a self-test and then activate its CBTRIP output to trip the circuit breaker. After the circuit breaker is reset, the GFM will activate its TCOM output for 6 seconds. This will cause the second GFM in the dual-safety system to do a self-test and then trip the circuit breaker. When the circuit breaker is reset the second time, both GFMs resume normal operation after a brief delay.

In a dual-redundant GFM system where self-test with circuit breaker trip requires the circuit breaker to be reset twice, the GFM uses the Circuit Breaker Open bit, supplied by the weld timer via the SSPI data link. When the GFM is doing a self-test with circuit breaker trip and SSPI communication with the weld timer is active, the Circuit Breaker Open bit is examined when the circuit breaker trip is activated. The circuit breaker trip is kept active until the Circuit Breaker Open bit =1, which indicates that the circuit breaker has opened. After the circuit breaker opens, the GFM will wait until the Circuit Breaker Open bit returns to zero (indicating that the circuit breaker has been closed) before activating the Test Complete output. In this way, the actual opening of the circuit breaker in response to the trip signal is verified. If SSPI communication is not active, the Circuit Breaker Open bit (which comes from the weld timer) is ignored.

Dual GFI Safety Weld Control Ramos (958-0320) SLP (958-0336)

LED

Color - Status

1GFM

2GFM

 

Red

In Self Test

In Self Test

Red - Blinking

Ground Current Fault

Ground Current Fault

#1

Yellow

Ground Current >10mA, <30mA

Ground Current >10mA, <30mA

Green

Current Imbalance 1 - OK

Current Imbalance 2 - OK

 

Red

In Self Test

In Self Test

Red - Blinking

Transformer Ground Voltage Fault

Shield Ground Voltage Fault

#2

Yellow

Voltage on Ground >1V, < 24 V

Voltage on Ground >1V, < 24 V

Green

Transformer Ground Voltage - OK

Cable Shield Voltage - OK

 

Red

In Self Test

In Self Test

Red - Blinking

Transformer Ground Resistance Fault

Shield Ground Resistance Fault

#3

Yellow

Transformer Ground Testing Suspended

Shield Ground Testing Suspended

Green

Transformer Ground Continuity - OK

Cable Shield Continuity - OK

 

Red

In Self Test

In Self Test

Red - Blinking

1GFM J7 Jumper not installed

Transformer Insulation Fault

#4

Yellow

Insulation Testing Suspended (1IC Closed)

Insulation Testing Suspended (1IC Closed)

Green

OK / OK

Insulation Resistance - OK

**

Operation of Sequence Upon power-up, the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs stay OFF until the GFM has successfully completed a self-test. This prevents power from being applied to the welding transformer. Also, upon power-up, the CBTRIP output is turned-on immediately if J9 pin 6 is jumpered to ground (indicating Failsafe mode); otherwise the CBTRIP output remains OFF.

At power-up, the GFM does a self-test. The self-test checks the following things:

1. There is continuity between H1 and H2. (IE: the welding transformer is connected)

2. The insulation resistance between the primary of the welding transformer and safety ground is greater

than 250,000 ohms.

3. The insulation resistance circuitry properly detects a 200K resistance to ground (this resistance is part of

the built-in self-test circuitry of the GFM).

4. There is continuity between GFM case ground and the safety ground

5. There is less than 1 V present at both Ground Resistance Sense (GRS) inputs.

6. The measured resistance between each of the two GRS inputs and safety ground is less than 1 ohm.

7. The ground fault sensing current transformer is correctly connected to the GFM and there is no short-

circuit to ground on either of its terminals.

8. Ground fault current as measured by the ground fault sensing transformer is less than 5 milliamperes

when the isolation contactor is open.

9. Proper operation of the ground fault sensing current transformer is verified by injecting known AC

currents of 10 milliamperes and 30 milliamperes through the test loop. It takes approximately eight seconds for the GFM to complete tests 1 through 9, above and resume

normal operation.

If all of the above tests indicate that things are OK, the GFM will activate the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES Outputs. The GFM will also light the "Ground Fault", "Ground Voltage", "Ground Resistance" and the "Insulation Resistance" LEDs GREEN. Until all 9 tests pass, the GFM opens the isolation contactor coil circuit and leaves the CONTROL STOP output OFF; this prevents applying power to the welding transformer. If any

test fails, the appropriate LED will stay RED (NOT blinking) until the problem is resolved.

powering the GFM down and back up again will cause the GFM to repeat the power-up tests.

In this state,

Once all of the power-up tests pass, the GFM starts normal operation. The GFM works with two thresholds for ground fault current, 10 milliamperes and 30 milliamperes. If readings of ground fault current from the current transformer (CT) exceed 30 milliamperes for 10 milliseconds or more, the GFM will immediately react by activating the CBTRIP output, shutting off the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs and entering the “tripped” state. If the readings of ground fault current from the current transformer are between 10 and 30 milliamperes for over 1.5 seconds, the GFM will react by activating the CBTRIP output, shutting off the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs and entering the “tripped” state. Also, during the time that the measured ground fault current is above 10 milliamperes, but below 30 milliamperes, LED#2 (D13) will change color from GREEN to RED/GREEN. If the readings of ground fault current from the current transformer are less than 10 milliamperes, the GFM maintains normal operation. The GFM measures the resistance between each of the two ground resistance sense inputs (GRS1 & GRS2)

and safety ground to be sure it is 1 ohm or less.

4 seconds or more, the GFM will react by shutting off the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs and entering the “tripped” state.

If the resistance at either GRS1 or GRS1 is above 1 ohm for

The resistance measurements are done once per second and last about 64 milliseconds. In between resistance measurements, the GFM simply measures the voltages at the ground resistance sense inputs. If a voltage greater than about 1 volt is detected (probably due to induced voltages on safety ground due to welding current) the resistance readings are suspended until the voltage goes away. The "Ground Voltage", "Ground Resistance" LEDs will change from GREEN to RED/GREEN while resistance readings are suspended due to detection of an induced voltage on the ground resistance sense inputs. If ground resistance measurements are ever continuously suspended (because of induced voltage) for more than 70 seconds, the GFM enters the “tripped” state with both "Ground Voltage", "Ground Resistance" LEDs blinking RED.

If at any time the voltage between either ground resistance sense input and safety ground ever exceeds 24V peak for 20 milliseconds, the GFM will react immediately by shutting off the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs and entering the “tripped” state.

When the isolation contactor is de-energized, as identified by no voltage across the AUX contact input (J3 pins 4 & 5 or J6 pins 9 & 10) the GFM measures the resistance between the primary of the welding transformer and safety ground with a low-voltage (12VDC nominal) signal. If the measured resistance, averaged over 16 seconds drops below 250,000 ohms, transformer insulation failure is indicated. The GFM reacts by shutting off the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs and entering the “tripped” state.

When in the “tripped” state, the GFM indicates what caused the trip state by blinking the appropriate LED(s) RED at a rate of about twice a second.

1. Ground Fault LED will blink RED if the trip was caused by a ground fault current.

2. Ground Voltage LED will blink RED if the trip was caused by excess ground voltage

3. Ground Resistance LED will blink RED if the trip was caused ground resistance over 1 ohm

4. Insulation Resistance LED will blink RED if the trip was caused by transformer insulation failure.

Once the GFM enters the “tripped” state, it must be reset with the TEST/REST pushbutton before the welding control can resume normal operation. Powering the GFM down and back up WILL NOT reset the

“tripped” state. The GFM will remember in the “tripped” state even if it is powered down. Upon power-up after a “tripped” condition, the GFM will first do a self-test, which takes approximately 8 seconds. During the self-test, briefly pressing the TEST/RESET pushbutton will reset the “tripped” condition. If the ‘tripped” condition is not reset during the self-test, the GFM will re-enter the “tripped” state after the self-test is done.

The GFM requires a self-test at least once every 25 hours. Each time the GFM is powered-up, it does a self- test without tripping the circuit breaker. The GFM will also automatically do a self-test (without tripping the circuit breaker) if the AUX contact input indicates that the isolation contactor has been open (deactivated) for 18 minutes and at least 8 hours have passed since the last self-test. If, after 25 hours, a self-test has not been performed automatically by the GFM (when the isolation contactor has been open for 18 minutes or more) or by activating the TEST/RESET pushbutton input or by powering the GFM down and back up again, the GFM will react by shutting off the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs and staying in that state until the TEST/RESET pushbutton is pressed for at least 1 second to initiate a self-test. This prevents welding and applying and power to the welding transformer. If the end of the 25-hour interval happens in the middle of a weld, that weld will be interrupted and cause the appropriate faults (“weld interruption”, “low current”, etc.) in the welding control. So long as the GFM does a self-test at least once every 25 hours, the GFM will not shut down the welding control for want of self-test.

If a user desires to force a self-test with a circuit breaker trip while the isolation contactor is closed, this is done by holding the TEST/RESET pushbutton down (keeping the TEST input active) for at least five seconds. In response to a T/R input that stays ON for five seconds, the GFM will first perform a “normal” self-test and then trip the circuit breaker, regardless of the state of the isolation contactor. If a weld was in progress when this is done, the weld will be aborted and the welding control DEP will display the appropriate error messages (“LOW CURRENT”, “WELD INTERRUPTION’, etc.).

Whenever a self-test is done, the GFM uses its internal self-test circuitry to put known 10 milliamperes and 30 milliamperes test currents through the ground fault sensing current transformer The resulting signals from the ground fault sensing current transformer are compared to upper and lower limits to be sure the current transformer is working properly. If a self-test with circuit breaker trip is done, the resulting readings from the 10 and 30 milliamperes test currents are saved to flash memory as calibration values. In other words, whenever a self-test with circuit breaker trip is done, the GFM re-calibrates itself for the ground fault current readings. This feature greatly reduces unit-to-unit differences in ground fault current thresholds due to variations in the ground fault sensing current transformers.