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Basics for the GFM

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

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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. The test loop is used by the GFM to simulate 10 and
30 milliamperes ground fault currents to assure that the current transformer is connected and working
correctly.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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. If the resistance at either GRS1 or GRS1 is above 1 ohm for
4 seconds or more, the GFM will react by shutting off the ICEN, CSTOPO and RGLITES outputs and entering
the “tripped” state.

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

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“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.

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