Improving energy efficiency in the food and beverage industry with ABB's Motor Control solutions

IPD Group Limited
Friday, 01 March, 2024

Improving energy efficiency in the food and beverage industry with ABB's Motor Control solutions

The food and beverage (F&B) industry provides the nutrition essential to our daily lives and it will always be required. In Australia, energy use accounts for at least 15% of the total operational costs in the F&B industry. With the national population projected to exceed 32.8 million people by 2050, combined with the urgent need to address climate change, this stresses the importance of reducing energy consumption and emissions in F&B operations.

ABB, leveraging its cutting-edge technologies, is at the forefront of initiatives aimed at enhancing energy efficiency across many industries, including F&B.

Energy-intensive processes vary across different segments of the industry. In some segments, fans and pumps are responsible for most of the energy use. In agriculture, energy is predominantly used for feeding and ventilation applications for animals, while in the dairy sector cooling and refrigeration are the major energy consumers. Similarly, milling and mechanical processes, such as those in sugar processing and grain milling, demand significant energy inputs. Additionally, confectionary production relies heavily on milling, conches, compressors and mixers.

Most of these processes rely on electric motor systems, including steam systems, pumps and compressors, and heating, cooling and refrigeration systems. Despite the high consumption of energy, electric motor systems present opportunities for energy savings, particularly in processes that do not run at full speed all the time, in other words, where speed and torque vary to meet changing requirements.

IPD offers a suite of ABB’s motor control solutions designed to reduce energy consumption throughout the production chain.

Variable Speed Drives — In the F&B industry, many applications, like fans, pumps, compressors and conveyor belts, typically operate at partial load. These traditional systems rely on mechanical control methods such as valves, brakes and throttles to regulate their speed. However, this approach often results in the motor exerting more energy than necessary, leading to wasted energy. ABB’s all-compatible Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) present a more efficienct solution by directly controlling the speed and torque of electric motors. This eliminates the need for mechanical speed control and oversized motors. With direct control of a motor, it can be controlled to match the actual process demand, enabling applications to run with high efficiency at a range of different speeds. As a result, VSDs can significantly improve energy efficiency throughout whole production chains. IPD offers VSDs and control software that can be used to optimise various processes throughout the food and beverage industry, ensuring that motor-driven applications, such as compressors, pumps, extruders and conveyors, perform optimally at all times. Another benefit of VSDs is that they enable precise speed control and this capability can be used to prevent energy and food going to waste during production. This is because maintaining the right machine speed, e.g. in mixing, is very important in the food industry, and entire product batches can be ruined if the ingredients are mixed too fast or too slow. By ensuring the appropriate mixing speed, VSDS can help minimise food waste and the associated energy consumption during production. Additionally, since food waste is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste further contributes to improved sustainability for companies.

IE5 Synchronous reluctance motors (SynRM) — Upgrading motors to more efficient models represent a significant opportunity to enhance the energy efficiency of F&B Applications. In Australia, energy efficiency classes are set out by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), with classification ranging from the minimum motor class IE3 to more efficient models, such as ABB’s SynRM, delivering an ultra-premium IE5 class. Traditional induction motors of the lower classification, with an asynchronous speed, consume significantly more power, resulting in greater emissions. IE class advancements deliver a remarkable 20% reduction in losses, underscoring the potential for clean energy and cost savings where technologies are upgraded to higher efficiency levels. Businesses can further anticipate attractive return on investment and shortened payback times, typically ranging from 6 – 24 months, resulting in reduced energy bills and emissions over the long term. As energy prices rise, the financial and environmental incentives for upgrading motors are even more compelling. Moreover, SynRM technology offers several advantages for refrigeration applications. Compared to other motor types, SynRM motors achieve lower winding temperatures and bearing temperatures, reducing the amount of heat transferred into the refrigeration system. This reduces the risk of failure and extends the equipment’s lifespan.

Although the food and beverage industry rely on a lot of energy-intensive processes, there are many opportunities to optimise energy efficiency through adopting technologies and solutions to reduce energy consumption. IPD’s dedicated team are committed to delivering support and services to help businesses optimise their whole operations.

For more information, contact IPD on 1300 556 601 or visit here.

Related Sponsored Contents

Online Moisture and Temperature Measurement for Solids

ENVEA (SWR) M-SENS-3 was designed especially for continuous moisture and temperature measurements...

How to Keep Your Cool in the Cold Chain: A Game-Changer for Australia's Food & Beverage Industry

Shipment temperature loggers, although often overlooked, are transforming the cold chain process...

Leveraging inline Brix measurement for wastewater monitoring in food and beverage manufacturing

How the Vaisala inline process refractometer enables accurate Brix and concentration measurements...

  • All content Copyright © 2024 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd