Electrical power interruptions that occur in our homes can be a nuisance, however, they rarely cause financial losses. When these types of power problems occur in industrial operations, they can lead to upwards of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs and even potentially dangerous health situations for the workers operating under these conditions. Such power interruptions within the food and beverage industry can have especially deleterious effects.
Power Requirements in the Food and Beverage Industry
Modern food and beverage manufacturers often rely on technology and high-speed continuous processes to reduce the production time and cost of providing their goods to market, as these types of systems are attributed to improving the quality and flexibility of these processes while simultaneously reducing any potential variability.
Power supply disturbances in this type of industry can therefore interrupt the operations of the precision machinery used in the production of various food and beverage products, thereby resulting in a loss of material and certain production units, as well as non-delivery and a significant amount of time spent on clearing and cleaning the equipment to restart, which can require an extensive amount of time.
Even a momentary interruption in these types of processes can cause contamination issues that are especially expensive to resolve. For example, any unexpected downtime within the dairy industry can cause spoilage of milk products and the subsequent dumping of valuable milk products. Additionally, the time required to produce, source and sterilize more milk can cost a company numerous hours of production time and thousands of dollars.
Instantaneous Prevention of Power Interruptions
To prevent these types of interruptions from occurring, the ABB PCS100 active voltage conditioner (AVC) is an easy solution that can be installed between the incoming supply and equipment loads. The ABS PCS 100 AVC is capable of sensing power disturbances, such as a voltage sag from a weather event, and act extremely quickly to correct the problem before it can have any effect on critical machinery.
Additionally, the PCS100 AVC constantly monitors the voltage supply and will immediately correct any impending issues by instantaneously correcting the voltage to higher or lower the nominal level through the use of a built-in injection transformer and rectifier/inverter pairs.
The PCS 100AVC draws additional energy from the utility to compensate for the correction voltage at sub-cycle speed and ultimately relying on ABB’s leading-edge power electronics. For this purpose, a single cooling fan is involved without requiring the use of any batteries for its operation. The PCS100 AVC’s footprint is extremely small, therefore allowing for its installation to be easy in equipment rooms and confined spaces.
Throughout the food and beverage industry, processes that rely on continuous operations can benefit from the PCS100 AVC system. It is a tool that can save companies thousands of dollars, production time and workers’ lives in various different related operations such as baking, where the risk of fire exists if a loaded conveyor stops in an oven, or when gas-fired ovens and boilers do not automatically reignite. Similarly, packaging products, such as glass and foil, also require continuous processes that can cause long and expensive delays when disrupted.
The Protection Offered by PCS100 AVC
According to a Pan-European Power Quality Survey, the financial losses from poor power quality production industries can result in costing approximately 4% of a company’s total turnover. Moreover, an unstable or fluctuating electricity supply can cause additional problems that are beyond unexpected interruptions.
Some examples of problems that can be avoided by installing PCS100 AVC protection:
- Failure of important components (e.g., contactors, release switches and fuses)
- Unexplained breakdowns, faults or malfunctions of machinery
- Overheating of transformers and motors, reducing their useful life
- Damage to computers, PLCs, sensors and other precision equipment
- Communication interference in electronic sensors and devices
- Higher distribution system losses
- Light flickering
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division.
For more information on this source, please visit ABB Power Conditioning - Discrete Automation and Motion Division.