27 Oct 2022

Drive Engineers Limit Downtime

Baxters Food Group had been using a Danfoss 18.5 KW drive at its Colchester site; however, it had failed completely. There had been reports of a strong burning smell and a loud bang from one of the stainless-steel agitator bowls used to mix a variety of sauces. Subsequently, the industrial mixer in question had stopped working entirely due to water ingress in the drive.

A drive engineer from Gibbons Engineering Group was sent to the site to find out what was needed to resolve the issue; a simple repair or a complete replacement of the drive in question. On arrival, the engineer liaised with the site manager and investigated the problem. It was decided that a complete upgrade of the drive system was needed. After removing the old unit, a new, fully optimised ABB 18.5KW ACH550 inverter was retrofitted to the existing panel.

Before beginning the work, a brief history of the machinery was given to help make things run smoothly. The failed drive was large and took up a lot of space, but the new replacement ABB drive is much more compact and has more functionality. The installation was a straightforward swap, and once completed, the engineer instructed the team at Baxters on how to use the drive correctly, as they were previously having trouble setting the drive to a slower speed.

On power-up, a minimum and maximum speed were pre-programmed so that the operators could adjust the span via the ten-turn potentiometer. The new drive is being used to mix different sauces, hence the need for varying speeds.

Once the drive was successfully installed, the machinery was fully tested before sign-off with the customer.