Drives key for machine OEM

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An Indian manufacturer of biscuit production machinery is using ABB drives to ensure its customers can produce high quality, consistent biscuits.

Located just outside Mumbai, Bake-O Nomic is one of India's leading OEMs of biscuit manufacturing lines, producing three fully automated biscuit production plants per year for sale mainly to Nigeria and other African markets.

Because biscuit making is a continuous process, with a number of stages feeding into each other, it is important that each stage is controlled at its own appropriate speed. All the machines, such as biscuit cutting, forming, oven and cooling conveyors are linked to each other, accepting materials or part processed biscuits and passing them on to the next stage.

As each type of biscuit has a different baking time, the company needs a reliable and energy efficient way to vary the speed of the different parts of the process.  An example is mixing, which is done in two stages. Shortenings and sugar are mixed at high speed and subsequently flour is added and mixed at a slow speed.

One of the most reliable and energy efficient ways to control this sort of production line is through the use of low voltage AC drives.

Praful Dattaram Kale, owner of Bake-O Nomic, says: "We chose ABB because of its reputation in the market. ABB is renowned as a reliable supplier with a broad product range. Also, as ABB is a global player, we can benefit from its extensive service network. Should any of our equipment need repairing or maintaining as a result of a drive malfunction, then it can be fixed locally and efficiently."

The drives are used primarily on biscuit cutting and forming machines, mixers, ovens and conveyors. About 20 drives are used in a single biscuit making line, most of them below 5.5kW, although for mixers, drives as large as 30 kW can be used. Above 0.75kW, ABB standard drives are used, while below this power ABB machinery drives are used.

Most are manually controlled individually, a method preferred by the company's customers, who need a fine speed variation depending on the requirements of the type of biscuits being produced.

Bake-O Nomic has used AC drives for energy saving, both electricity and fuel, in some blower applications in its own biscuit making plant set up in Nashik.