Animal feed stock company upgrades systems to save energy

Monday, 31 July, 2023 | Supplied by: ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Animal feed stock company upgrades systems to save energy

Red Range Stock Supplements is a family-run business located in Kununurra, Western Australia. It manufactures animal stock feed using imported domestic and local produce while offering a range of customer blend supplements for cattle, tailored to individual dietary requirements.

Its manufacturing operations consist of a combination of conveyors, augers, crushers, mixers, pumps and fan-related applications. Due to the nature of its products, Red Range must ensure accuracy of the blends its produces.

It was originally using traditional direct on line starting (DOL) drive technology to control its manufacturing equipment in process applications.

Material was building up in the augers used to deposit grain into the storage silo, where it is then collected for further processing and distribution. With its high-powered nature, the augers require high torque from the motors to power them enough to start under heavy load and prevent stalling. The existing drive technology in Red Range’s operations did not suffice, leading to the augers to continuously stall, increasing material build-up and bringing manufacturing to a halt.

Additionally, the start-up torque of such a demanding application was causing high starting currents in the motor in the start-up, leading to voltage inrush casing circuit breakers to trip.

To help solve Red Range’s challenges, 15 ACS580 all-compatible variable speed drives (VSDs) were supplied by ABB Channel Partner Current Engineering Solutions and Red Range contractor Agtric Pty Ltd. Agtric introduced VSDs with fieldbus communications to automate and streamline the production process.

For the feed mill application, with the use of ABB drives and Agtric’s expertise on Red Range’s processing requirements, the speed of conveyors could be slowed down in specific stages of the feed production, leading to both a reduction in energy usage and reduction in wear and service frequency.

The VSDs have optimised start-up and operational control of the motors. The reduced starting current helped increase motor lifetime by protecting it from electrical stress. With the starting currents optimised to load and application, they keep operational equipment safe from network irregularities. Torque control enables Red Range to operate its processes at full potential, improving efficiency.

With the motors now operating more efficiently, Red Range is cutting energy costs and reducing carbon emissions.

In its first year following the installation of the ABB drives, Red Range experienced a 2500-tonne feed output of its operations. Now in its second year, Red Range’s feed output has increased substantially to record product levels of tens of thousands per annum.

The breakdown of total energy saved per application equates to:

  • Dust collector: Over 17,727 kWh, or more than 8.9 CO2 metric tonnes.
  • Liquid pump: Over 2071 kWh, or more than 1 CO2 metric tonnes.
  • All three conveyors: Over 17,518 kWh, or more than 1.3 CO2 metric tonnes.
  • Mixer: Over 96,652 kWh, or more than 48.3 CO2 metric tonnes.

Tom Beresford, Agtric Director, said, “These ABB drives have an IP55 rating suitable for our long-term operations in the hot and humid and often harsh West Australian climate.”

All ACS580 drives are tested at maximum temperature and with nominal loads to ensure their durability.

Phone: 1800 602 020
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