Cheese Becomes Fast Food for French Supplier

Cheese Becomes Fast Food for French Supplier

Precision control in massive ice cream plant with Control Techniques variable speed drives

The Challenge

Director of Tippagral SA, Neil McAuley, explained, “We portion some 7,000 tonnes of cheese per year, mainly Emmental, but also Cheddar, Gouda, Edam and Mozzarella. Some 75% of our throughput is grated, but many customers, particularly wholesalers and manufacturers of pizza and sandwich/baguette producers, require the cheese to be cut into specific sizes and shapes, e.g. 9x9cm, 7.2x7cm and 12x5cm. This machine will dramatically streamline this aspect of our operation and cut our labour costs.”

The solution

“We were faced with the task of stopping these huge blocks of cheese instantly,” reported Northwood Food Machinery Director Mike Southwick. “A lack of friction in the gearboxes meant the blocks were over-running the target position by some 100 mm. We brought in Control Techniques, who were confident that they could give the degree of position control required, using the smallest of their general industrial drives, the Commander SK. On the first trial, these drives stopped the motors on target – and without any additional cost of braking resistors!”

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The Benefits

The Commander SK AC drives provide a level of control and movement accuracy that dramatically reduces the time the task takes and provides accurate and repeatable results. Featuring integral dynamic braking, the Commander SK drive is able to absorb the energy created by fast stops, while giving very smooth, precise control of off-the-shelf motors. The drives on the cheese cutting machine are hard-wired into the PLC controller to give a fast digital link and are programmed to give smooth acceleration and instant STOP, when they individually receive instructions to do so.

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