Control Techniques Unidrive M600 variable speed drive is helping a major sugar plant in Thailand to guarantee the efficient delivery of sugarcane between processes.
First established in 1946, Mitr Phol Sugar Corp is the largest sugar producer in Thailand today, the biggest in Asia and the world’s fourth largest, producing 2 million tons of sugar a year from its various plants. To help produce this much sugar, Mitr Phol has to process around 20 million tons of sugarcane. At its Phulaung plant (in northeast Thailand), the company recently opted to replace the drive on its principal variable speed sugarcane conveyors to help meet demand.
"We have used various drives for this application in the past, but were attracted to the closed loop control of the Unidrive M600 with SI-Encoder module, as well as the low harmonics,” explained Mr Wanchai, the plant’s electrical & automation manager.
The SI-Encoder module features incremental encoder input to provide closed loop rotor flux control for induction motors (RFC-A) in Unidrive M600 applications.
“This is vital as the equipment is conveying sugarcane to each process station, including the crushing station,” said Mr Wanchai. “We need to run at full capacity, particularly during September to March, which is when the sugarcane comes into season. Any downtimes during these months can very damaging to the supply of sugar in the off-season.”
Another principal reason for selecting Unidrive M was its task-based commissioning, diagnostics and maintenance, which in turn helps minimise downtime at high-volume plants such as Mitr Phol.
“Unidrive M600 allows us to greatly enhance performance,” said Mr Wanchai. “For instance, we now have better overload torque (180% for 3 seconds) in RFC-A mode. Moreover, we reduced downtime from 1-1½ hours to just 30 minutes by using Control Techniques’ commissioning software tool Unidrive M Connect.”
Unidrive M Connect is the latest drive configuration tool from Control Techniques for commissioning, optimising and monitoring drive/system performance. It uses graphical tools that enhance and simplify user experience, although, for experienced users, dynamic drive logic diagrams and enhanced searchable listings are also present.
“We received highly responsive technical support during of pre-sales and after-sales from Control Techniques and local partner Contrologic throughout the process,” said Mr Wanchai. “We certainly plan to incorporate additional products from Control Techniques into our business moving forwards.”