Food manufacturer adds ABB drive to the mix
Published: 8 November 2018 - Sarah Mead
ABB drive and control package helps Baxters Food Group to increase production capabilities at its Colchester site.
Baxters Food Group is using an ABB variable speed drive (VSD) to help ensure consistent mixing of its range of sauces, dressing and marinades. The drive is used to adjust the mixer motor’s speed based on requirements for a particular product.
Installed on a 750kg capacity holding vessel, the VSD is used to mix sauces and other products at an elevated temperature – a process known as hot fill. This process pasteurises the product, preventing spoilage and prolonging shelf life.
The tank, which had not been used for several years, featured a steam-heated jacket that made it suitable for the hot fill process, but had no controls or electrical supply. Baxters needed a power and control solution that would turn the vessel into a fully usable asset and contacted ABB authorised value provider, Gibbons Engineering Group, for advice.
“The holding vessel is vital to the production of our hot fill sauces. Without its agitation and heating capability, we would struggle to meet the required levels of product consistency and thermal process. This would potentially compromise the high-quality standards of the product range,” says Tony Bellian, European Technical Director for Baxters.
Gibbons designed, built and installed a stainless steel-enclosed control panel, which incorporates a 4 kilowatt ABB micro drive to control the speed of the holding vessel’s agitator via a door mounted potentiometer. The VSD enables the speed of the mixer to be adjusted from 30 to 80 rpm, ensuring the hot fill sauces are agitated at a consistently controlled speed to give the correct end product quality.