A major sugar plant in Thailand is being helped by a Control Techniques Unidrive M600 variable speed drive, to guarantee the efficient delivery of sugarcane between processes. First established in 1946, Mitr Phol Sugar Corp produces two million tonnes of sugar a year from its various plants. To help produce this much sugar, Mitr Phol has to process around 20 million tonnes 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.
The plant’s Electrical and Automation Manager, Mr Wanchai said: “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.”
The SI-Encoder module features incremental encoder input to provide closed loop rotor flux control for induction motors (RFC-A) in Unidrive M600 applications.
Wanchai continued: “This is vital as the equipment is conveying sugarcane to each process station, including the crushing station. 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 Wanchai. “For instance, we now have better overload torque (180% for three 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.
Wanchai added: “We received highly responsive technical support during of pre-sales and after-sales from Control Techniques and local partner Contrologic throughout the process. We certainly plan to incorporate additional products from Control Techniques into our business moving forwards.”