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Case Studies - Variable Frequency Drives

Insulation manufacturing process saves energy with ABB

KnaufAlcopor Ltd in St Helens, Merseyside is saving $50,000 worth of energy per year, since replacing the existing variable speed drives on its insulation forming conveyor with new DTC drives from ABB.

KnaufAlcopor Ltd turned to ABB, which provided the solution through ABB Drives Alliance member Central Electrical.

Ken Tym of Central Electrical comments: “An upgrade was essential as the existing drives had come to the end of their life. We supplied three ABB ACS 607 drives and overhauled the existing motors to increase their lifespan. This resulted in improved reliability of the forming section, with less downtime, increased production and reduced energy consumption by 20%.”

The ACS 607 drives control the speed for the fans in the forming section. These provide suction underneath the forming conveyor as part of the overall insulation manufacturing process.

The process starts with molten glass running through an electrically heated brushing, flowing into a fiberising machine spinner. The spinner rotates at 2,000 rpm and glass fibre strands are formed through holes on the outer wall.

The fibres are then sucked on to a conveyor with suction provided by the forming fans. The final manufactured product is either slab or roll formed mineral fibre insulation product.

Closed loop control is provided, by measuring the suction with a probe and pressure transmitter.

Maintenance leader Ricky Hill of KnaufAlcopor Ltd explains why ABB equipment was specified: “We received a complete solution from Central Electrical including ABBs ACS 607 drives. The equipment has improved the process reliability with added benefits of 20% saved energy and running costs.”

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