July 02, 2017

03/07/2017: How to reduce power consumption in an animal feed plant by more than half

Since 2011, UFA’s Sursee poultry feed mill built in 1965 has been one of only a few unmanned feed mills in the world

The mill runs from 9pm until 5am without any operating personnel. Mechanical engineer Peter Hofer is a member of management and responsible for the entire production of UFA, the Swiss agricultural company specialising in animal feed. 

Using power as efficiently as possible for UFA’s large production volume is important for him and the company – for reasons of cost and for the sake of principle.

He stresses, “You can do a lot to use energy efficiently if you analyse the processes accurately.”

Working with the Bühler Technology Group, UFA has been particularly successful in optimising processes at its Sursee feed mill. The energy savings mean the investment pays for itself in just a few years. Until the beginning of 2015, an aspiration ventilator was installed with a conventional 75kW induction motor.

This ventilator dehumidifies and cools the steamed, pelleted feed before it is packed. For this, it draws the air through the material to be dried from the 10th floor of the production tower. The ventilation was controlled simply via a flap with the motor directly coupled to the power grid and always operating at fixed speed.

This ventilation system, which was state of the art when it was installed in the 1980s, needed to be replaced. “I read a technical article about a ventilation system at University Hospital in Zürich where, during a renovation, a new, highly efficient synchronous reluctance motor from ABB with a frequency converter was used. I was impressed by the figures that showed how much less energy it used," remembers Mr Hofer.

Precise motor design saves space and costs
Peter Hofer sat down with experts from Bühler to explore the potential efficiency improvements that renovating the ventilation system with an ABB drive package could bring. Together, they first thoroughly inspected the process and measured the power of the motor. The new plant was finally precisely designed along with specialists from ABB and Bühler.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
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which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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