Case Study: Wurst Plant Uses Lenze’s Washable Inverter

Case Study: Wurst Plant Uses Lenze’s Washable Inverter


A sausage maker was using variable frequency drives to control the progress of product through their plant. As the drive was in an area subject to washdowns, it was housed in a waterproof metal box. The box did a decent job of protecting the electronics, but it created a different set of problems.

The metal box, 18 gauge stainless steel, was vulnerable to corrosion – and bacterial growth. The potential problems never blossomed into real trouble, but the possibility, especially for microorganism growth, was always present.

The plant was getting good useful life from the drives, but replacing the metal enclosures every six months to minimize the chances of corrosion and contamination.


In conjunction with recommendations by IBT, the meat plant replaced the existing variable frequency drives and the metal housings with the new Lenze NEMA 4X (IP65). These provided not only a technical advancement because of the updated electronics, but also better washdown resistance and reduced chances of bacterial growth.


Improved throughput and better uptime because of the electronics. Freedom from worry about corrosion and contamination.


Water, water everywhere. But if you know what’s good for you, not around electrical equipment in the factory. Especially, your variable frequency drives.

Most drives are sensitive to moisture. Sprinkle a little water on them, and they will start to malfunction. Get a regular drive good and wet, and look out. You can ruin the drive, short out the system, possibly start a fire or even burn the whole place down, unless…

Unless you have a Lenze washdown compatible drive in place. Then, you can pour on the water with no worries. It will perform perfectly, wet or dry.

Lenze calls the NEMA 4X (IP65) their most technically advanced inverter drive. They call it the perfect solution for the food and beverage industries. In these applications, customers need additional ways to protect drives against foreign objects such as dust, as well as keeping them safe from the harmful effects of water and corrosion.

The NEMA 4X enclosure options are currently available with up to 3 hp of power. These models complement the already successful NEMA 1 SMVector Drives. With a power range of up to 25 hp, the NEMA 1 SMVector carries all the features required by demanding applications including four modes of operation (V/Hz, Enhanced V/Hz, Vector Speed, and Torque), high starting torque, auto-tuning, advanced low-speed control, and dynamic speed regulation. Designed to be truly a global product, the SMVector Drive’s input voltage ranges from 120VAC 1-phase to 600 VAC, 3-phase. Three communication options include RS-485/Modbus, CANopen, and DeviceNet.

The SMVector drive has a unique Electronic Programming Module (EPM), which is the drive’s memory in a removable chip. This feature allows a customer have a default set of OEM parameters and to program multiple drives in mere seconds. It gives users the control and flexibility they need.

The SMVector NEMA 4X (IP65) is available in two enclosure materials: for indoor only use and for indoor/outdoor use. These rugged enclosure options are ideal for many industries including food / beverage, waste water, chemical metering and processing, and pharmaceuticals.

The power ranges of the SMVector in NEMA 4X include:

  • 120/240V – 1 Phase Input, up to 1.5 hp (1.1kW)
  • 200/240V – 1 or 3 Phase Input, up to 3.0 hp (2.2 kW)
  • 200/240V – 3 Phase Input, up to 10 hp (7.5 kW)
  • 400/480V – 3 Phase Input, up to 10 hp (7.5 kW)
  • 480/600V – 3 Phase Input, up to 10 hp (7.5 kW)



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