Washdown can be a challenge for any food manufacturer. A sausage maker was using variable frequency drives housed in waterproof metal boxes to control the progress of their product through the plant.
While the box did a good job of protecting the electronics, it created a different set of problems: the 18-gauge stainless steel in the box turned out to be vulnerable to corrosion and bacterial growth.
While the drives had good operating life, the possibility for microorganism growth was a constant concern. To minimize contamination, the metal enclosures were replaced every 6 months—a constant hassle for the maintenance staff, and an extra expense for the company.
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IBT analyzed the sausage factory’s washdown environment, and made several recommendations—including replacing their existing variable frequency drives with the AC TECH/Lenze NEMA 4X (IP65). The Lenze inverter drives were not only a technical advancement with their updated electronics, but also offered better washdown resistance and reduced bacterial growth.
The result? The sausage factory improved their throughput and achieved better uptime. More importantly, they no longer had to replace the metal enclosures every 6 months, saving money—and preventing future issues with corrosion and contamination.
Why AC TECH / Lenze Inverter Drive Works Well in Food and Beverage
Most drives are sensitive to moisture. Sprinkle a little water on them, and they start to malfunction. With washdown, you can easily ruin the drive, short out the system, or possibly start a fire.
With AC TECH/Lenze washdown-compatible drives, you can literally pour water on them, or spray washdown chemicals on them—without worry. They perform perfectly, wet or dry.
The NEMA 4X (IP65) is AC TECH/Lenze’s most technically advanced inverter drive—and the perfect solution for the food and beverage industry. It protects against foreign objects such as dust, and keeps the drive safe from the harmful effects of water and corrosion.
Unique Features of the AC TECH / Lenze Inverter Drive
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 of the following features:
- 4 modes of operation (V/Hz, enhanced V/Hz, vector speed, and torque)
- High starting torque
- Advanced low-speed control
- 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. 3 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 2 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.
Available Power Ranges of NEMA 4X
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 20 hp (7.5 kW)
- 400/480V – 3 Phase Input, up to 60 hp (7.5 kW)
- 480/600V – 3 Phase Input, up to 60 hp (7.5 kW)