Yaskawa Helps Feed Fido & Felix

Yaskawa Helps Feed Fido & Felix

Image courtesy of Yaskawa

In America, we love our pets. Cats and dogs seem to be everywhere: we have at least 60 million dogs and 75 million cats. In fact, there are more households with dogs than households with kids under 21.

We have turned our “animal companions” into members of the family. We have, increasingly, humanized them. As a result, American pet owners are especially interested in how the animals are fed. The pet food industry has grown to well in excess of $ 10 billion annually – and is still growing.

Pet food is big business and good business. It is also a highly competitive industry and products are offered at a variety of price points, qualities, ingredients, flavors and appearances.

Regardless of how you slice, it dice it, package it, name it or market it, you still have to make it. And, making it is a process that uses some serious industrial equipment, much of it available through IBT.

In a significant percentage of the processing plants, the key to the manufacturing process involves some form of an extrusion machine.

If you think of your old granny’s meat grinder, with a helical screw forcing the soon-to-be burgers or sausage through a plate of many holes, you get the picture. Now, imagine that grinder being big enough to produce serious amounts of pet food – and being powered by motors that may exceed 500 hp! A combination of ingredients of varying make up, consistencies and moisture levels are processed through the extruding device.

The extruder main drive motor supplies power to the extruder screw providing the force necessary to push the raw material through the die.

Image of YaskawaYaskawa control products and AC drives are digitally controlled and designed to develop high torque at low speeds. The extruders are often started with the barrels full of dense material and they need to quickly develop a large amount of torque to overcome the inertia.

The precise control of speed offered by Yaskawa products allow the operator of the extrusion machine to repeatedly produce products that are within design tolerances. Some features are designed to protect the equipment. Torque limiting controls protect the motor from overload if the mixture’s consistency changes.

Yaskawa drives include built-in application expertise. If the operator accidentally enters a value outside of the upper or lower speed limits, the Yaskawa drive continues to keep the speed within limits. Acceleration and deceleration controls allow the operator to easily change from hard to soft mixtures.

Image courtesy of YaskawaYaskawa AC drive control solutions include application programming flexibility and integration to a wide variety of third-party devices. Recipe tables can easily be created offering great flexibility for various product runs. Acceleration and deceleration controls allow the operator to easily change from hard to soft mixtures without ever worrying about specific values.

The pet food application is a good match for the Yaskawa F7 and G7 drives, great solutions for unconventional, extreme performance applications. With high-end response for speed and torque loops, the G7 provides servo-like performance for superior motor control. The drive has the latest in auto-tuning methods featuring both static and rotational methods for easy commissioning of any motor. The G7 drive has the world’s first 480V 3- level power section architecture offering total system protection. The 3-level control eliminates peripheral components typically required to solve installation problems such as long motor cable leads, motor bearing life, audible noise, and common mode noise. The G7 has an optional programming feature called DriveWorksEZTM, a PC-based, object-oriented, graphical icon, programming.

The G7 is only one of a family of advanced drives from Yaskawa that are in use at many pet food plants and available through IBT. Others include J7, V7, P7 and F7 Series Inverters.

For more information on Yaskawa products – or to learn more about any electrical product applications, contact IBT.

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