Drive systems

Connectivity for a cheese care machine

Connectivity for a cheese care machine

SwissDrives AG, Yaskawa's technology partner based in Steinach, Switzerland, has developed a large-scale drive solution for a complex cheese care plant in Austria. A total of 40 frequency inverters with integrated ProfiNet option cards from Yaskawa's GA500 series form an important part of the sophisticated automation concept.

Many care steps are necessary for the cheese to ripen perfectly. As the current example of a large Austrian cheese dairy shows, the automation of this process is technically demanding, but possible: a newly developed system will take over the processing of semi-hard and hard cheese in various shapes such as round block or stick cheese.

Frequency converters play a decisive role in controlling the diverse processes. In the search for a suitable model that is reliable, fast and efficient, the focus was on two requirements in addition to high control quality: firstly, the inverters should be able to be integrated into the existing control environment without any problems. Secondly, they had to be sufficiently robust to withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the food industry. For example, the plant is regularly cleaned with disinfectants.

Against this background, SwissDrives, the automation specialist commissioned with the implementation, decided on the GA500 frequency converter model from Yaskawa. A total of 40 units are used in the plant.

Function module specially programmed by SwissDrives

The inverters are integrated into the ProfiNet control network of the plant via a specially programmed function module. As a software solution, the ProfiNet function module integrates all Yaskawa frequency inverters into the existing control system and provides more information from the inverters to the PLC. Furthermore, a large number of additional functions of the frequency inverter can be used.

The advantage for the customer is that only one ProfiNet function module is needed. This can be adapted to any frequency inverter. With the function block, all Yaskawa frequency inverters are efficiently integrated into the existing PLC and the finished interface becomes the customer's standard for subsequent projects. The ProfiNet function block can be used for all Yaskawa inverters of the GA500, GA700, A1000, U1000 and V1000 series.

Our function module can be integrated quickly and efficiently into the existing PLC and commissioned just as quickly and easily by a PLC technician, says Swiss Drives. Optimised for specific applications, Swiss Drives develops customised drive and control solutions, e.g. also for other versions.

Frequency converter GA 500

The AC microdrives of the GA500 series provide highly efficient motor control for various motor types and are extremely flexible in terms of interfaces. Their most important features include an integrated EMC filter, the two-channel safety function STO with SIL3/PLe, the control of up to five inverters via just one fieldbus card, and intuitive and convenient setup and monitoring via apps for the smartphone. In addition, the devices are characterised by their compact design and performance.

Thanks to their robust design, the compact inverters can also be operated in hot environments up to 60°C. The boards are coated as standard and thus protected against dust and moisture. The temperature-controlled cooling fans only run when necessary. This minimises contamination and extends maintenance intervals. A bright LED display and the tactile keypad ensure easy and intuitive navigation through the menus.

The menus and parameters are arranged and named according to the proven and familiar pattern of Yaskawa frequency inverters, so that the need for training is reduced to a minimum.

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