ABB saving time and money for Fonterra

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ABB’s power protection technology is helping Fonterra save time and money by minimising production downtime.

ABB’s power protection technology is helping Fonterra save time and money by minimising production downtime.

ABB’s power protection technology is helping Fonterra save time and money by minimising production downtime.

When leading multinational dairy manufacturer Fonterra needed a power protection solution for its processing and packaging lines at its facility in Takanini, Auckland, ABB was able to provide a solution that would eliminate voltage sags and cut out over four power quality events annually, saving an estimated cost of $500,000 per year.

Fonterra’s Takanini facility

Globally, Fonterra produces over 22 billion liters of milk each year. This requires only the best resources to ensure high quality milk is produced in ways that add real value to Fonterra’s customers and consumers around the world. The facility in Auckland produces a number of products including fresh milk, ultra high temperature (UHT) milk and cultured dairy food for some of New Zealand’s best-loved brands. The resources needed to produce these products not only derive from New Zealand’s natural environment, but also the equipment used at Fonterra’s Takanini facility.

More than 90 percent of UHT milk and cream produced at this facility is exported to markets in the Pacific and Asia region, including China, Singapore and the Philippines. Due to expanding and upgrading the UHT processing and packaging facilities to help meet the significant growth occurring in the global UHT market, the facility now draws between 30 to 40 megawatts of power. This is mainly drawn by the large AC drives and motors used in the facility’s production lines, which package more than 750,000 liters of fresh milk each day and can produce around 6.4 bottles per second.

Eliminating costly outages

The production lines are sensitive to voltage sags and short term outages. These short term outages usually range between 1 to 60 seconds and the value of uncertain energy caused by machinery can results in serious financial loss. When this happens there is no guarantee the milk is sterilized for consumer use, so disposal or re processing of the milk is required. Peter Williams, New Zealand’s Fonterra’s Brand Group Automation and Control Manager, outlines the effect Fonterra’s power quality events were causing. “When a glitch occurs in our facility, we need to go through a sterilization process which takes around four hours. An event like this across seven production lines, costs us 28 hours of downtime and around $50,000 costs to our business. This would typically happen to us two, three or four times a year.”

The PCS100 Active Voltage Conditioner, which is part of ABB’s power protection portfolio, is able to eliminate these voltage disturbances in Fonterra’s facility, eliminating unwanted downtime and wasted milk product that would ultimately cause an on flow effect to the food and beverage industry. “We would be looking to see savings in the amount of $500,000 a year,” says Williams.

Fonterra decided to implement ABB’s PCS100 AVC because of the global relationship with ABB and reliability of its products. “We have experience and a great deal of faith in their products… after some due diligence, we decided to implement it at our facility,” adds Williams.

Further benefits of the PCS100 AVC are the lowest total cost of ownership by requiring no energy storage and maintaining an operating efficiency of 99 percent. With a small footprint in design, the PCS100 AVC was able to fit into the small confined area of Fonterra’s equipment room, making this an ideal solution for facilities that don’t have large amounts of space for their power protection requirements.

Williams indicates in the future, Fonterra plan to utilize ABB’s products to improve the power quality in other locations. “Over some time we are looking at using this solution at other UHT sites, just to guarantee that supply stability we need. Our mission is to become the world’s most trusted source of nutrition and ABB’s product is a crucial part of that process.”

About Fonterra

Fonterra the global co-operatively-owned company headquartered in New Zealand’s Auckland facility, is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products and can be found in over 100 countries.

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