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Super power your production line efficiency

15 March 2021

WAGO shares its key insights and solutions into challenges faced by the Food & Beverage industry and how power efficiency might be the key. 

The food and beverage manufacturing industry is rapidly embracing the benefits that automation can bring in terms of operational efficiency, productivity and quality control. 

The specification of the control system devices used to automate manufacturing processes are carefully evaluated by the automation equipment suppliers to ensure reliability and low maintenance.    

What may be overlooked is the importance of the DC power supply that is at the heart of this system, and how, by choosing a well-engineered product manufacturers can further increase the efficiency and reliability of the automated process.

Avoiding unplanned stoppages
An unplanned production stoppage can lead to considerable expense due to lost production and the risk of wasted product, potential disposal cost and late delivery penalties. The DC power supply can mitigate these risks in two ways.

Industry 4 and Real time monitoring
It’s now possible to specify a DC power supply with Fieldbus communications. WAGO’s Pro 2 is such a product and is unique in having a choice of fieldbus protocols including Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP and IO-Link. This capability means that the power supply can be fully integrated into the automation system. This component level of integration, typified by the notion of IIoT, provides extremely valuable real-time access to the power supply. This monitoring capability can give an early warning of problems developing before it causes a production stoppage. It also means power use trends can be assessed and measured at a granular DC system level.

Power Supply durability
The reliability and durability of the power supply itself is a major factor. It’s estimated that WAGO’s Pro 2 has a one million hour mean time before failure (MTBF) and a 15-year design due to use of high quality oversized electronic components.

The ability of the power supply to tolerate harsh conditions such as low, or high temperatures can also contribute to overall reliability. In food processing the environment can also be a concern, WAGO’s Classic series power supplies are available with coated PCBs for enhanced protection. 

Power Supply power efficiency
Further manufacturing efficiencies can be achieved by the use of a power supplies that exhibit the highest level power conversion efficiency.

WAGO’s largest 24Vdc 40A Pro 2 has a class leading 96.3% efficiency, compared to a typical power supply of around 91%, meaning a considerable saving of 37w is achieved. Given that a complete process line is likely to have many power supplies a significant saving in energy costs could be achieved just by selecting a high efficiency power supply. Calculated over an operating time of five years, this equals a saving of approximately £200* in energy costs per power supply.

To put this into context, a typical food production line using 15 x 40A WAGO Pro 2, compared to an average 91% efficiency product, will save over half a kW per hour and achieve corresponding reduction in energy costs of around £3000* over 5 years 

For companies that are keen to demonstrate their carbon reduction ambitions, each WAGO Pro 2 power supply used as described above will save over one tonne of CO2. 

Power Quality 
In addition to the fundamental power conversion efficiency, it’s also worth considering the impact of using a power supply with a poor power factor as this can lead to costly wasted reactive power loss. WAGO’s Pro 2 features active power factor correction to ensure reactive losses are kept to a minimum. 

Additional efficiency measures
Food and beverage manufacturers can also achieve further efficiencies by using the latest DC circuit protection technologies. 

WAGO’s Pro 2 and Classic series have a feature on-board called TopBoost, this ensures the reliable operation of downstream circuit protection MCBs to ensure fast DC circuit protection and reduced downtime. However, it’s also worth considering that those traditional MCBs can be replaced with electronic circuit breakers (EBC) that provide further benefits. 

For example, WAGO’s ECBs can be remotely monitored and even provide early warning of overloads at circuit level, a feature which enables the crucial opportunity to intervene prior to a complete production stoppage, something that’s simply not possible with conventional MCBs. 

To learn more, or access our brand new free Whitepaper please CLICK HERE.

*This is a representative example; exact savings will depend on hours used and unit price of electricity.

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