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A mixture of drive solutions

24 January 2022

Mixing and blending machinery systems come in many different configurations and each will have its own motor drive requirements. Accordingly, the optimal drive solution will be determined by the specific needs of each application. 

For example, where a motor is located directly above the mixing/blending vessel and the application requires the motor to be cleaned in-place – either for convenience or because the machine’s design dictates it – a stainless-steel motor might be the best solution. In this case, a smooth bodied, hose-down tolerant (IP69K/IP66) motor, such as a Lafert Marlin unit – which can remain in-situ while it is pressure washed – would satisfy this requirement. In addition, these motors eliminate the issue of flaking paint, while their smooth bodies with no fins or other awkward to clean catchment areas where material could build-up, help to minimise the risk of product contamination. Furthermore, for applications that might require them, a range of both stainless-steel worm and helical bevel gears and also braked solutions are available.

Other possible considerations for mixing and blending machine designers are size and weight. Permanent magnet technology is enabling the weight and size of motors to be reduced by as much as 50% while offering up to four times the power output of existing similar frame size of standard, asynchronous machines. An example of a motor range that can offer these weight/size/power benefits is the HPS permanent magnet machines from Lafert. These motors also offer future proofing benefits by virtue of the fact that they meet IE5 energy efficiency specifications, thereby helping to avoid early machine re-designs to accommodate new compliant motors.

Adopting these HPS motors is facilitated by the fact that the company offers the option of providing a preconfigured, two-component, motor and drive package. Designated the HP Combi, this option is a Plug & Play solution comprising of a PM (permanent magnet) synchronous motor with an optimised, matched variable frequency drive (VFD). Several drive configurations are available to cover a range of industrial and commercial applications with differing demands for control and IP ratings. 

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