A Powerful Solution to Production Downtime

Auckland, New Zealand-based Fonterra is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, reaching over 100 countries. Globally, the company produces over 22 billion liters of milk each year, of which 750,000 liters are handled at their Takanini facility located just outside of Auckland.

Auckland, New Zealand-based Fonterra is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, reaching over 100 countries. Globally, the company produces over 22 billion liters of milk each year, of which 750,000 liters are handled at their Takanini facility located just outside of Auckland. Milk bottles flow through the plant at a rate of 6.4 per second.

In 2010 the facility underwent an $8 million upgrade to meet increased demands from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. As a result, more than 90 percent of the milk and cream produced and packaged in Takanini was subject to an ultra-high temperature processing approach before being shipped. This resulted in a significant increase in energy consumption. At its peak, the facility will draw up to 40 MW of electricity, with the largest consumers being the AC drives and motors used in production lines. 

This increased demand placed a strain on the plant’s power system, creating voltage sags and short-term outages that would range from one to 60 seconds. Peter Williams, the automation and control manager, outlines the effects of these event. “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 in costs to our business. This would typically happen to us two, three or four times a year.”

ABB, who had worked with Fonterra in other areas of their Takanini facility, provided advice on switch board design and integration of the PCS100 Active Voltage Conditioner, which would focus on eliminating voltage disturbances at the facility. Since the September 2014 installation, Fonterra has suffered five power quality events, with the PCS100 AVC successfully maintaining operations, and saving the company an estimated $250,000. Although payback for the investment was projected at 18 months, the company saw their return in less than four.

Williams says plans are in development for potentially installing more power protection systems at a $235 million site that processes 1.4 million liters of milk each day.

Watch the full project video here.

Visit ABB’s PCS100 Active Voltage Conditioner product page here.

Download a brochure of ABB’s power protection solutions for the food and beverage industry here.

For enquiries, please email powerconditioning@abb.com

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