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Vacon's AC drives installed at Valio's dairy plant in Finland

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Global AC drives manufacturer Vacon has delivered over one hundred new-generation VACON 100 AC drives to a quark production line at dairy product manufacturer Valio's plant in Seinäjoki, Western Finland.

Valio, a market leader in key dairy products in Finland, doubled its production capacity at its plant in Seinäjoki to meet the increased demand for quark, a fresh dairy product high in protein. Commissioned in March 2014, the new production line is equipped with one hundred motors, which run the plant's pumps and mixers among others. These motors are controlled by VACON 100 AC drives in the power range of 1.1 kW to 45 kW and delivering total power of about 400 kW.

Vacon's AC drives contribute to the high quality of the production process and compliance with the safety requirements in standards. The VACON 100 range is well suited to many different applications in the food and beverage industry.

Teemu Takala, Technical Specialist at Valio's plant in Seinäjoki explains that they selected the VACON 100 drives to control their quark production line due to changed requirements regarding Safe Torque Off (STO) functions and to improve work safety. Special attention was paid to the safety function in the AC drive, which prevents the motor from starting up unintentionally.

AC drives are most commonly used for pump control; at the Seinäjoki plant, 80% of the pumps are controlled by AC drives. The AC drive accelerates the pump motor quickly and smoothly to its running speed, with a smooth start-up reducing the stress on the electrical network and the pump's mechanical parts, and decreasing pressure spikes in the pipeline. The continuous control of the running speed also allows the product's manufacturing process to be optimised, resulting in improved reliability and process control.

VACON AC drives were first installed at Valio's plant in Seinäjoki in 1997, mainly for controlling pumps, mixers and separators but also for controlling fans, conveyors as well as packing and palletising machines.

Valio's Seinäjoki plant today houses approximately 1,000 VACON AC drives.

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