Technologies inside: Motor controls for artisan cheese maker

Danfoss VLT variable frequency drives helped Gunn’s Hill Cheese be more productive and energy efficient.


Throughout the cheese-making operation, a series of Danfoss VLT Micro Drives provide pumping and mixing capabilities for Gunn’s Hill Cheese. Courtesy: DanfossOld World cheese recipe used by Shep Ysselstein, owner and “grand fromage” of Gunn’s Hill Cheese in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, is a New World reality thanks to a secret ingredient: Danfoss VLT variable frequency drives. Throughout the cheese-making operation, the drives provide pumping and mixing capabilities.

Ben Kungl of Oxford Energy Solutions said about 15 VLT drives are used in the plant. Kungl improved efficiency and process control with Danfoss VLT drives in three areas: fluid pumps, ventilation system, and cooling compressor. Three Danfoss VLT Micro Drives control pumps used to off-load milk from the truck into the raw tank, transfer milk into vats, and for washing. Kungl applied a VLT drive to control the hoist motor that lifts cheese trays from the brine. Another Danfoss VLT Micro Drive is used for ventilation.

Kungl also applied a Danfoss VLT AutomationDrive FC 302 in a NEMA 12 enclosure to modulate the compressor in the outdoor chiller. The drive serves a dual purpose: to save cost by requiring up to 50% less energy than a system that does not use a VFD, and give the customer a wide range of adaptability. The FC 302 drive controls the scroll compressor speed and capacity, while two more VLT Micro Drives control the Zeihl-Abegg condenser fan motors for a fully modulating system.

Kungl said, “The VLT industrial drive family has an outstanding history of reliability in our company. They have a large dc bus that gives them a very large voltage tolerance.”

Gunn’s Hill Cheese uses a Danfoss VLT AutomationDrive FC 302 in a NEMA 12 enclosure to modulate a compressor in an outdoor chiller, saving cost by carefully controlling the scroll compressor’s speed and capacity. Courtesy: DanfossDanfoss VLT drives are built in the U.S.A., in Milwaukee, Wis. “Unlike other variable frequency drives, these units use algorithms dedicated for flow applications. That simplifies implementation. There are a lot of built-in features, from process PI controller to a Smart Logic Controller, that often make a PLC unnecessary. Plus, they can handle up to 122 F ambient temperatures (50 C) without derating, so no special ventilation is needed,” he said.

For a general all-around dairy operation like this one, the efficiency (50% reduction in energy use) of variable frequency drives give Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese “all the flavors of pump and motion control they need,” Kungl said.

Ysselstein said that without the drives, “I wouldn’t be making good cheese.”

For more application details and photos, see: Artisan cheese maker shares secret technology ingredient.

- Patrick Appleby is vice president sales – industry, Danfoss.  Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, 

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
2015 Mid-Year Report: Manufacturing's newest tool: In a digital age, digits will play a key role in the plant of the future; Ethernet certification; Mitigate harmonics; World class maintenance
2015 Lubrication Guide: Green and gold in lubrication: Environmentally friendly fluids and sealing systems offer a new perspective
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths
New industrial buildings: Greener, cleaner, leaner; New building designs for industry; Take a new look at absorption cooling; Offshored jobs start to come back

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.