Conveyor drives upgraded at Kraft Heinz

More than 100 variable speed drives (VSDs) have been installed to control conveyors on the Kraft Heinz pasta filling lines at Kitt Green in the UK as part of a modernisation programme.

The Danfoss VLT AutomationDrive FC 302 VSDs, installed by UK-based PnP Motion Controls, replaced earlier 20 year-old controls.

Filling of beans, soup, pasta and Snap Pots is carried out on 13 lines in a three-storey building at the Kitt Green site in Lancashire that houses manufacturing and filling operations.

At the heart of the filling and sterilising area on the ground floor of the building is a network of conveyors that are operated on a three-shift basis, five days a week. Maintenance is carried out over weekends.

On the original lines, control for the motors driving the conveyors was provided by Danfoss VLT 5000 series VSDs.

The upgrade of the drives was part of a five-year programme to improve control across the site, which also involves cutting by half the 450 programmable logic controllers (PLCs) at Kitt Green. Eventually, the plan is to link all PLCS to the fibre-optic communications network that runs across the Kitt Green site and back to a central control and information hub.

A further reason for replacing the VSDs in the filling area was that it would also help to reduce energy consumption, since the site’s total utility bill amounts to about $US15 million a year.

Once fitted, the VSDs were connected to the plant’s existing PLCs using a Profibus digital communications or Fieldbus network using a Profibus converter card, which removed the need for PLC program changes. Once installed, PnP also upgraded and reconfigured the Profibus network associated with the conveyor.

“It was a successful upgrade and worked perfectly without any hitches,” said PnP director Pete Brocklehurst. “The canning lines are now future-proof and will be trouble-free for many years to come.”

More information from PnP Motion Controls, Unit E207, East Gate, Warmco Industry Park, Manchester Road, Mossley OL5 9AY, UK.
Tel: 44 1457 837145. Website: