US mixer manufacturer chooses ‘reliable and easy to use’ Optidrive VFDs

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A US mixer manufacturer has switched to Invertek Drives variable frequency drives (VFD) for use on its electric motor products because of their ‘reliability and ease of commissioning.’

MXD Process designs and manufactures mixers used in the production of liquid processing solutions in industries including pharma and biotech, food and beverage, oil and gas, adhesives and sealants, and brewing and distilling.

Quality issues with previous drives

The company was having quality and supply issues with its previous VFD supplier which was impacting on its own customers. It wanted to make the installation and commissioning of its own products easier. Reliability of the drives was also crucial, particularly important for their customers.

They worked with Smith Automation, one of Invertek Drives USA’s Sales Reps, to identify a solution using the Optidrive E3 and Optidrive P2 range of drives.

The varying size of its mixers, from small lab stirrers to industrial mixing tanks, meant a range of VFD frame sizes and power ratings would be needed to integrate with them.

NEMA 4X / IP66 enclosures for tough environments

The range of environments they operate in means they also needed IP66 / NEMA 4X enclosures which are available in frame sizes one to four and a power range up to 22kW / 30HP. The drives are also available in single and three-phase.

Kevin Royer of MXD Process said: “Implementing a sweeping change to an integral component used across many product lines, such as a drive, is not a simple task. When it’s directly tied to user experience as well, there are a lot of factors we had to take into consideration when deciding to switch.”

He said several factors convinced them to choose the Optidrive VFDs.Alt text not available

“We were impressed at the quality and reliability of the Optidrives during testing. The drives are good value and easy to work with from a wiring and commissioning perspective. They fit the same physical space as our previous drives, requiring little more than new mounting holes to implement. This was another important factor,” he said.

“They even accommodate our company’s aesthetic requirements with alternatively coloured covers. The drives are more modern than our previous solution, and there are excellent performance upgrades within the Invertek family that are simple to implement if we choose to.”

A range of liquids varying in consistency and fluidity are mixed which means the mixers must be able to work with varying torque and speed.

The company uses a range of Optidrive E3 IP66 / NEMA 4X models ranging in motor power ratings between 0.37kW/0.5HP, through to 22kW/30HP.

Optidrive P2 used for larger industrial mixers

For its larger industrial mixers, it uses the Optidrive P2 Series up to 250HP.

Julie Hendrickson, Territory Sales Manager at Smith Automation with responsibility for Invertek Drives, said: “Changing a significant component in any product range is a big step.

“MXD Process needed drives they could rely on. They could see how the durability of Optidrive would ensure their own products would be reliable out in the field with their own customers.

“Another advantage was having a range of frame sizes with a wide choice of power ratings. Any of their electric motor-controlled mixers can now use the Optidrive, from small-scale lab mixers up to large industrial mixing tanks.”

Smith Automation is also providing ongoing technical support to MXD Process’s engineering team on their installed base and new projects.

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14 default parameter settings make commissioning easier

The Optidrive E3 includes 14 default parameter settings that make it suitable for easy installation into most applications. It also has a total of 50 parameters available for bespoke settings and can be switched between industrial, pump and fan modes depending on the application.

The drive can also be commissioned rapidly using the Optistick Smart Bluetooth and NFC software on smartphones and PC. The E3 also comes with Modbus RTU and Can as standard.

The E3 is available in IP20, IP66/Nema4X outdoor and indoor enclosures, in single and three-phase. More technical details about the drive can be found here.

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