Electric motors and drives supplied by global power and automation provider, WEG, are delivering improved performance at production plants for Citrosuco, the world's largest producer of orange juice concentrate.
Citrosuco production relies on four processing plants, three of them situated in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and one in Florida, USA. In addition, the company operates twenty-nine farms, three storage operations, five shipping port terminals and six commercial offices. Citrosuco’s installed production capacity is equivalent to more than 40% of the annual volume of orange juice produced and exported by Brazil.
Since 2015, Citrosuco has been using the WEG Cooling Tower Direct Drive System in its production plant, which features permanent magnet motors to ensure high performance levels with high torque, even at low speeds. This system replaces conventional ventilation systems in cooling towers – consisting of motors, transmission shafts and gearbox assemblies – reducing mechanical losses and resulting in improved reliability and higher operational efficiency.
The WEG Cooling Tower Direct Drive System solution operates with the CFW11 frequency inverter drive, where speed is modulated according to application demand, thus providing energy savings and reducing water consumption.
WEG’s advanced CFW11 system drive (covering power levels from 1.1 to 63 kW) is ideal for use with both permanent magnet motors and induction motors. The drive offers many innovations that deliver specific benefits to customers such as Citrosuco. For instance, Vectrue Technology® allows WEG inverters to combine V/F, sensorless vector, VVW and vector (with encoder) control techniques – all in one product.
This capability not only helps to increase productivity, but offers efficiency ratings greater than 97%. Further CFW11 innovations include Optimal Braking®, a special braking method in vector control mode that provides an effective alternative to using braking resistors, and Optimal Flux®, which eliminates the need for independent ventilation or motor oversizing in applications with constant torque loads at low speeds, saving both space and cost.
Implemented in Citrosuco’s plant situated in the municipality of Matão, São Paulo, the WEG Cooling Tower Direct Drive System solution with the CFW11 frequency inverter drive has delivered a significant reduction in maintenance costs, by making the system more reliable and efficient. Additionally, corrective maintenance in the system has been virtually eliminated, by transitioning to a preventive maintenance approach.
“Before upgrading to the WEG solution, the cooling towers used to offer low reliability, requiring constant interventions on the transmission and gearing systems, resulting in high maintenance costs. After installing the WEG solution, corrective interventions were virtually eliminated, significantly increasing the uptime availability of the equipment and substantially reducing the costs of corrective maintenance.
We now only have to carry out routine lubrication every ten thousand hours of use, as recommended by WEG,” explains Wanderley Garcia Cabrera, Reliability Engineer at Citrosuco’s Matão operating plant.