Enhancing Printing Operations Amidst Adverse Weather

The Situation and Problem

A leading private printing and packaging company in Northern Florida operates high-speed printing presses, block cutting, folding, and gluing machines for premium packaging material production. The plant is supplied at 26kV via an overhead line and has a dedicated 2500kVA transformer to provide the 480V operating voltage. Operating 24/7, the company schedules only a few planned shutdowns annually and is known for its rapid delivery times.

The company frequently faced unplanned production halts, leading to significant loss of production, high maintenance costs, and equipment damage. Each incident resulted in several hours of downtime, disrupting the plant's 24/7 operation schedule.

The Analysis and Diagnosis

Upon determining that voltage sags, especially during thunderstorms, had been the primary cause of these stoppages, it was found that these voltage sags led to current surges when normal voltage was restored. This current inrush exceeded the ratings of critical power electronics components like rectifier diodes, circuit traces, in the printing equipment. The resulting overloading compromised their integrity and could cause equipment failure.

The Solution

Omniverter recommended an Active Voltage Conditioner (AVC) to address over 93% of these voltage sags. To minimize impact on the plant’s air conditioning system, the AVC's integral boost transformer was externally mounted. The existing outdoor main switchgear was modified to integrate the AVC. Omniverter and the company jointly selected a local electrical contractor for the installation, which was strategically completed during a Labor Day Weekend shutdown.

The Impact and ROI

The installation of the AVC brought immediate improvements. The plant owner reported that the AVC paid for itself within four months. Over its first year, the AVC significantly reduced electrical maintenance expenses and mitigated damage to electrical and electronic components due to the stabilized voltage output.

Do you have a continuous process which has unplanned production stoppages? Could these be due to electrical power quality issues? Do you know your cost for an unplanned stoppage? You may be surprised.

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