Root Cause Analysis of recurring Capital Equipment failure in an Food Process Industry

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Industry Type: Leading Global Beverage Manufacturing Unit near Mumbai
Problem: A beverage manufacturing & packaging facility of a Global giant faced repeated failures of Electronic components in their High speed packaging machine. The equipment was designed & manufactured by a global leader in providing high speed packaging machines. Every break down was causing production loss ranging up to 20Lacs per failure. It was also affecting the production target & was causing escalation globally. The problem was blamed on the Packaging Machine manufacturer which in turn blamed it on Power quality problems at site. They felt that the failure was due to high percentage of Current & Voltage Harmonic present in the distribution network.
Study Recommended: A detailed Power Quality Audit of the supply points of the Machine & at the Sub feeder level. The equipment was connected on a 400kVA UPS system along with other dynamically switching pumps. We recommended recording of Power quality parameters and sub cycle disturbances for one week.
Observation & Problem Identification: Inspection revealed that one more matching transformer with lot of taps was used between UPS output and machine input. This transformer was getting heated beyond set limits due to lack of ventilation, further the links used as taps were inadequate in conductor cross section. In addition to this with a limited source capacity of UPS the generation of sub cycle disturbances was high during dynamic loading requirements of the machine. The peak inverse voltage of power semiconductors used in critical parts was not sufficient to handle voltage peaks generated due to dynamic UPS response during frequent loading and unloading.
Solution Executed: It was recommended to replace the Transformer tap links with proper size conductors. Arrange external cooling for transformer. Remove dynamic pumps load from the same feeder as they had high peak current requirements due to star delta starters, this demand was causing voltage dips in the supply. Recommended use of a separate UPS for critical load to minimize voltage dips
Benefits to Client: The activity conducted & the solution implemented ensured trouble free operation of the machine enhancing their production. All recommendations are implemented and failures are minimized now. PIV issue of semiconductors used is under review with the Packaging Machine manufacturers design team.