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Case Study
Need a motor with higher torque to sort bigger foods?

Optimize the capacity of the servo motor and amplifier to help drive down costs!

Food Conveyor Machine Manufacturer B Corp. (200 Employees)
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  • Case Study 079 - Food Conveyor Machine Manufacturer B Corp. (200 Employees)
Problem
  • The customer wanted to use servo motors to improve cycle time, but lacked know-how.
  • The customer wanted to build a system while keeping costs down, but got no advice from their motor supplier.
Solution and Results
  • The servo motor exceeded requirements as there was no need for a torque margin.
  • Reduce the maximum speed of the motor and optimize the capacity of the amplifier, to help drive down costs.
  • IP65 protection rating enabled the machine to be cleaned.
In the food industry, the need for automation is increasing due to chronic labor shortages. In addition, shortening the cycle time has always been an important issue, and food machinery manufacturers are strongly required to increase the speed and performance of their products.

Problem

Wanted to use servo motors to improve the cycle time, but lacked know-how

Food conveyor machine manufacturer B Corp. was working to develop a new automatic sorting machine. In development, they were facing a major challenge as the new product was going to include a servo motor, which was unfamiliar to them. Mr. S, of the company's development department shared his story with us.

"In the food industry, there is a strong need for automation and machines are constantly required to improve cycle times. At the same time, the market focused on cost. So, when positioning is required in our products, we used stepping motors due to their cost advantages. However, since this new sorting machine handles bigger foods, we decided to use a servo motor with higher torque. We had built up some know-how through our past development with stepping motors, but we lacked experience with servo motors, and none of the team members were familiar with using them," said Mr. S.

The customer wanted to build a system while keeping costs down, but they got no advice from their motor supplier...

After trial and error, B Corp. completed a prototype machine, but they were not sure if they had selected the right motor. Mr. S contacted their motor supplier for advice.

"This new product only sorts foods, so there is no need for complicated movement. We understood the cost would increase by adopting a servo motor, but wanted to build an inexpensive system by eliminating unnecessary functions as much as possible. And, since the machine handles foods, it is necessary to clean it, so waterproof performance of the motor was also a prerequisite.
Therefore, we asked the motor manufacturer for advice, but they only suggested what was written in the catalog. We were at a loss," recalled Mr. S.

Solution and Results

It turned out that the servo motor exceeded required performance as there was no need for a torque margin

Mr. S contacted a SANYO DENKI sales representative with whom he had previously worked on another project. At that time, the sales representative pointed out the possibility of exceeding required performance.

"When selecting a stepping motor, we always ensured a roughly 2x torque margin to prevent step-out. This time, we did the same way with a servo motor. However, the sales representative suggested that the motor may exceed requirements, as servo motors do not require a torque margin."

Mr. S decided to share detailed specifications of the machine with SANYO DENKI and asked for their support in selecting the motor.
Later, a SANYO DENKI technical support team visited B Corp. to measure the torque in a prototype machine. "As expected, the measurement result showed that it exceeded requirements. So, based on the measurements results, they proposed lowering the capacity of the motor from 1.5 kW to 1.2 kW," said Mr. S.

Reduce the maximum speed of the motor and optimize the capacity of the amplifier, to help drive down costs

SANYO DENKI also proposed an optimal amplifier by calculating the required rotation speed of the motor from the speed of the load.
"Now that we knew the required rotation speed of the motor, we were able to reduce the maximum speed of the motor by changing the gear ratio from 1/17 to 1/15 of the load. By doing so, we were able to change the capacity of the amplifier from 50 A to 30 A, allowing us to reduce the total cost. In addition, as SANYO DENKI's servo motors have IP65 ratings* as standard, cleaning the machine was not a problem. We really appreciated the accurate support we received from them. We were able to overcome the development delay and release our new product on time," said Mr. S with a smile.

Moving forward, B Corp. plans to actively design their new machines with servo motors.

* Ingress protection rating IP65
Dust protection: No ingress of dust. / Water protection: Protected against water spray from all directions. (IEC60529)

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