Lots of drive

Las Vegas brewer bets on the durability and reliability of a new vector drive


Most businesses are slow to replace equipment that is still working well, but Brew Master and General Manager Mark Wilk of the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino Pub and Brewery in Las Vegas, Nev., elected to take a more proactive approach. Wilk replaced an eight-year-old TB Wood's WFC AC Inverter that controls the brewery's main pump with a new E-trAC WF2-NSF Sensorless Vector Drive especially designed for the food and beverage industry.

Although the WFC was surviving well in its wash-down environment and continued to operate without problems, Larry Carruthers, a sales representative for distributor Aztec Industrial Bearing and Supply, recommended the added protection of a new drive during a routine equipment inspection. Like most NEMA 4 washdown AC drives on the market, the WFC employs an external sealed fan to keep it running cool. Unless extra care is taken during washdown to ensure the enclosure, cooling fins and the fan are thoroughly cleaned, the drive won't operate properly.

Carruthers additionally pointed out that because the large filter capacitors in all AC drives can weaken with age, they eventually require replacement in order to ensure continuous operation.

No external fans

The WF2-NSF Sensorless Vector Drive was specially designed for the needs of the Monte Carlo and features a highly resilient, durable enclosure that easily handles FDA-required washdowns. Hence, there are no external fans to clog or fail. The drive is certified by both the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Baking Industry Sanitation Standards Committee (BISSC). It also meets FDA guidelines for food area splash-zone use and exceeds NEMA 4/IP66 washdown requirements. Its unique design uses convection cooling.

Other key selling points included TB Wood's reputation for ease of installation, programming and use, as well as the supplier's two-year "hassle free" warranty on the product.

Switchover time was minimal and the unit's user-friendly control display panel makes it easy for the Pub's brewers to operate using the drive. "Our guys aren't engineers," says Wilk, "so the operation needs to be simple and dependable."

The drive's standard features also allow for easy transition to future automated processes, thereby helping the customer adapt to growing product demand. These standard WF2-NSF features include:

* Preset speeds that can be used to run either multiple processes or product variations in a single unit with a simple flip of a switch.

* A 10-step Program Sequencer that allows for the automation of simple and complex processes without the need for a programmable logic controller (PLC), thus reducing system costs.

* Standard Modbus or optional DeviceNet communications capability, meaning the entire process can be remotely programmed, monitored and operated.

* The four-line digital display, which can be programmed to read the process in real-life units (i.e. GPH , gallons per hour), making life easier for the operators.

The bottom line: The E-trAC WF2-NSF Sensorless Vector Drive helps keep the Monte Carlo's Pub and Brewery operating flawlessly, producing perfect tasting product year after year.

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