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Measurement Technology Innovation from WAGO


The Andechser Molkerei Scheitz, a dairy processor, requires detailed, informative data for their energy management. So they rely on measurement technology innovation from WAGO: The new current and voltage tap for 2-conductor 95 mm² (4/0 AWG) through terminal blocks. Due to its compact design, it is also perfect for densely populated control cabinets.

The Andechser Molkerei Scheitz lies forty kilometers southeast of Munich, where Bavaria appears like a picture book with Lake Ammer below and the Alps on the horizon. Around 630 organic farmers from the foothills of the Alps supply the company with milk. In order to make creamy butter, fruity yogurt, and other high-quality products, the largest organic dairy plant in Europe uses quite a bit of energy. Efficiency is therefore a high priority. According to the Scheitz Dairy philosophy, the contract for organic agricultural producers obligates the company to act in an environmentally sustainable way. Therefore, the company from Andechs considers it their responsibility to use innovative technology to continuously reduce energy consumption, and thus contribute to environmental protection. This means that the electricity and heat used in 2018 should be lower than for the previous year by several percentage points. Significant savings were already achieved in 2017. The continuous quest for greater efficiency has also paid off economically, as energy represents one of the major costs to the company.

The most important tool for successfully implementing this strategy is reliable and flexible measurement technology and software for comprehensive energy control. This allows the dairy plant to conduct multiple evaluations, generate time comparisons, or establish relationships to production amounts. This, in turn, allows them to determine the amount of energy consumption per yogurt produced. The dairy plant then derives efficiency measures from these values, or they can also be used to check how effective such measures are. In addition, the system enables tracking of the carbon footprint of individual products. According to Andechser, this is important information, which is included in the company’s environmental statement. Beyond merely reducing tax costs, the systems help to reduce other expenses for the dairy plant thanks to increased transparency. The company can lso consider the easing of electrical taxes and network charges in their accounting.

Easy and Reliable Handling

Even though the operation currently profits from its energy management, collecting the data took considerable effort. “At the beginning, we did not know how the data came into existence. The previous system was a black box that only offered a limited range of functions,” reports Christoph Ehrensperger, who acts as project manager and programmer at the Andechser Molkerei Scheitz. In addition, they learned along the way that some of the data were simply wrong. Ehrensperger explains another annoyance with the system, “The measurement technology was so niche that we regularly needed external support – even to link in a new piece of equipment.” Since the dairy facility was constantly growing and investing in new production technology, this led to substantial effort and additional costs.

These were good reasons for the company experts to look around for a more reliable alternative that would be easier to deal with. They quickly struck it rich with a measurement technology innovation from WAGO. The firm’s new 855-951/250-000 Current and Voltage Tap for 2-conductor Through Terminal Blocks, up to 95 mm², with an integrated current transformer (conversion ration 250 A/1 A), taps all relevant energy data directly at the feed in. Energy data is then transmitted via WAGO PLC to a PFC200 in the energy control center. The technology is complemented by WAGO terminal block assemblies for current and voltage transformers, 2007 Series. The dairy has used automation technology from WAGO for many years. They know that WAGO products are reliable and powerful. According to management, the decision to use WAGO measuring technology was an easy one to make.

Quick and Easy Installation

The WAGO measurement technology impressed the experts at the dairy due to its compact, clever design. The current and voltage tap has the same width as the 2-conductor through terminal block for conductors up to 95 mm² (4/0 AWG). Another converter or specialty mounting unit is not necessary. Due to this integrated, modular approach, the current and voltage tap does not require additional space in the control cabinet. This compact design is a great advantage for Andechs where space is limited. The dairy uses the product in their existing control cabinets; therefore, its compact design is important. The integrated fuse also contributes to optimal utilization of space in the control cabinet, according to Ehrensperger. The SIBA fuse (2 A, 450 V, F, 70 kA), is located directly above the voltage-carrying tap and is equipped with a detector. “Since the fuse is part of the voltage tap in the terminal block, we don’t have to worry about the arrangement in the control cabinet,” explains the expert. WAGO offers two different versions; the installed components can be easily and clearly marked. This makes things clear in the control cabinet and prevents errors.

Installing the current and voltage tap is child’s play: Simply plug it into the jumper slot on the terminal block. “This saves a great deal of time and money,” says Ehrensperger. The possibility of jumping on the secondary side of the current transformer also proved helpful during commissioning. “Without this function, there could be circumstances in which it could be damaged during normal operation. Since we only completed the wiring of the measurement technology a few weeks later, we used this function to the fullest extent during various tasks,” according to Ehrensperger.

First Logistics and Control, Then Production

The dairy incorporated the WAGO measurement technology gradually across the entire company. This process has already been completed in the control center and logistics, where it was used as a pilot project. Since the WAGO current and voltage tap satisfies the requirements of accuracy class 0.5, Germeroth and his colleagues can rely on precise results.

The new WAGO product is also already at work the production area. The dairy experts from Andechs have begun measuring energy consumption when filling yogurt into glass containers. The company uses the measurement data to derive key indicators related to the production levels. In addition, they gain information about potential efficiency measures. Over the next months, the conversion to WAGO measurement technology will occur in the entire production area.

Text: Michael Meyer, WAGO