Oat ingredients have been actively involved with this trend as they offer some key nutritional and functional benefits. In particular, oat contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that has been proven to lower cholesterol and reduce post prandial glycaemic response — claims that have been approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
It was these properties of the grain that made the sector an attractive one to Tate & Lyle when it made a decision to diversify its portfolio.
In May 2013, Tate & Lyle acquired a leading manufacturer of cholesterol-lowering oat beta glucan based in Kimstad. The company officially opened the capacity expansion in 2016 and today it produces health and wellness ingredients made from oats that are added to various food, beverage and cosmetics products worldwide.
A new highly automated process
Since its acquisition, Tate & Lyle have been working to expand the production. From the outside the factory looks rather modest, with some of the buildings dating all the way back to the 1940s. On the inside, however, the equipment is brand new.
The new automated production line and factory expansion have indeed produced results. Just as the summer sun never sets in Kimstad, the production never stops in Tate & Lyle’s new facilities!
“With the new automation equipment, we have more than ten times the capacity with the same number of shift operators compared to four years ago. It is a huge change over a short period to reach our new high level of production,” says Werneman.
ABB has been part of the success
By delivering reliable automation products ABB has been part of the factory’s success. In particular, when Tate & Lyle needed new variable speed drives (VSDs) to run the factory with a high degree of energy efficiency, they wanted to have high quality products.
Tate & Lyle has previously used ABB as a supplier in plants around the world and was pleased with the cooperation. This previous experience also simplified the work in the expansion project and in the operations thereafter.
In addition to the VSDs, ABB motors, motor control centers (MCCs) and low voltage products together with Valve Positioners have been installed in the Kimstad factory. These products were supplied directly as well as via system integrators and OEMs.
ABB’s drives keep production running
Leo Dijkstra, Power & Controls Team Leader for Europe, has experience of using ABB’s equipment at Tate & Lyle’s factories worldwide. He appreciates ABB’s long experience of variable speed drives and was pleased that the products were delivered in the expected lead time.
“Working with ABB is always a pleasure. What I really like about ABB is the quick delivery time compared to other suppliers. In one case, we even had an extra VSD delivered within only a few days, because of a change in the project,” Dijkstra says.
Tate & Lyle is committed to working continuously to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations. In the Kimstad factory, over 85 of ABB’s ACS880 variable speed drives, ranging from 0.37 to 55 KW, are used mainly to run pumps and centrifuges, as well as handling the transportation of dry products.
In the pump applications, Tate & Lyle is using up to 50 per cent less energy thanks to the variable speed drives. Moreover, the VSDs have been running without stoppages.
Remote monitoring enables service and support from a distance
One of the main advantages with ABB’s VSDs is that they support many fieldbuses and fieldbus protocols.
“What I like is the design, and especially the fieldbus flexibility,” Dijkstra says.
This is important to Tate & Lyle in order to be able to communicate digitally with the drives from anywhere in the world, as this lowers the commissioning time and the total cost of ownership.
Should a VSD fail in the Kimstad factory, Dijkstra can connect from his personal computer wherever he is. He can download the drive’s commissioning file over the network, and after correction, upload the file again into the VSD.