Sweden is noted for its sweet cakes and pastries, but for all the fame attached to its desserts, Sweden has only one beet sugar factory. ABB is helping ensure that the highest safety standards are maintained at the country’s only sugar production facility.
Nordic Sugar, part of Nordzucker Group, owns a factory in Örtofta in the southern part of the country. The factory began operating more than 130 years ago but has been converted into a modernized producer of white sugar, molasses and animal feed. It is one of the largest and most efficient beet-processing factories in all of Europe producing every day 18,000 tons of sugar beets—650 truckloads.
Since 2006 the Örtofta plant has also been selling waste energy produced by the factory to surrounding district heating systems, cutting its own carbon dioxide emissions by more than 8,500 tons annually and distributing energy sufficient to power 3,000 homes.
Such a large operation, which employs a large electrical department of 20 people, must maintain an intense focus on worker safety around its electrical equipment and ensure that it uses the industry’s best safety switches. In the factory, pumps are driven by motors, and each motor is connected to an enclosed safety switch, used to isolate the motor daily during installation and maintenance.
“The factory had been purchasing safety switches from an ABB competitor,” said Paul Nylén, ABB Sales Manager, “but recently it changed to ABB’s family of safety switches because of their high reliability and ease of installation.”
The switches are available in three forms: stainless steel, aluminum and plastic side-operated switches. The enclosures of ABB’s plastic enclosed switches are made of rigid polycarbonate. They are UV protected and built for outdoor and indoor use. ABB’s aluminum switches are very rigid and will not be easily damaged if they are accidentally bumped by trucks. Their cover is fully removable, and stiff cables can be placed directly into the enclosure without bending them. The stainless-steel switches are designed for harsh environments and frequent washing.
Rolf Persson, Electrical / Instrument Department Manager at Nordic Sugar noted that ABB was the natural option for safety technology. “The choice to go with ABB’s highly reliable, easily installed, widely available and locally supported safety switches was a clear one for us,” he said.
Nordic Sugar also has installed ABB switchgear and many other ABB products in its Örtofta factory. As for the ABB safety switches purchased by Nordic Sugar, installation and maintenance have been a piece of cake.