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Gibbons prepare to install their largest-ever variable-speed drive

Gibbons have taken delivery of a special variable-speed drive as we prepare for an interesting project north of the border.

The 1,120 kW high-voltage low-harmonic ABB drive in question is the largest we have ever handled, measuring 3.5 metres long and weighing a whopping 3.5 tonnes.

The drive is to be installed at the Bairds Malt facility in Inverness, where it will control the speed of three huge kiln fans used for drying malted barley.

Although the existing Alstom MV31131 fan drive is still operational, it is now at an age whereby parts can no longer be sourced. The team at Bairds cannot afford for the kiln to be out of action, therefore they have decided to replace the equipment with a modern ABB drive.

Upon arrival at our Tollesbury premises, the drive was carefully unloaded and stored in the workshop. Our engineers removed the internal components in order to make the main unit lighter and easier to transport and install at the Bairds facility. Then, once the casing is in situ, the components will be re-installed and the whole system commissioned.

Getting the drive into our workshop was straightforward, but the logistics at the Bairds plant are rather more challenging. Due to the site layout, the redundant drive needs to be removed by crane and hoisted over an existing part of the plant, with the new ABB drive then lifted in via the same route. The plant room’s main door and timber frame must then be removed in order to create just enough access for the old drive to be removed and the new one to enter.

Look out for further updates on this exciting project once the eight-day programme gets underway at the Bairds plant.

Variable-Speed Drives

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