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SA first as SEW-EURODRIVE supplies new HVAC drives to major pharmaceutical distributor
16 February 2017
SA first as SEW-EURODRIVE supplies new HVAC drives to major pharmaceutical distributor

SEW-EURODRIVE has successfully supplied MOVITRAC® LTP-B Eco HVAC drive units to DSV Healthcare of Meadowview, Johannesburg. Designed and engineered specifically to optimise fan and pump performance in HVAC applications, the drive was launched at Electra Mining 2016. This is the first application of the new technology in South Africa.

The new HVAC drives are an integral part of DSV Healthcare’s facility-wide Building Management System from Johnson Controls. Maintenance Manager Peet van der Linde explains that the Medicines Control Council, which regulates the Medicines and Related Substances Act for the manufacture, distribution, sale, and marketing of medicines, requires the facility to maintain a constant humidity of 60% and a temperature of 22°C.

“If the humidity and temperature level of our facility goes out of range, it becomes a reportable deviation after 24 hours. This means we end up with critical stock that cannot be distributed. Therefore it is vital that the internal environment be maintained within the prescribed parameters,” van der Linde comments.

DSV Healthcare decided to opt for the MOVITRAC® LTP-B Eco HVAC drive units from SEW-EURODRIVE following lightning damage of existing competitor units. Despite heavy storm conditions following the successful installation, the drive units have performed flawlessly, comments Mechatronic Sales Engineer Hendri Oosthuizen.

“These units were supplied to run the centrifugal evaporator fans for the client’s building air-conditioners. They offer exceptional reliability and longevity due to the fact that they are supplied with built-in line filters.” Oosthuizen notes that the design specifications were three-phase 400 V supply, 15 kW HVAC drives, while the installation requirements were IP55, analogue setpoint control, and relay feedback for running and alarm status.

The main advantage of the new HVAC drive is that it is designed for maximum motor-control efficiency. Efficiency is improved by up to 4% compared to standard AC drives, while also reducing supply current total harmonics distortion (iTHD), improving the Real Power Factor, and reducing total input current, leading to installation cost-savings through reduced cable and fuse ratings and smaller supply transformer rating. The drives are also manufactured in accordance with RoHS, a European Union product directive applying to electronics manufactured within the EU, or imported from other countries.

Additional features include intelligent standby. This parameter defines the time period whereby if the drive operates at minimum speed for greater than the set time period, the LTP-B HVAC output will be disabled, and the display will show ‘standby’. This parameter can be customised according to the customer requirements. Another feature is the energy-saving function.

When enabled, the inverter automatically reduces the applied motor voltage at light loads. This inverter is also EN 61000-3-12 compliant, and has a wall-mounting design, an OLED multi-language plain text display, and interfaces for BACnet IP, EtherCat, DeviceNet, Profibus DPV1, Modbus TCP, and ProfiNet.

The drive also has a programmable service-interval parameter for routine drive or system maintenance alerts, with the diagnostics menu including a handy read-only ‘time to service’ parameter. The OLED display flashes an indicator whenever a service is due.

Meanwhile, the drive outputs are configurable for ‘service due’ indication, followed by a simple service ‘reset’ procedure. The Variable Speed Drive (VSD) service procedure is as recommended by SEW-EURODRIVE, with published checks for increased product life. Other features include fire mode, fan-belt break detection, a PID sleep/standby function, and a bypass control.

Van der Linde reveals that adopting the MOVITRAC® LTP-B Eco HVAC drive is part of a longer-term plan to standardise on SEW-EURODRIVE products at the pharmaceutical distributor, as its automated pick-and-place and sorting system, including cranes and conveyor belts, already uses gearmotors and drives from the German OEM. “In the automatic retrieval area alone, which has 16 levels and is 28-m-high, we have about 40 drives from SEW-EURODRIVE.”

The four-year-old Meadowview facility is the result of extensive growth at DSV Healthcare, which distributes products to pharmacies and hospitals throughout South Africa, as well as exporting to the rest of the continent. Van der Linde adds that the plan is to add the HVAC drives to its extensive spares inventory, as the company cannot afford any downtime on any of its systems.

“The main benefit of standardising on SEW-EURODRIVE products, apart from the quality and cost-effectiveness, is the aftermarket service and support that is offered,” van der Linde adds. In addition, the HVAC drives are extremely user-friendly in terms of installation and start-up, with a text-based screen guiding the user through the parameters.

While a qualified electrician is required in terms of the wiring, SEW-EURODRIVE is always willing and able to assist clients with start-up if required. Oosthuizen adds that the inverters on the new HVAC drives boast an array of ‘smart’ features to assist with maintenance and service intervals for pumps and fans.

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