When Jack Link’s Snacks, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of beef and turkey jerky snacks, wanted to double the size of their production facility in 2022, they knew they needed to upgrade their refrigeration system.
When Jack Link’s Snacks, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of beef and turkey jerky snacks, wanted to double the size of their production facility in 2022, they knew they needed to upgrade their refrigeration system. With a larger system – 50 new evaporators, 2 air handlers, plus new condensers, compressors, a recirculator and receiver - came the need for a more robust PLC (programmable logic controller) system to help them manage and monitor temperatures and refrigerant cycle performance for a larger production and storage footprint.
Their refrigeration contractor, Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration, recommended the Danfoss PLC system, knowing it was flexible and powerful enough to meet the demands of the facility and would offer superior connectivity and efficiency. “We’ve been working with Danfoss for years and the products have always met our needs,” said Jim Orren, Industrial Service Manager, at Carlson & Stewart. “Jack Link’s was using other electronic components from Danfoss in the plant and they were working well.”
Simplified Integration and Installation
The Danfoss PLC system provides an integrated hardware and software platform, with programmable refrigeration system setpoints that allows the end user to optimize system performance. Its graphic interface provides operators with all monitoring parameters and system operation in a virtual and effective way. The system also offers increased safety control with its ammonia leak detection for early warning of refrigerant leaks.
Danfoss PLC control system uses non-proprietary hardware and open communication protocols, making it easy to replace the existed controls, add expansion controls and integrate with refrigeration systems. When new control panels are installed with refrigeration systems, they are factory-tested before shipping to the job site and are set up to communicate with a central control panel remotely. This distributed installation significantly reduces installation cost and future maintenance, simplifies commissioning work, and shortens project lead time.
The new PLC system, with four control panels and power supply, was installed in June 2022. The installation process involved retrofitting the controls in the existing space as well as adding new controls and new electrical components, including larger fuses. Orren noted that once that was completed, start-up of the PLC system went smoothly.
“We used our expertise in refrigeration and refrigeration system controls to quarantine predicted disruptions and worked cooperatively with the installing contractor and the end user to minimize the “down-time” associated with the upgrade,” said Brian Davis, head of Danfoss’ AAIM Controls division.
Peace of Mind with Easy Tracking
The Danfoss PLC system provides Link Snacks with the ability to track temperatures and refrigeration system performance across the facility. The ability to monitor all equipment, including the evaporators, condensers, compressors, air handlers and ventilation fans, as well as identify ammonia leaks as soon as they occur, has provided the plant managers with immeasurable benefit.
“We have better control, visibility and tracking across the plant and can track the system from anywhere in the world,” said Eric Siemonsma, project manager at Jack Link’s. “We can see all components and can address issues remotely, without having to run to the engine room. The new system saves us time and maintenance costs, since the new components are more reliable, and has improved