Effortless control: Kohberg Bakery thrives with iC7-Automation

Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Conveyor line of hot dog buns at Kohberg Bakery
Close-up of dough balls on the Kohberg Bakery line
Play the video to learn more about the upgrade at Kohberg Bakery

DENMARK: With an increasing focus on energy efficiency, Danish bakery Kohberg saw the need for a production upgrade. Their existing mainly switch-controlled production line coupled with an intricate and aging panel called for a new set of drives that would not only provide full control but also ensure adaptability for the future.

In 2023, Kohberg therefore commissioned Danish Process Automation Partner Au2mate to help them take the leap. By opting for iC7-Automation – the then unreleased new generation of drives – the bakery not only achieved full overview of their energy consumption, but with built-in sensors and easy scalability, Kohberg is now equipped for the future.

Discover how iC7-Automation allowed Kohberg to effortlessly take the leap into a new generation of technology.

Lars Linnet from Au2mate and Peter Dam Krag form Kohberg Bakery looking at a screen
Kohberg Bakery aimed to upgrade its bread roll line to improve efficiency and uptime.

The challenge: Greater efficiency with more uptime

For more than 50 years, Kohberg, the largest Danish-owned bakery in Denmark, has supplied bread and pastries for retail, food service, private label, and industrial clients. In 2023, they faced the challenge of how to upgrade their production line for bread rolls, efficiently and with minimal downtime.

The existing setup – a mix of various drive models added or replaced over time – had become complicated and challenging to maintain. Additionally, only a few motors were connected to AC drives, while the rest were switch-controlled, leaving little opportunity for energy optimization.

The system also needed to accommodate motion parts, requiring the utmost precision in handling the delicate baked goods. While reliable, a standard servo system is both costly and complex due to its many specialized components. Instead, to accommodate the functional needs while minimizing complexity, Au2mate and Danfoss suggested opting for the new iC7-Automation product range.

Conveyor line of buns at Kohberg Bakery
With its integrated Motion application, iC7-Automation was the ideal drive for the high-precision requirements of this bread roll line.

The solution: 50 iC7 drives with Motion application

With other production lines running on Danfoss VLT® AutomationDrive FC 302, VLT® Midi Drive FC 280, and VLT® 2800 drives, Kohberg initially wanted the new system to run on FC 302 drives. But when Danfoss gave them the option of being one of the first to use the then still-unreleased iC7-Automation, Kohberg seized the opportunity. 

As a next-generation drive, the iC7-Automation would not only be easy to operate for those familiar with the FC 302, but they would also gain next-level functions and easier scalability in the future. Since iC7-Automation has a Motion application integrated directly into the drive, there is no need to buy a complex servo solution. The integrated and sensor-less motion application provided an all-in-one solution with reliable performance.

Lars Linnet from Danfoss partner Au2mate working with a line of iC7-Automation drives
Prior to site implementation, Au2Mate tested the iC7-Automation units thoroughly, to ensure quick and problem-free installation and commissioning on-site.

The new iC7-Automation drives were unfamiliar territory for Au2mate, so to ensure smooth installation, Danfoss provided them with some iC7 units for testing. In Au2mate’s Academy setup they were able to test the units for 10 weeks for everything from PLC to screen type. In this way, they could get familiar with how the new drives integrate into existing systems, supporting the ambitious plan of installing them in only a few days.

With a very short timeframe to reach full production speed, it was important that even though this was a new type of drive, it was still close to something we were familiar with, and we had the same support from Danfoss. This made us feel at ease about taking the leap. And the result is a much more future-proof solution.

Lars Linnet, Divisional Sales Director, Au2mate
Lars Linnet
Wall of iC7-Automation drives at Kohberg Bakery
These are just a few of the 50 installed iC7-Automation frequency converters which bring flexibililty and scalability to the bread roll line.

Benefits of iC7-Automation

  • Easy transition from traditional to next-generation drives
  • Motion application enables homing and sensor-less positioning, delivering excellent shaft performance even at low speeds
  • Testing ahead of on-site installation minimized time required for installation and commissioning
  • Improved functional safety with the possibility of a dual-channel architecture
  • High flexibility and scalability with a multitude of license-based add-ons
Kohberg Bakery factory floor
At Kohberg Bakery, energy savings are now quantifiable. The bread roll line is highly adaptable to meet future needs.

The outcome: Easy adaptation to future needs

With their new iC7-Automation line, Kohberg is equipped with a flexible and sophisticated system that has been running uninterrupted since installation. The ability to simply unlock new features through a license provides Kohberg with a solution that can be adapted to their future needs without the need for specialists and downtime to install new PCB cards.

In addition, they now get a much better overview of energy consumption and have the capability to optimize accordingly. When empty, the iC7-Automation-controlled conveyor belts also automatically go into time-out instead of running constantly, as they did before. With up to two hours a day without running goods, this will inevitably improve energy efficiency.

Even though we don’t have the numbers on our previous power consumption, the new drives will undoubtedly deliver energy savings. With more and more focus on energy efficiency, this is what makes our upgrade future-proof. The new system provides a much better basis for running production as energy efficiently as possible.

Peter Dam Krag, Project Manager, Kohberg
Peter Dam Krag

Products installed

iC7-Automation family of drives


Need more uptime and precision motor control?

iC7-Automation is a highly flexible drive designed for demanding industrial applications.

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