Recently on its line of Matchbox, Shuttle, MiSA and conveyor ovens, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin’s Ovention, a company owned and operated by foodservice equipment powerhouse Hatco Corporation, was presented with an improved drive technology by its motion control component supplier, Siemens, in tandem with the local distributor, Standard Electric Supply. The goal, according to Ovention Project Design Engineer Tom Dulak, was “to allow us the opportunity to upgrade our drives with a newer technology, one that featured Wi-Fi connectivity for remote testing purposes, a built-in display for field parameter verification as well as a much easier programming operation.” 

Ovention ovens are designed to prepare a variety of dishes with recipes based on time, temperature and independent blower control, which offer the end-user maximum cooking control that works great for high volumes. The cooking surface moves into the cavity and is subjected to one of up to 1,000 unique cook settings that can be loaded through a USB port, then shuttled out of the oven. This is all done in a ventless environment which provides a 30% higher yield and consumes a third less energy, according to the manufacturer.

This advanced cooking technology requires an airflow control system of considerable power, flexibility, speed and self-monitoring. That is what Siemens says it brought to Ovention in its SINAMICS V20 drives. 

In tandem with this improved drive technology from a performance standpoint, the assembly and commissioning time for each oven was reduced by up to five minutes, according to Dulak. “Due to the process speed of the V20’s parameter loader and smart access module, compared to our previous drive product, we can perform commissioning, operational simulation and diagnostics remotely, plus the improved safety factor is also an advantage.” Dulak further notes that the initial cost of the new drive was lower, while offering Ovention several new, easily implementable features. 

“In addition to the reduced assembly time with the quick-mounting hardware, we’re seeing much faster programming time and the ability to quickly troubleshoot on newer oven design concepts in ways we couldn’t in the past.” From a service perspective, Dulak also points out that the digital display on the SINAMICS V20 is much easier for a technician to diagnose and troubleshoot a drive error than the previous unit’s blinking lights. For getting his team up to speed on the new drives, Dulak credits his Siemens contacts Fabrizio Galbiati, plus the team from the local distributor, Standard Electric Supply, comprising Doug Heitpas, Trent Reimer and Mike Ubl. 

Commenting on the safety aspect of the new drive, Tom Dulak notes the two parameter sets on the previous drive lines were transferred into a single parameter set on the V20 without the need of an external power supply connection during programming. The new additional customized parameters could be easily integrated, including defining a limiting blower percentage to auto-enable/disable operation on the oven. Using the Smart Access Module (SAM), wireless commissioning, operation and diagnostic work in the factory or field via a mobile device or laptop with web-server module can be performed. This feature substantially reduces the time needed to commission the specific models being built in the factory. 

During installation, the Ovention production personnel are provided the drives, which then get mounted into the oven and tested. The builder has tracked a five-minute reduction in the commissioning and assembly time for each oven, which translates into ongoing and substantial savings for the company. Further, the WiFi connectivity for remote testing purposes and built-in digital display for field parameter verification were cited as significant areas of savings and ease of service on the Ovention ovens, both in the factory and field. 

The new SINAMICS V20 drives are currently used on the Ovention MiSA-a12, Matchbox 1718/1313, M360 and other shuttle and conveyor ovens. They have been in use on all the models for more than one year. Dulak says, “We have been using V20 drives on both new and legacy units built at Ovention without any issues, so we’re extremely pleased.” 

SINAMICS V20 drives are found on a variety of commercial kitchen appliances, including convection and impingement ovens, automated cookers, mixers, washers and exhaust systems.