Monday, September 17, 2018 - 13:15

What is Variable Frequency Drive?

Variable Frequency Drive Sets Hobart Mixers Apart from the Competition

If you’re looking for the best kitchen mixer, you’ll need one that meets two basic qualifications: Can it handle what you’re mixing? And, will it break down? What’s inside that mixer is critical to delivering the results and reliability you need. That’s where variable frequency drive (VFD) comes in.

Understanding the technology

A mixer with variable frequency drive uses a variable speed motor and a single gear train. A VFD design simplifies the transmission of the mixer, eliminating the need for separate sets of gears for each motor speed. The drive precisely changes the frequency and voltage of the electrical current reaching the motor. This feature not only determines the mixer’s speed, but it also protects the motor and gears if the operator exceeds the rated capacity of the mixer. Constant monitoring of speed by the drive controller ensures steady speeds and high torque for consistent mixing.

This technology differs from those found on other mixers in the marketplace:

  • A gear drive offers constant motor speed, and the mixer changes speed using gearing in the transmission. Mixers with multiple speeds have a transmission with gears for each speed, creating a complex, multi-path gear train with more potential points of failure.
  • A belt and variable pulley drive also uses a constant speed motor. A belt and a variable pulley expand and contract to change mixer speed. The belt stretches over time, resulting in slipping, inconsistent speeds and, ultimately, replacement.

What are the benefits of variable frequency drive technology?
Variable frequency drive technology offers several key benefits for select planetary mixers:

  • Ease of use
  • Improved productivity and quality
  • Lower total cost of ownership

Mixers with these technologies do require a greater initial investment; however, they offer greater reliability in the long term. They also require less maintenance or repairs than mixers with gear drives or belt and variable pulley drives, with less concern about sacrificing power, efficiency or speed.

Learn about Hobart Legacy® Mixers with variable frequency drive by visiting

This article is the first in a three-part series focused on variable frequency drive technology and its benefits. Read article two, Gain Productivity and Quality With Variable Frequency Drive, and article three, Reduce Waste and Repair Costs With Variable Frequency Drive.