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Flow, level & control


Balancing industrial water hardness


The Newsprinters plant requires a specific hardness of water to produce high quality copies. Bürkert suggested installing a conductivity sensor that is linked to a flow control valve on the raw water line to achieve the water blending solution. This resulted in a cost-effective and accurate system.


A


chieving the right water hardness in industrial applications is crucial to maintaining equipment efficiency. In


the case of the Newsprinters plant in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, the lithographic printing presses require a specific hardness of water to produce high quality copies. As part of a cost optimisation project, the company turned to Bürkert for a water blending solution that would combine reverse osmosis (RO) water with the mains supply. Due to the natural water hardness in


Hertfordshire, Newsprinters had installed an RO system to purify the local water supply before using it in the dampening process on the printing presses. This delivered a purified and very soft water resource. However, to meet the requirements of the printing press manufacturer, a chemical had to be added to bring the water hardness up to a specified level, nine or 10 on the German water hardness scale. Paul Wesley, group technical manager, at Newsprinters, explains: “We had identified the process of re-hardening the water as having the potential for improvement, provided we could find a way to blend the two water sources accurately. Our facilities management (FM) team suggested Bürker t as a possible partner in this project; as a well-respected


28 October 2020 Instrumentation Monthly


supplier of high-quality, reliable process control equipment, it was an easy decision.” There are essentially two ways in which to


achieve a water blending solution – using flow meters and a flow control device to deliver a set mix ratio or by installing a conductivity sensor that is linked to a flow control valve


on the raw water line. Bürker t’s engineers suggested the latter option as the most cost- effective and accurate system. The FM personnel installed the additional


pipework, flow control valve and the conductivity sensor, with assistance from Bürkert in commissioning the new system.


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