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FEATURE Sensors & Sensing Systems


Higher overall equipment effectiveness


The failure of individual support frames in conveyors can lead to the stoppage of entire production lines. Harting’s MICA Edge computer offers a solution that can reduce unplanned downtime and unnecessary maintenance effort





   


                    





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      


   


CONTACT: Harting


Tel: 01604 827500 Web: www.harting.com/UK/en-gb


Manufacturer achieves process optimisation and reduced costs Depending on the recipes and dielectric properties of the ingredients in


Achieving process optimisation while controlling costs is a constant challenge for manufacturers, especially in the food manufacturing sector. For example, frequently varying recipes, a huge diversity of ingredients, different textures and specific filling levels places high demands on process systems, in some cases pushing conventional instruments and components to their limits. A good example of this is at Homann, part of the Müller Group, manufacturers’ of a wide range of products including mayonnaise and salad dressings. Sensing and instrumentation specialist, Baumer, has helped Homann in achieving


its goal of maximising process optimisation in its production processes, thanks to the features and benefits of its CleverLevel, CombiPress and CombiLyz sensors. Maintaining precise and reproducible switching of operations is vital to Homann, even in apparently simple tasks such as level detection. In storage tanks, conventional capacitive level switches, commonly known as ‘micro wave switches’, provide only limited reliability. Whilst they only require medium/specific configuration, outside these thresholds the low dielectric constant of some media like edible oil can cause measuring errors if a film of lye has remained on the sensing tip after cleaning. For Homann, this was one of the considerations for choosing Baumer’s CleverLevel, the configurable universal level controller. Operating on frequency sweep technology, CleverLevel sensors are designed as a single sensor solution, reliably detecting the level of any media including liquids, solids and powders.


mixing tanks, Homann previously used product combinations of capacitive limit switches and vibrating forks. However, depending on the media, response times ranged from very slow, to highly sensitive, resulting in impaired process efficiency. Homann decided to replace its conventional solution with Baumer’s


CleverLevel sensors, which provide extremely fast response times of 0.1 seconds. This has helped Homann to determine the optimum configuration which is conveniently changed and visualised via the FDT/DTM-based FlexProgram software. Once the mayonnaise, salad cream or dressing is fully emulsified and


dispersed, it is pumped into buffer tanks until it is added to the salad in a later production step. Here, medium specific viscosity and adhesion play an important role. Conventional vibrating forks and capacitive limit switches were prone to measuring errors caused by adhering media, whereas CleverLevel is maintenance-free and not affected by media adhesion. Unpredictable downtime for system ventilation and pump changing are now things of the past. Homann’s Bottrop location uses a large outdoor vinegar tank and for consistent level monitoring they were looking for a precise, reliable, yet easy and convenient outdoor capable solution. Homann decided on Baumer’s CombiPress pressure transmitter. It provides unambiguous measured results, independent of media and ambient temperature. Easy configuration via the large touchscreen eliminates the need for an additional operating unit, while the robust housing with high IP67 rating reliably endures harsh outdoor conditions. The measuring connection of the inductive sensing element provides a


6.6mm wide channel which will tolerate fabric or solid-containing media, and this has helped Homann to optimise detergent dosing and reduce raw material costs.


Baumer www.baumer.com


30 April 2019 | Automation


automationmagazine.co.uk


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