Equipping a mixing plant with flow and level measuring technology in the beverage industry

Application Report | Food & Beverage

  • Measuring volume and mass flow as well as levels in storage tanks
  • Dosing of all ingredients for consistent beverage quality
  • All measuring devices from one source for simplified installation and operation
Background

Beverage producer Topochico Soft Drinks in Monterrey, Mexico produces table water, soft drinks and wine mixers (sangria) for both the domestic market and export.

When equipping a new mixing plant, Topochico wanted to find a measuring device manufacturer able to provide all of the devices required. The number of measuring device manufacturers was to be reduced, obtaining everything for flow, mass, level, temperature and pressure measuring points from one source.

If possible, the measuring devices were also to feature an additional function, enabling them to measure quality parameters as well as perform the actual measuring task. Further, the devices had to be available with the desired pipeline connections.

Topochico also required a contact person for on-site support.

The reduction in measuring device suppliers is advantageous for equipment manufacturers and beverage producers. Purchasing processes are simplified as the purchase volume per supplier increases and it is easier to communicate with just one contact person.

Moreover, installation and follow-up costs are reduced because the mechanical and electrical installation for the various measuring devices is identical or at least similar. Further, the devices can be adjusted and operated via standardised concepts. Maintenance and the procurement of spare parts follow the same process.

Measurement requirements

The measuring devices used should be made of FDA-compliant materials and comply with all hygienic requirements including EHEDG and 3A approvals. The compact measuring devices should be able to be easily cleaned with CIP/SIP and it goes without saying that the devices should be available with all of the common, hygienic connections.

Mass flow measurement of the syrup concentrate

Measuring the various kinds of syrup is the most important flow measurement in a mixing plant. On the one hand, syrup is the most expensive beverage component used in production. On the other hand, the syrup contributes significantly to the quality of the end product. The mass flow measurement may not allow itself to be affected by changes in process conditions. In addition, it should be possible to determine the quality parameters by measuring the syrup concentration in °Brix. Minimal additional pressure loss and the capacity for easy drainage were other very important requirements for the mass flowmeters.

Volume flow measurement of make-up water

The product properties of make-up water may vary depending on the origin and intended use. The most important parameter is the electrical conductivity of at least 20 μS / cm. This value was not to affect the devices available for selection for volume flow measurement. In addition, it had to be possible to assess the quality of the make-up water via a conductivity measurement.

Non-contact measurement of the beverages ready to be filled

Topochico was searching for absolutely reliable and accurate level and volume measurement for the ready-to-fill end products in the storage tanks. They required the continuous measurement of the volume in the tank in real time.

KROHNE Solution

KROHNE supplied Topochico with the following measuring devices for this application:

In addition to measuring the flow of the various kinds of syrup, the OPTIMASS 1300 C also measures the syrup concentration in °Brix for quality assurance. The device is easily drained, which is important when there are frequent product changeovers. The measuring section features two parallel, straight stainless steel pipes with flow splitters. The mixing ratio of water to syrup can be accurately set prior to dosing. Diluted syrup phases which may occur during product changeovers can now be almost completely utilised. This reduces syrup loss. Due to the minimal loss of pressure, a smaller nominal size than that of the process line could be used for these devices.

The device can be cleaned via CIP/SIP and is approved according to EHEDG and 3A.

OPTIFLUX 6300 C electromagnetic measurement of the make-up water

OPTIFLUX 6300 C can be used for water starting at an electrical conductivity of 20 μS / cm. Thanks to the integrated conductivity measurement, Topochico no longer has a need for separate measurement. The measured conductivity is transmitted via a 4…20 mA current output (alternatively via Bus) to the in-house laboratory. In addition to this measurement, the device also features application and device diagnostics to help the user operate the devices optimally and thus achieve the superior plant availability. OPTIFLUX 6300 C is available in sizes DN 2.5…150 with all of the industry-specific hygienic connections. The maximum operating temperature is 140 °C. The devices feature FDA-compliant materials and are certified to EHEDG and 3A.

OPTIWAVE 7300 C Level measurement of finished products (FMCW radar)

The volume contained in the tank is continuously measured and displayed (in real time) by the OPTIWAVE 7300 C. The OPTIWAVE 7300 C radar level meter was especially designed for liquid products and works according to the non-contact FMCW principle (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave). The continuous measurement provides stable measured values and is ideally suited to moving process conditions such as agitated surfaces. The device can measure the distance, level and volume in the tanks.

Customer benefits

The high demands placed by Topochico on the measuring devices used were met and even exceeded in all areas. The deciding factor for Topochico was that KROHNE offered a selection of measuring devices to equip a mixing plant for flow, level, temperature and pressure measurement in a variety of versions and qualities. The devices feature both 3A and EHEDG certification and conform to the FDA, as required. Further, all devices are available with different hygienic connections. The fact that this was all available from one source, added to KROHNE's years of experience in the industry, tipped the scales in KROHNE's favour as a supplier. Previously, special custom-made devices had been necessary for many applications in the food and beverage industry. Now, standard measuring devices cover these needs. When it comes to the optimal design and equipping of new measuring points, both users and suppliers require extensive expertise.

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