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PI pressure sensor for hygienic applications

Tried and tested product improved: PI pressure sensor now with optimised resolution

For years the ifm pressure sensors of the PI series have proven their worth in the food and beverage industry. But even what is successful can be improved. Pressure changes can now be visualised via IO-Link in high resolution with approximately 20,000 steps. This is an enormous benefit, especially for hydrostatic level measurement with head pressure: in such applications, the sensor must be designed for a larger measuring range in order to withstand the additional head pressure. With conventional sensors, a larger measuring range reduces the resolution of the pressure detection this problem no longer exists with the PI.

Another advantage: the sensor also detects the medium temperature and transmits it via IO-Link. This means that it is no longer necessary to set up an additional temperature measuring point.

Product advantages

What are the advantages of the new PI pressure sensor?

Ceramic measuring cell
The sensor has a robust, flush ceramic measuring cell. This offers high resistance and long-term stability, even with frequent pressure peaks or overload. In addition, the ceramic is resistant to abrasive media.
Optimised ventilation
The ventilation has been optimised compared to the previous sensors of the PI series. Moisture thus runs reliably off the Gore-Tex membrane if the sensor is mounted with the display facing upwards or downwards.
Flush process connection
The measuring cell, which is flush with the process, gives deposits no chance. Only materials that meet hygienic requirements come into contact with the medium.
High temperature resistance and measurement
Being permanently resistant to medium temperatures of up to 150°C, the sensor can also measure these and output them cyclically via IO-Link.
One-piece, welded stainless steel housing with IP69K
Thanks to the completely welded stainless steel housing and protection rating IP69K, the sensor not only permanently withstands harsh environments, but also meets all the requirements of the food industry.

Typical applications

The pressure sensors of the new PI1 series are ideally suited for pressure measurement in tanks and pipes in food production for example in dairies, breweries and many other applications where liquids are used.

Precise level monitoring in tanks

Harsh environments: spray ball cleaning

Use cases

Level monitoring of foaming media

Determining the level in tanks with foaming media is a very challenging application. Most top-down measurements rely on a stable media surface to achieve reliable measurements. In addition, foam can affect the signal strength or cause inaccurate measurements.
The detection of hydrostatic pressure is ideal in such applications as the foam on the medium has little to no influence on the corresponding level measurement. This avoids incorrect measurements and signal losses and increases the performance and availability of the machine.

Thanks to the PI1, we can precisely and accurately monitor the level in our tanks with foaming media, which allows us to keep an eye on the process at all times and ensure consistent process quality.

Customer from the dairy industry

Pressure monitoring in pipes with pressure peaks

A customer of ifm in the food industry uses the PI1 to monitor the pressure in pipes. Here, the sensor is ideally suited with its high resolution and the clear presentation of the process value via the display.
Another advantage is the ceramic measuring cell used, which easily withstands pressure peaks. Potential product contamination that can occur due to leakage of the diaphragm liquid is also eliminated by the ceramic measuring cell.

Pressure peaks occur in our pipes due to the fast-switching valves. The PIs ceramic measuring cell is not distracted by these, reducing unplanned downtime and keeping our systems available.

Customer from the beverage production

Pressure monitoring in fermentation tanks

Processes in fermentation tanks tend to leave residues. To remove these residues, spray balls are often used in addition to the conventional CIP process to clean the inside of the tank with high pressure.

The PI1 series pressure sensor can withstand the direct high-pressure jet of water nozzles and spray balls thanks to its ceramic capacitive measuring cell. It is much harder and more stable than conventional metal diaphragms, which can easily be deformed and permanently damaged in these applications.

Thanks to the PI1 series sensor, equipment failures in the fermentation tank can be reduced and unplanned downtimes prevented. The robust ceramic measuring cell is largely responsible for this.

Producer of alcoholic beverages

System connection

Added value thanks to IO-Link

32-bit IO-Link resolution
The new PI with 32-bit resolution and approx. 20,000 steps offers a detailed display even across wide measuring ranges.
Loss-free data transmission
IO-Link enables loss-free data transmission, as conversion losses are excluded via digital communication and external influences, such as magnetic fields, have no effect on data transmission. Diagnostic data is also provided via IO-Link.
Transparent processes
The current pressure is output precisely with the highest possible resolution via IO-Link. This makes it easy to keep an eye on your process at all times. In addition, the medium temperature is output cyclically via IO-Link.
Easy set-up
The pressure sensor can be configured quickly and easily via IO-Link.
This is supported by a simulation function, among other things.

Improved technology

Higher resolution, revised design

The new pressure sensors, which are available with different measuring ranges from vacuum to 100 bar, communicate via IO-Link 1.1 and offer a resolution of about 20,000 steps. This is especially important for applications where differential pressures are measured and thus only a small part of the measuring range can be used. Temperature compensation has also been improved in the new series.

Even seemingly small improvements to the design of a sensor can have a big impact in the application. For example, the vent hole on the new pressure sensor has been offset by 90° and is now located on the side when mounted conventionally. This prevents condensate, for example, from collecting on the membrane of the vent hole and causing soiling or impairing the function. The PI has also been optimised in terms of user-friendliness: the new operating concept with three pushbuttons makes parameter setting much more convenient and thus also faster.