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LDL sensors: Use cases

CIP process in dairy

A major global dairy company (with plants around the world) was experiencing challenges with its liquid analytical systems, particularly related to CIP.

  • 50% failure rate on sensors each year -- approximately €9000 per sensor
  • Cost of plant downtime -- up to $90.000 per hour

The company implemented ifm’s LDL200. Instead of two sensors (one for low-conductivity rinse water and one for high-conductivity cleaning agents), the LDL200 can measure the entire range of fluids.

  • Lower initial cost
  • Less installation space required
  • Reduced maintenance and training requirements
  • No loss of accuracy due to resolution constraints

Verification of proper CIP and rinsing was absolutely required to ensure high quality of products leaving the plants.

Salinity of cooling water

A large processing facility was looking for a solution to automate their cooling water tanks, which consist of a saturated salt solution. The salt solution was used to lower the temperature of their cooling water beyond what is possible with standard water, and since the cooling water is in direct contact with the food product, they needed something safe.

Their previous solution was to periodically take manual salometer readings of each cooling water tank and adjust the salt concentration as required. This was a very labour intensive process as they have multiple tanks spread out across the facility that trend differently based on the packaged meat products they are cooling. The adjustment of the salt concentration was also manual and dependent on employees carefully following labour-intensive processes.

The most critical impact of an incorrect measurement or low concentration is that the cooling water tanks and system could freeze solid. The result of this was a downed line and hours of lost production until the tank were thawed. The lesser but still important effect was product quality. The brine solution is also used to impart flavor into certain products and fluctuating concentration levels results in variable taste profiles. Using too much salt is a waste of resources and eventually can buildup causing blockages within the system.