A major global dairy company (with plants around the world) was experiencing challenges with its liquid analytical systems, particularly related to CIP.
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.
Verification of proper CIP and rinsing was absolutely required to ensure high quality of products leaving the plants.
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 is 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 sanitary.
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 labor 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 labor-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.
With a more affordable method of measuring conductivity, end users and integrators are able to implement monitoring at additional critical points in a CIP system. Rinse water, milk and cleaning solutions have very different conductivity, so determining the difference between them is simple and reliable.
One integrator who works with many dairies was able to improve overall efficiency of their CIP skids by taking advantage of this cost savings. With more points in the system, the amount of chemicals used, the time required for a cleaning cycle, and the amount of rinse water is optimized.
Additionally, the integrator implemented ifm's pressure, temperature and flow sensors on their skids. Utilizing the IoT port of ifm's IO-Link masters, they were able to pull all process data into their servers and remotely monitor the process.