Inline flow and concentration measurement for soft drink production

Bürkert offers an extensive portfolio of incline flow and concentration measurement solutions that cater the beverage manufacturing.

Bürkert offers an extensive portfolio of incline flow and concentration measurement solutions that cater the beverage manufacturing.

Beverage mixing systems, in soft drink production for example, need to be able to guarantee a perfect balance between output, safety and taste. Impurities also need to be ruled out completely.

To maintain and control a consistent mixture, beverage plants need components and systems that can continuously and accurately monitor liquids under hygienic conditions. This is the only way to ensure consistently high product quality, save overall costs and utilise the potential for automating manual processes.

It is important to accurately measure volume flow at different points when making soft drinks, as deviations in the recipe can lead to changes in taste. The desired sugar concentration – measured in degrees Brix – must always be maintained and documented.

Hygiene also plays a decisive role in beverage production. When a new beverage recipe must be processed, the pipelines undergo a clean-in-place (CIP) process in which they are rinsed with cleaning chemicals. It is important that no residue remains in the pipes, either from the previously used liquids or from the cleaning agents. 

Issues of water wastage, complexity and accuracy

In conventional beverage production systems, it usually takes multiple components to measure flow and concentration. The individual components need to be correctly coordinated and parameterised
during start-up.

The change in media during production phases, switching between beverage production and CIP processes must reliably monitored and washed through, usually time-based washes, leading to water wastage and increased operational costs. 

Electromagnetic flow meters are commonly used in these applications but are not suitable in situations where demineralised water with low conductivity is used. Installing in-line sensors for concentration measurement is also not ideal, because they are expensive and difficult to integrate into production plants due to their size.

What is needed is a flowmeter that can work with liquids that have low or zero conductivity, has no intrusive elements in contact with the liquid, and is completely food safe.

The Bürkert solution

The Type 8098 flowmeter, a distinguished component of Bürkert’s comprehensive product lineup, harnesses the power of Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology. It has been meticulously crafted to cater to applications that demand the utmost in hygiene. This level of hygiene is attained through the judicious use of stainless-steel materials, a measuring tube devoid of any wetted components other than the core tube itself, and a sleek, hygienically-designed outer casing. The FLOWave model doesn’t stop there; it incorporates a myriad of integrated features that provide remarkable flexibility, effortless cleaning, compact dimensions, featherlight weight, and straightforward installation
and handling.

The FLOWave flowmeter excels in delivering precise measurements in scenarios involving uniform liquids, entirely devoid of air or solid particulates. For highly viscous liquids, it boasts an integrated viscosity compensation feature that can be effortlessly activated. When it comes to detecting shifts in media, such as the transition between beverage production and Clean-in-Place (CIP) processes, FLOWave seamlessly accomplishes this task using either the (ATF) or density factor. This capability has the potential to not only reduce water consumption but also optimise costs by promptly signalling any such transitions. A task traditionally accomplished through timed flushes or a separate conductivity sensor. Now, all of this functionality is seamlessly integrated into a single flowmeter unit, combining flow measurement with the added benefit of a ( ATF ) phase change measurement sometimes used as a conductivity sensor checkpoint.

In addition to volume flow, an optional density measurement feature is available, allowing the mass flow to be calculated based on volume flow and density measurements. Special functions derived from further process values (such as differentiation factor and acoustic transmission factor) offer additional information about the particular liquid in use.

Continuous quality assurance directly in the processes

This cutting-edge flow meter seamlessly transmits accurate measured values directly to your PLC via an ethernet connection, eliminating the need for labour-intensive manual sampling, even after each batch, thus ensuring unparalleled measurement precision and reproducibility.

With its compact dimensions and lightweight design, the FLOWave Type 8098 integrates effortlessly into your plant’s layout and installation process. Moreover, it excels in reliably determining interfaces between products and water or cleaning agents during production and Clean-in-Place (CIP) transitions.

While conventional instruments struggle to distinguish between mediums like an alcohol-sugar mixture and water due to similar density values, the FLOWave Type 8098 takes accuracy to the next level. It continuously calculates the temperature-compensated differentiation factor alongside flow rate, allowing it to reliably detect medium changes, even in challenging scenarios.

In industries where precision and cleanliness are paramount, the Type 8098 flowmeter stands as a game-changing solution. Ideal for soft drink production and beyond, it not only guarantees ultra-hygienic performance but also streamlines instrument requirements and facilitates seamless connectivity through digital interfaces.

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