Monitoring system for pure water important in manufacturing process

Throughout food and beverage manufacturing, pure water is required for many processes and end products. Both OEMs of production skids, as well as end users, appreciate the importance of maintaining the water quality standards in the production loop.

Using a proven and flexible monitoring system to collect sensor data, calculate differentials and communicate with a PLC can reduce the time for the initial build, as well as installation costs and increase the speed of operation. Purified water is used in numerous processes in food and beverage manufacturing for products such as soft drinks and beer, to compensate for variations in water quality to ensure the same consistent taste. It is created using methods such as nano-filtration (NF) or reverse osmosis (RO) to meet the required specifications.

“There was an international brewery that was recreating a particular brand of beer locally in Australia and their requirements were reliant on the purity levels of the water to ensure the same taste and quality, regardless of where it was produced,” said John Kennedy, Bürkert’s field segment manager for Water. “Bürkert provided a holistic solution that helped achieved their desired results by providing them with the right equipment to monitor their water purity across their production facility.”

The process: how water purity is achieved

Process water is held in a storage tank that feeds the ring line where tapping points – either manual or automated – deliver the water to the production process. Unused water continues back to the storage tank. It is essential that all the water quality specifications are upheld throughout this process.

Careful monitoring of water quality is crucial to ensuring process reliability, allowing any variations to be quickly identified and resolved. The parameters being monitored can include pH, conductivity, oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and chlorine content, as well as temperature and flow rate.

Any divergence from the pre-set limit values can result in production to be halted while cleaning and disinfection procedures are carried out. This downtime can have an impact, especially on high-value production lines. Furthermore, if there is any doubt over the exact timing of the drop in water quality, product batches may have to be rejected and put to waste, adding to the losses from ineffective water quality monitoring.

Manual process difficulties vs controlled process automation
Typically, the manual process of monitoring and documentation is less efficient. Individual sensors with their own displays are installed at various stations in the process. Readings must be taken by monitoring staff from each sensor and the values are then entered into a control system. The additional displays make the sensors more costly, both for initial purchase and future replacements. Not to mention the human error factor that could be a risk to results in data accuracy.

Food and beverage manufacturing facilities will often operate multiple production loops, all of which use purified water. Continuous water quality monitoring offers advantages from the production floor through to the boardroom:

  • 24/7 system automation: continuously monitoring each step of the process providing live feedback and alerts.
  • Maintenance scheduling: using trend analysis of the system, you can schedule these activities with a touch of a button.
  • Accuracy: any variation to the preset parameters, the shut-off alerts are raised and actioned by the system, providing faster reaction times, less waste of spoiled product and overall peace of mind for consistency in product output.
  • Simple integration: digital connectivity and flexible network capabilities. With the right equipment, new technologies offer faster and more cost-effective upgrades or new installs.

The right solution for food and beverage manufacturing needs
As no two brands are the same, there isn’t one solution to fit all customers’ needs. Bürkert provide customers the opportunity to share their wish list – create a blueprint of requirements that are aimed at achieving their KPIs and strategic goals. Once the consultation period is complete, Bürkert’s offering will fill in the gaps to provide the right equipment to achieve these results.

How Bürkert assists food and beverage manufacturers?
“What’s different with Bürkert is we offer the complete control system, from our fit-for-purpose valves through to automation equipment, having them all talk to one connected system. We offer you a window to your process, but we also close the loop by offering the complete control package,” said Kennedy.

To deliver a solution that can improve manufacturing reliability and meet the future needs of the facility, food and beverage manufacturers have a number of solutions on offer
from Bürkert.

Process monitoring
The collection of all relevant process parameters and the intelligent networking of field devices make processes not only more transparent, but are also necessary for creating additional potential for optimisation. Processes can therefore be adapted and improved in real time during the production flow. Bürkert’s range of sensors, from analytical to fieldbus devices, offer customers assistance with measuring and monitoring with reliable field devices.

Transmitters and controllers
The multiCELL Type 8619 collects and logs data from up to 12 sensors. For example, it is possible to check the water temperature, the pH value, the conductivity, the ORP value, the chlorine content, or any analogue parameter at a glance. If required, the multi-channel transmitter can also perform a range of dosing and control functions all with a simple, intuitive user interface with large adjustable backlit graphics display. This guarantees the necessary process reliability of a company’s water treatment plant and the flawless quality of its products.

Analytical sensors and cubes
Then there is the miniaturisation and modularisation with Bürkert Sensor Cubes Types MSXX. Each cube is equipped with micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology that are miniaturised components that combine logic elements or micromechanical structures in a single microchip. Sensor chips are integrated into the analysis cubes. There are seven measuring parameters as separate analysis cubes: pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP), conductivity, free chlorine, chlorine dioxide, turbidity and iron. These cubes can be positioned inside their own unit, Type 8905 or in a customised formation or cabinet in Type 8906. This unit is equipped to be standalone, maintenance-free and requires less calibration due to reduced drift. It is also fully automatic with its own cleaning process, and is compact and efficient for the right requirement.

Bürkert are solution providers
For the personnel working in the process rooms, both operational and maintenance, it is important to have a clear indication of the actual water quality parameters. Bürkert’s equipment offers intuitive functions, clear visual displays, fully automated monitoring with latest technology, and reliability at the forefront. Flexibility and customisable solutions provide live feedback and data so that the most pertinent information is
always available.

“To be able to offer a whole solution, you need to be confident in the equipment. Our multiCELL controller became the missing piece of the puzzle in providing the whole package. There are three key points of a control system: measuring with our sensor range; control with multiCELL and Type 8905; and the final element, industry recognised quality valves regulating the process,” said Kennedy.



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