Application: Yoghurt

Quadbeam sensors can create efficiencies at multiple points in the yoghurt manufacturing process, achieving significant savings. For example, manufacturers of strained styles need to avoid over-concentration, which gives away valuable solids, and under-concentration, which fails to meet advertised product specifications. Users of our sensors include Danone, Chobani, Safeway, and Fonterra.

Applications for yoghurt manufacturing include: phase/interface control, total solids monitoring, separator control, loss monitoring, solids carry-over and CIP control. Each of these are described in more detail below.

Quadbeam’s multi-beam sensors are better than alternatives like time and flow measurements for phase/interface control because they’re more accurate. Single-beam sensors can be used for some of these applications and are better than time and flow measurements, but can’t match Quadbeam’s reliability and accuracy.

We know of one large yoghurt manufacturer that achieved annual savings of up to $3 million after implementing Quadbeam sensors for process control.

How to use the Quadbeam sensor

1

Quadbeam sensors are placed directly inline using 3-inch tri-clamp fittings.

2

For loss monitoring there is also the option of placing a sensor directly into a flume or sump using the immersion configuration.

3

Connect the sensor to the MXD73 or MXD75 transmitter and simply calibrate against the solids to be measured.

4

The transmitter provides a 4-20mA output for each sensor for connection into the plant control system.

5

Alarms can be set on transmitter relays or within the plant system, for example to detect excessive solids concentrations in a separator feed line.

A sensor to suit you

The range of Quadbeam sensors suits different applications, conditions, concentrations, and products. For yoghurt manufacture:

The S20-3HY sensor is often used for separator control, phase/interface transition, solids monitoring control  and loss monitoring.
The S20HT-3HY is often used for CIP control.
The S40-3HY is often used for separator control, loss monitoring, and CIP control.
The T30-3HY is often used for separator control, and solids carry-over.

(the measuring range will vary according to media and particle characteristics)

Find the right sensor

Why you can rely on Quadbeam sensors

The range of Quadbeam sensors suits different applications, conditions, concentrations, and products. The most commonly used sensors for loss monitoring are the S20 and S40, in either the tri-clamp (hygienic) or immersion styles.

Listening to nature’s voice

Self-compensating

Quadbeam sensors are incredibly accurate because they’re multi-beam, so they can eliminate measurement error that single-beam sensors can’t cope with. Two LEDs fire near-infrared (NIR) light at two detectors to generate multiple light intensity measurements that represent the suspended solids concentration. These measurements are combined into a ratio-metric algorithm that self-compensates for common sources of measurement error like contamination or component ageing.

Listening to nature’s voice

One-piece body

Quadbeam sensors are also tough because they’re made from a one-piece polymer body, with no glass lenses that could leak or break.

Listening to nature’s voice

Simple to use

Quadbeam sensors are simple to calibrate on-site, so they give results that are directly relevant and meaningful to the site. There are easy calibration instructions here, or contact us for assistance.

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Results

Phase/interface control: With precise measurement of suspended solids, you can set an exact cut-point and optimise the transition between phases, giving you highly repeatable process control. This saves money by, for example, speeding up change times and reducing plant downtime, reducing waste treatment costs by reducing the amount of product diverted, and reducing water consumption. For more detail, see the application note for phase or interface transition.

Total solids monitoring: Because there’s a strong relationship between suspended solids and total solids, Quadbeam’s suspended solids sensors allow you to measure actual real-time total solids concentration. This can also alert you to events like water or air slugs, which may have been caught in manifolds between tanks or silo switching, which cause sudden drops in solids concentrations.

Separator control: Monitoring feed lines with a Quadbeam sensor allows you to divert excessive solids concentrations so they don’t clog the separator, and discover process control improvements to prevent future concentration spikes. Monitoring centrate and concentrate lines allows you to improve separator performance. For example, in nozzle-style separators, sensors in the concentrate output provide feedback which can be used to automatically control the input through the feed line to achieve your output target for white mass concentration. For more detail, see the application note for separator control.

Loss monitoring: Using Quadbeam sensors, combined with flow measurements, allows actual solids lost to be calculated. This allows immediate responses to losses to stop them getting worse, and it allows data tracking and analysis to detect trends and possible improvements in process control. Real-time monitoring also allows inflow to be switched to a “calamity tank”, diverting significant spikes in solids concentration so they can be fed back in later at a controlled rate. For more detail, see the application note for loss monitoring.

Solids carry-over: In nozzle-style separators, a Quadbeam sensor in the whey line will alert operators to any suspended solids carrying over from the separator into the whey line. This allows you to identify losses, nozzle-plugging or other process control issues, and implement solutions or improvements to prevent wastage of valuable products.

CIP control: Because of their greater accuracy, Quadbeam sensors offer multiple opportunities for efficiencies and savings in CIP processes. For example, they can help you to reduce the amount of water you need to use, reduce water treatment costs, reduce energy costs, reduce the amount of chemicals you need to use, recover valuable solids from the first part of the rinse, reduce water usage by re-using rinse water, and reduce production downtime and increase uptime. For more detail, including an explanation of these savings, see the application note for CIP control.

For help or to find out more

If you want to discuss your installation or have another question, or just want to find out more, contact us. You can also see our full product range here, and access data sheets, manuals, and technical information.