Instrumentation is the term used to describe all the different devices (or instruments) that are indicating, measuring and recording physical quantities within your plant to ensure that your production processes are operating effectively.
Some types of measures commonly monitored include:
Flow meters are used to measure the flow in a process pipe. This can be product, water or chemicals used to sanitize the plant. They are used to record trends in product movement; how much water a plant uses or chemical usage for Clean in Place (CIP).
EAS has recently installed flow meters for clients to measure site water usage to identify opportunities for water saving initiatives. We have installed vortex flow meters on Demin and condensate water lines where there is low conductivity.
Temperature is one of the most important measures in production processes. Temperature monitoring can be used for anything from room temperature for controlling air supply to monitoring fluids in process pipes and many more. There is a diverse range of temperature measurement devices depending on the process or part of the plant being monitored.
Some of the ways we have assisted clients with temperature gauges include:
- monitoring chiller rooms to control the temperature in the room and of the product
- measuring flue temperatures on gas boilers and for over temperature protection
- controlling the temperature of hot glue lines on packaging machines
- monitoring chilled water supply and return temperatures and alsoassisting in calculating the load on chillers
- in motor control centres to control ventilation and cooling into a room.
pH measures how acidic or basic a solution is. In food manufacturing changes in pH levels can affect the taste, freshness and shelf life of products. pH is one of the most common chemical measures as it is used in waterworks, sewage treatment plants and the production of food/beverages and health products.
EAS has recently installed pH sensors to provide pH protection on irrigation lines to prevent pasture loss and in stormwater lines to identify any spills before they get into our waterways.
Measuring liquid, gas and steam pressure is a key requirement in many manufacturing processes to ensure safety, efficiency and quality control. Pressure measures can also be used to infer flow rates, fluid levels and product density.
EAS has recently converted tanks from using radar to pressure monitoring as foaming was causing problems with achieving accurate readings. On the farm we’ve installed pressure transmitters to prevent overpressure on irrigation lines and in stormwater sumps we’ve installed pressure sensors down in the sump; which have really proved themselves reliable where other contact types have failed.
Conductivity measures are a useful indicator of the number of dissolved ions in a water sample and can serve as a measure of water quality.
Conductivity can be crucial for process control, product monitoring, water monitoring or leakage detection.
For example, in the dairy industry conductivity is used to measure how effectively the machinery has been cleaned and flushed. A low conductivity measure would indicate that all the cleaning products had been flushed and the equipment is ready to use again.
EAS has also installed conductivity sensors on condensate recovery systems to assist clients with minimising energy wastage and conserving water by returning suitable hot water back to the boilers to be reused.
Conductivity measurement is also useful in stormwater monitoring systems, CIP return lines and reverse osmosis plants to reduce losses.
In food processing chlorine is often used as a sanitizer. Chlorine will destroy bacteria, yeasts, moulds, spores, and viruses, significantly reducing their levels. As water is often recirculated it is important to monitor chlorine levels to ensure that there is still enough chlorine present for the chlorinated water to do its job.
EAS has used chlorine instrumentation to help determine the right dosing rate for ensuring bore and rainwater supplies are safe to drink. We’ve also installed chlorine monitoring systems to ensure that waste water has enough chlorine in kill off any bugs and to meet site compliance requirements.
Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye. If there is a lot of these small solid particles in a liquid, they cause it to appear turbid.
Turbidity in drinking water can make it appear unappealing and may also represent a health concern.
Measuring turbidity is essential for quality assurance in a variety of applications such as drinking water production, effluent monitoring and sludge concentration measurement in wastewater treatment plans, monitoring of seawater inlets in desalination projects or product loss in dairy factories.
EAS has installed turbidity measuring devices for clients to detect any unwanted spills and to ensure that site drinking water meets the NZ drinking water standards.
Calibration is about ensuring your instruments (like those outlined above) are working as they should. For example, if you were checking your weight, you would ensure your bathroom scales were set to zero before you began – no one needs an extra couple of kgs added to their total. By ensuring the scale is set to zero before you begin you can be confident the results produced are accurate.
By regularly calibrating the instruments in your plant you are ensuring accurate results from the measures they are monitoring. Calibration however is a bit more technical than turning a dial on your bathroom scales to reset it to zero. Calibration involves comparing the measure produced by the device being tested and the standard. Calibration allows you to be confident that you are accurately measuring your inputs and outputs to ensure your facility is operating at peak performance.
The EAS team are qualified and experienced in calibrating all your plant instrumentation. In face in November last year, our team completed further training with Endress & Hauser on installing and calibrating a wide range of instrumentation devices.
If you would like advice or assistance with ensuring you have the equipment in place to ensure the productivity for your plant or want to ensure that it is operating at peak performance then give the team at EAS a call today on 07 834 0505.