Hycontrol’s foam detection systems are unique for their patented “intelligent multi-action" (IMA) technology.
Adapted from a process pioneered by Shell Oil’s research and development unit, this technology allows for the reliable and accurate monitoring and control of even very light foam without losses of efficiency due to contamination of sensor probes or product buildup. This has made Hycontrol the global market leader in foam detection and control solutions.
Why is foam control such a critical concern in industrial applications?
Control of foam in industrial processes presents many challenges in almost every market sector. To complicate matters, foam can be an integral part of a process, or an unwanted side effect.
In general, foam is an unstable, two-phase medium of gas and liquid, composed of gas pockets trapped in a network of thin liquid films. There are a wide range of chemicals available that can be used to prevent foam forming, to disperse it once formed, or both. After addition to a process, these chemicals operate by being absorbed into bubble surfaces where they are effective in causing surface tension to change, collapsing the bubble. An effective defoamer can disperse foam in a few seconds.
In a great many cases, the addition of anti-foam chemicals to control foam is a manual procedure, with the decision to add such chemicals based upon the visual observation and experience level of an individual observer. While this is a reasonable method, different individuals can have different opinions as to the severity of the foam layer, and therefore the right amount of chemical to add. This leads to inconsistency in chemical addition and can impact operating cost and process performance and yield.
It is clear that in most instances, it is highly desirable to have effective monitoring, measurement and control of foam in a process environment.
What makes Hycontrol SureSense+ different from other foam detection solutions?
The SureSense+ is the ultimate solution for accurately controlling process-generated foam. With Hycontrol’s unique IMA sensing technology, this SureSense+ has excellent resistance to any fouling or build up on the measuring probe, and will continue to operate reliably with even the largest of deposits on the probe sensing elements.
A SureSense+ probe can have one, two or three individual sensing points, and the control unit can work with up to three sensing points in total, either on the same probe or from probes in up to three separate vessels. SureSense+ probes can be mounted both horizontally or vertically in a tank.
Each SureSense+ unit has five relay outputs configurable for foam detection, dosing control, high level indication and liquid level detection. A 4-20mA output is included to indicate foam quantity. With a variety of control methods built into the advanced foam control electronics, the SureSense+ is used extensively in plant-protection applications and for reducing the amount of chemical antifoam agents consumed.
What are the industrial applications for foam control systems?
All the applications listed below have the same underlying problem: the presence of foam, and the need control it. Hycontrol systems can detect the presence of foam in these and many other applications. Where necessary, the level of the foam above the liquid can also be measured. Hycontrol foam controllers can be programmed to provide digital outputs to start and stop antifoam agent dosing pumps or other control effectors such as vacuum valves, as well as provide real-time liquid level and foam height above liquid signals to supervisory control systems and process operators.
Hycontrol foam systems combat the one Achille’s heel of foam detection systems: the effect of process material coating on sensors. Using patented IMA sensing technology, Hycontrol sensors are able to discriminate between residual deposits of process material built up on the sensor itself and the actual foam being created in the process. Effectively, the foam sensor ignores fouling while continuing to reliably monitor the process for foam. No matter how heavily the sensor is coated, or how dense and sticky that coating layer is, Hycontrol foam detection and measurement systems will keep measuring foam throughout the process cycle.
Hycontrol’s ‘intelligent multi-action’ technology offers a uniquely reliable and consistent solution to measuring and controlling foam levels
All Hycontrol foam detection systems use patented ‘intelligent multi-action’ (IMA) sensor technology to reliably and consistently measure and control foam level in a wide variety of processes. Product fouling and deposits on a measuring probe are often a fact of life with many foaming applications, and can have a serious impact on foam measurement attempts.
High sensitivity is required to detect light foam products, but many level instruments used for foam detection are unable to reliably differentiate between product coating and a foam layer rising in a tank. Such instruments can create a whole series of false positives, resulting in the overuse of costly antifoam chemicals. Alternatively, they may be unable to see the foam on the sensor and cause many problems in plant overheads as foam is carried over into other parts of the plant.
This is where Hycontrol’s IMA technology leaps ahead of all other detecting techniques, as it operates efficiently and repeatably even when the probe becomes heavily fouled with residual product.
The Hycontrol SureSense+ product line allows for unparalleled accuracy in detecting aqueous foam.
SureSense+ systems are designed to be resistant fouling and buildup, and operate reliably with even the largest product deposits on sensing elements. SureSense+ units can work with up to three sensing points in total, either within a single vessel or from probes in up to three separate vessels, and are used extensively for controlling and ultimately reducing the consumption of chemical antifoam agents across a wide variety of processes and industries.
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