Detect, analyze and process

Aqueous and non-aqueous

Foam Detection & Control Systems

IMA Foam Technology Overview

All Hycontrol foam detection systems use patented IMA – ‘Intelligent Multi-Action’ – 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 these coatings so often seen can have a serious impact on foam measurement attempts. High sensitivity is required to detect light foam products but many foam detection systems are unable to reliably differentiate between product coating and a foam layer rising in a tank. Such systems can create a whole series of false positives, resulting in the overuse of costly antifoam chemicals or are 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 IMA (Intelligent Multi Action) sensing leaps ahead of all other ‘foam’ detecting technologies, as it operates efficiently and repeatably even when the probe becomes heavily fouled with residual product.

Hycontrol foam control systems utilize IMA sensing technology incorporating a special guard electrode as shown in blue on the diagram of a standard foam probe. This guard electrode nullifies the desensitizing effect the accumulated fouling on the probe has on the foam detection circuitry. With the effects of fouling removed, the main foam sensor (in red) is able to ignore this product build up, no matter how thick it is, and to only monitor the foam within the process. Regardless of how dense or sticky the fouling on the sensor becomes, the Hycontrol foam sensor continues to function, giving accurate, repeatable, and most importantly, reliable foam control.

IMA Foam Sensor
Even sensors as “crusty” as this still work with IMA technology!
IMA Foam Technology

IMA Technology in Action

In food processing, raw materials are processed and prepared for consumers around the world. These pictures show how foam can be a real problem in a pea processing plant. The peas are washed and them cooked prior to flash freezing or canning. As peas are cooked, a great deal of foam can be generated and this gets into the cooker vent pipes and overheads, impeding process efficiency and making a sticky mess everywhere!

Anti-foam additives are often used to control “foam-outs”, but without reliable foam measurement, are often ineffective due to overdosing and/or foam detection error once the foam sensor has been coated. Using a Hycontrol foam sensor with IMA technology allows the addition of just the right amount of antifoam agent to knock down the foam layer and prevent foam from spreading through the plant, saving cost and clean up!

Before IMA Technology
Before Hycontrol sensing with IMA technology.
IMA Technology After
After Hycontrol sensing with IMA technology – quite a difference!

How Foam Control Works

Foam Control Graphic

A Foam Sensor is fitted through the top (or the side) of a process vessel. The sensor is connected to a Foam Controller, which in turn is connected to a pump controlling the flow of anti foam into the vessel.

Foam Control 2

As the process begins, foam starts to form on top of the liquid.

Foam Control Graphic number 3

As the foam level increases, the sensor signals back to the controller that foam has been detected. The sense light illuminates on the controller to indicate the increasing level of the foam.

When the foam reaches a pre-set level, the sensor signals the controller to start adding anti-foam. The Activate light on the controller illuminates to indicate that action is being taken to reduce the foam.

Foam Control Graphic

Because the sensor and controller are very sensitive to levels the antifoam is added on an ‘as required’ basis, thus regulating the amount of antifoam used and giving a significant cost saving.

Foam Control graphic number 5

With the level of foam now returned to normal the antifoam pump has stopped, leaving the sensor and controller on standby until the cycle starts again.

Foam Control Graphic

Have an Application?

Let Hycontrol give you a foam measurement and control solution – download an application data sheet, fill in your process specifications and send it to us. We’ll come back to you with a configuration that will suit your needs.

Need Support?

Need a manual or additional information on your Charis/Hycontrol unit?