HIGH QUALITY OPTICAL SENSORS INCREASE MEASUREMENT RELIABILITY AND ACCURACY, AND PROCESS EFFICIENCY.
Do you have any of these concerns?:
EXCESSIVE USE OF CLEANING SOLUTIONS
"We have excessive downtime for cleaning and use too much cleaning solution. But too little cleaning can result in compliance issues."
NIR absorbance probes and NIR scattered light turbidity probes are ideally suited for closed systems that are CIP'ed, as one of the chief problems facing food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries is the measurement of cleaning efficiency. The tendency is to overdo cleaning, running cleaning solutions through the plant for far longer than is necessary.
Bear in mind that in order to comply with certain FDA regulations, clean-in-place systems have to be implemented to ensure contamination-free manufacturing of certain commodities.
But how can you optimize a cleaning method so that it takes no more time than necessary, and complies with government regulations? One way is to continually take samples from the line to see how cleaning is progressing. As the line is cleaned, solids or turbidity levels will fall. Once they reach a minimum, the cleaning is complete.
But in a closed system, you often can’t just open a valve to take a sample for measurement. Cleaning solutions can be hazardous to health, and you also need to avoid the possibility of contaminants getting into the system and making things worse.
Hence the usefulness of NIR process probes. These handy devices sit inside the piping of a closed system, continuously monitoring the solids concentration or turbidity of the flowing stream. As a cleaning cycle runs, the signals from these devices will trend downwards, allowing operations to determine when the correct level of cleanliness has been reached so that the plant can resume profitable processes.
NIR process probes can help you adhere to regulations and avoid costly manufacturing interruptions. NIR absorbance or turbidity probes can replace manual sampling, removing the risk of contamination or introducing undesirable elements into your closed system piping.
FILTER BREAKTHROUGH & CONTAMINATION
"Filters in our process streams frequently get overloaded with particulates, resulting in product contamination."
In-line filters are used to clarify liquids in many processes. For instance, brewers use haze filters, pharmaceutical processes use filters to clarify medicinal solutions, refineries use filters to remove grit from gasoline, and so on.
Filters have a finite capacity to remove particulate from a flowing steam. Once they become saturated with particulate, breakthrough occurs and the filtered product becomes contaminated. By the time you discover the need to change or regenerate a filter, your product may already be spoiled.
Installing NIR probes in-line, downstream of the filter, will provide real-time feedback about the clarity of the stream and ensure you know your filter system is working properly and efficiently. Probe signals can be used to indicate when filters should be changed, taking the guesswork out of filter maintenance while saving you money. Every filter can be used to its capacity–no more throwing away of partially used filters! Probe outputs can also be used to automate filter bed regeneration–another efficiency improvement.
CELL GROWTH MONITORING
"How do we streamline the monitoring of biomass growth and provision of adequate nutrition?"
In both the food and pharmaceutical industries, processes that grow biomass to feed into manufacturing lines downstream need to be carefully monitored. Biomass needs careful nurturing with the correct amount of nutrients in liquid and gas feeds. As the biomass in a process increases, the nutrient quantities needed also increase. What better way to control this than by directly measuring the biomass concentration with an NIR biomass probe?
These probes include an optical head with a built-in amplifier and can monitor cell growth in a wide range of biomass types. Biomass probes are particularly useful in fermentation process monitoring, as they read cell mass in real time, as compared to traditional off-line sample testing techniques. NIR biomass probes are cost effective when compared to most traditional offline methods that require more equipment, and effort, and time.
In addition, NIR biomass probes aren’t restricted to mass manufacturing processes. Scientists have long used NIR biomass probes for research purposes. For example, the USDA Agricultural Research Service used NIR analysis in a study of switchgrasses. Their results are now being used by other scientists in their research of various warm-season perennial grasses. NIR biomass probes can be calibrated to monitor cell growth processes in any needed field.
South Fork Instruments provides superior quality NIR probes and housings for applications of all scales and difficulties.
Too often, manufacturers and processors tolerate the high costs resulting from sensors which are fragile and short-lived, as well as semi-automated and automated systems which fail to deliver on their promises. South Fork Instruments specializes in providing sensors and housings which are designed specifically for clean-in-place (CIP) and steam-in-place (SIP), biotech applications, energy production and wastewater treatment.
We can accommodate the demands of your applications, allowing you to better optimize and automate your processes, reducing your overhead costs and increasing your profitability.
Whether you are seeking sensors which have the highest possible surface quality for pharmaceutical applications, or been designed to meet the hygiene guidelines governing food/beverage processors and manufacturers, or utilize high-quality plastic or stainless steel to ensure safety and durability, South Fork Instruments can deliver the measurement solutions you need.
What are Optical Process Sensors?
Optical process sensors are designed for measuring absorbance in liquids, utilizing light in the near-infrared (NIR) region. NIR probes are used in a wide range of applications, from small-scale laboratory research to mass scale pharmaceutical, chemical, food, and beverage production processes to measure turbidity and solids concentration in flowing streams.
Typical industrial applications for NIR probes include:
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South Fork Instruments can develop a sensor-based measurement solution. suitable for any application or industry.
If you are struggling to find cost-effective optical sensor solutions for your demanding application, South Fork Instruments is ready to lend assistance.