Application note covers beer monitoring

  • May 27, 2009
  • Mettler Toledo
  • News
May 27, 2009 - One of the most critical factors affecting beer quality, in terms of taste characteristics and shelf life, is the level of dissolved oxygen (DO) present in the final product. The reliability and accuracy of the oxygen measurement during manufacturing are a constant focus in the brewing industry. Optical technology offers significant advantages compared to current solutions on the market: Lower drift, no flow dependence and less and easier maintenance are only a few of them. Trouble-free handling and higher reliability Oxygen measurement in filler lines need instruments with high accuracy at low oxygen levels. Filler lines are running more or less permanently. Interruptions of the filling process, for change of the beer brand or Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) processes, must be performed in the shortest time possible. The time for sensor maintenance must be kept very short as unplanned process interruptions are very costly. Here, the short response time of optical sensors translate into higher productivity of the filler line. Optical oxygen sensors are characterized by easy maintenance. Instead of membrane body, inner body and electrolyte that have to be maintained on an amperometric sensor, there is only one component, the OptoCap that has to be replaced. Due to the easy and error free replacement and the fast calibration, the system is available in less then a minute. Alternatively, precalibrated sensors can be mounted to the process and a correct oxygen reading is available immediately. After calibration, the system status information is displayed at the transmitter in real time, increasing the reliability of the loop. Plug and Measure for highest loop availability All sensor data, including calibration history, are stored in the sensor itself. After performing the maintenance and calibration in the lab under controlled and clean conditions, installation in the process is straight forward. Upon connecting the sensor to the transmitter, all relevant data are automatically transferred to the transmitter and an oxygen reading is available immediately. No polarization is necessary anywhere.ISM – Intelligence starts in the head Unscheduled downtime of a filler line caused by a malfunction of a sensor is time consuming and very costly. The reliability and stability of the sensor at this measurement point is therefore one of the most critical factors. Thus it is essential to have reliable information of the sensor status, before starting the process, and up-to-date information during the batch. Highest sensor performance for optimized process control In the filler line of breweries, very low oxygen levels have to be measured and the detection of changing oxygen levels has to be very fast to prevent from filling “out of spec” beer in bottles. Oxygen is very important for the taste and the shelf life of beer. Flavourings’ can be oxidized or micro-organisms can grow and reduce the shelf life. Some of the existing DO sensors today show a very strong stop of flow effect. The increased oxygen reading of the sensor is often the reason for unnecessary alarms in the process control system. The optical oxygen sensor is less flow dependent and stop-of-flow effect is negligible.Compared to traditional systems, the risk of errors caused by the sensing element is less likely. The performance of the OptoCap decreases slowly and a failure caused by membrane leakage or electrolyte is excluded.The new optical oxygen sensor InPro 6970i from METTLER TOLEDO is designed to fulfil the highest requirements for accurate measurement at trace oxygen level in breweries. Low detection limit combined with fast response to small changes of oxygen are the key success factors, especially in filler lines. The newest generation of the company’s oxygen sensors with optical measurement principle offers significant advantages compared to traditional amperometric systems. Process safety, reliability and ease of use were the key prerequisites for the new development. The unique combination of this optical technology together with the ISM concept for efficient maintenance results into one of the most efficient and reliable oxygen measurement system in the market.To maximize the reliability, METTLER TOLEDO implemented a highly sophisticated diagnostic tool, the Dynamic Lifetime Indicator (DLI). This feature measures the quality of the OptoCap after each calibration, and together with the current process conditions (temperature and oxygen level) calculates the remaining lifetime of the system. With the DLI, unscheduled downtimes due to sudden sensor failure are avoided. The highest stress for an optical oxygen sensor is during CIP and SIP. Thanks to the ISM technology the InPro 6970i detects CIP and SIP cycles automatically and the cycles are stored in the sensor. The user is able to predefine a maximum number of CIP and SIP for this measurement point. The sensor automatically recognizes if this limit is reached, and generates a maintenance request. As a result, the unwanted use of a potentially failing sensor is very unlikely. There is no need for manual documentation of the SIP / CIP cycles for each sensor. The information is always available in the sensor and the data can be accessed at any time using the transmitter.The unique combination of the Intelligent Sensor Management (ISM) technology with the optical technology opens a new level of operational safety and ease of use to the user. Learn More

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