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How Baumer can provide end-to-end solutions in food sensor technology

Optimising the stages of food processing by using food sensor technology can help to reduce costs and ensure high quality is maintained. Belonging to the Theo Müller Group, the Homann and Nadler brand is well-known for premium convenience food - including their gourmet salads.

Homann and Nadler are responsible for producing volumes of mayonnaise and salad dressings to accompany their recipes, and the demands of this process had exhausted the capabilities of more conventional instrumentation.

In this article, we explore how Baumer’s industry-leading sensor technology provided liquid level sensors, hydrostatic pressure measurement, and conductivity measurement solutions to optimise the various stages of food processing.

Liquid level sensors in storage, mixing and buffer tanks

Level detection requires precise switching operations. Traditionally, capacitive level switches are used for this purpose, but Homann & Nadler found these instruments offered limited reliability.

Capacitive level switches rely on medium-specific configuration. This would mean that for some media, the low dielectric constant would cause measuring errors. Homann & Nadler required liquid level sensors that could easily adapt to various types of media.

Step forward Baumer’s CleverLevel sensor.

Operating on Frequency Sweep technology, CleverLevel can reliably detect the level of any media type as a one-sensor solution for both oil and water. Having previously used a combination of capacitive limit switches and vibrating forks, Homann & Nadler made their decision to replace their conventional food sensor technology with CleverLevel.

This decision led to many process improvements. It solved issues with slow and highly sensitive response times, that were impairing process efficiency. Thus creating a more efficient and streamlined production process. Baumer worked closely with Homann & Nadler, enabling the team to effectively determine their optimum configuration using FDT/DTM-based FlexProgram software.

Homann & Nadler also opted to use CleverLevel for their buffer tanks. This is where the mayonnaise, salad cream and other dressings are stored before use. Within the buffer tanks, medium-specific viscosity and adhesion are important factors, and the use of conventional solutions can be prone to measurement errors because of the adhering media.

Because CleverLevel is not affected by media adhesion and also benefits from an almost maintenance-free design the new system completely eradicated unpredictable downtime, both for system ventilation and pump changing.

Hydrostatic pressure measurement in tanks of vinegar, edible oil, and glucose

For hydrostatic pressure measurement in their large outdoor vinegar tank, Homann & Nadler needed a more precise and reliable solution. This needed to be a convenient and outdoor-capable option, which is why Baumer’s CombiPress pressure transmitter was the ideal choice.

Providing unambiguous, measured results, independent of media or ambient temperature, CombiPress excels as a hydrostatic pressure measurement device and is, therefore, the ideal food sensor technology within the food and beverage industry. The large touch screens eliminate the requirement for additional operating units, and the robust housing – with a high IP67 rating – enables it to reliably endure harsh outdoor conditions. Additionally, Homann & Nadler installed CombiPress in their glucose and edible oil tanks, due to its integrated linearisation function.

CombiLyz enables effective Conductivity measurement in CIP processes

Cleaning in Place (CIP) is required through every cycle in the dressing or mayonnaise production process. Homann & Nadler needed to improve its dosing process and turned to Baumer's Combilyz conductivity measurement sensor to solve this. Its fast response time ensures precise and measured results at a maximum deviation of less than 1%, making it perfect for use as food sensor technology. The 6.6 mm wide channel of the inductive sensing element is able to tolerate fabric or solid-containing media, therefore successfully optimising detergent dosing, at a reduced raw material cost.

What Homann had to say about Baumer’s food sensor technology

On the success of Baumer’s food sensor technology, Frank Piatkowski, application and
process engineer at Homann said; ”Whether indoor or outdoor, the Baumer sensors contribute towards hassle-free automation and once installed, they are neither susceptible nor perceptible. The innovative Baumer products will again be part of our considerations when investing into new and state-of-the-art CIP installations. Baumer tackles our requirements in terms of optimisation or specialised products as incentives for new developments and ensures expert implementation”.

For more information about Baumer’s food sensor technology including liquid level sensors, hydrostatic pressure measurement, and conductivity measurement capable devices, visit www.baumer.com

Company Profile

Find out how Baumer IO-Link solutions are driving OEE efficiencies

The Baumer Group is leading at international level in the development and production of sensors, shaft encoders, measuring instruments as well as components for automatic image processing.

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