Food & Beverage


SmartMeasurement™’s flowmeters have been successfully used in the food and beverage industry in a variety of different applications. Our ALMAGWP electromagnetic flowmeter has been used to measure brewery fluids, juices, and drinking water. The ALCM Coriolis mass flow meters is commonly used for measuring starch solutions and liquefied CO2. Our ATMF Series thermal mass flow meters are used for monitoring CO2 gases during fermentation and nitrogen injection for potato-chip/snack bags. SmartMeasurement™ offer a variety of solutions for nearly any application in the Food and Beverage industry.

Flow measurement in Breweries 

Brewing process starts with the addition of malted barley grain and water to the mash cooker.  Mashing allows the enzymes in the malt to break down the starch in the grain into sugars, typically maltose, to create a malty sugary solution.  After mashing the resulting solution are measured with the ALMAGWP electromagnetic flow meters and flows to a filter press that separates out the grain.  Often times, the filtered grain byproducts are sold to local farmers.  From the filter press, the solution, now called wort, goes into one of two steam-heated kettles for boiling.  One kettle boils wort while the other undergoes cleaning and preparation. A manually operated coil for steam at the bottom of the kettle preheats the wort.

As the wort temperature reaches the boiling point, the steam in the bottom preheat coil shuts off and the automatic steam heating system takes over. From the steam header, the saturated steam flows through a control valve and ALVTN-Mass flow meters are used to accurately measure the quantity of steam before reaching the kettle.  The volume of steam changes with changes in pressure and temperature and an integrated mass flow measurement with both pressure and temperature compensation is far superior to other steam flow measurements that have separate temperature, pressure and flow computer for the same output. 

From the ALVTN-Mass mass flowmeter, the saturated steam flows to the top of an internal boiler in a shell-and tube heat exchanger. Wort rises through the tube bundle in the heat exchanger while heated by the down flowing steam, which begins to condense. A deflector at the top of the heat exchanger distributes the wort and prevents foam formation. 

The ALVTN-Mass mass flowmeter measures and computes mass flow rates of steam to control heat for boiling the wort, in 500 bbl (15,000-gallon) kettles. The boiling operation continues for 90 minutes, evaporating about 5 to 10% of the solution.  The evaporating gases are measured with SmartMeasurement™’s  ATMF gas mass flow meter for optimization of the process. Addition of hops are used which sterilizes the wort and affects flavor, stability and consistency. The hops provide bitterness and flavor. Following wort boiling, the solution goes through a period in fermentation tanks and finally packaging in bottles and kegs.  

Advantages:

•    SmartMeasurement™ offers a one-stop shop for all flow meter requirements in a brewery.  ALVTN-Mass mass flowmeters for steam, ALMAGWP for mash solution and ATMF gas mass flow meters for CO2 and other vapors.
•    Excellent  for mass balancing and optimization control
•    The use of ALVTN vortex mass flow meters eliminates the need to also measure temperature and pressure to calculate mass flow of steam

Measuring Starch Concentration

When removing water from wheat starch suspension in centrifuges, it is important to determine the exact starch content and adjust it to a specific concentration. Starch content can vary from: 0 to 45 % with densities of 1030 to 1180 kg/m³. Water removal is measured by SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters.  However measuring the starch content can be tricky. The starch content can be controlled by adjusting the centrifuge's speed. The objective is to measure the starch content in online mode and use it as the control variable for the centrifuges.  The ALCM Coriolis mass flow meters are an ideal instrument to not only measure the mass flow rate of the starch solution but can measure the changes of densities of starch.  Density measurement is performed with an accuracy of 1 g per kg.  The medium flows through 16 series-connected centrifuges where water is removed. The output signal of the concentration/mass flow measurements is used as the set-point for centrifuge speed control.

Advantages:

•    The ALCM Coriolis mass flow meter series can measure both density and mass flow rate of starch for process optimization.
•    SmartMeasurement™ offers a one-stop shop for all flow meter requirements in a starch process.  ALCM series of Coriolis mass flow meters for starch concentration and ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters to measure the process water.
•    SmartMeasurement™ offers a variety of ALCM Coriolis mass flow meter flow tubes which can meet any centrifuge applications.

Flow measurement in soft drink process

In producing soft drinks, CO2 is used for the carbonation of the fluid.  While the ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are used to measure the flow of soft drinks, CO2 measurement offers a unique challenge for soft drink manufacturers. Often times, manufactures use old technologies gas flow meters such as differential pressure flow meters to measure the flow of CO2 so process engineers can control a valve and provide the right amount of gas into his soft drink production. However differential pressure flow meters are volumetric flow meters which are affected by the changes in CO2 pressure and temperature. Often times other instrument are need to measure the process temperature and pressure to correct the actual amount (mass) of CO2 used for the carbonation process. Soft drink manufacturers are using the ATMF thermal mass flow meters as better alternative for their CO2 measurement because it measures mass flow directly without the use of other instruments to correct in changing temperature and pressure.

Advantages:

•    SmartMeasurement™ offers a one-stop shop for all flow meter requirements in soft drink manufacturing. The ATMF series of gas mass flow meters for CO2 measurement and ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters to measure the amount of soft drink.
•    The ATMF thermal mass flow meter measures the amount of CO2 without the need to measure changes in pressure and temperature
•    The ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are also used in blending, batch control and, filling operations

Flow measurement in juice process

Orange juice concentrates are difficult application due to the amount of pulp in it with its high viscosity. Pulp would jam and possibly destroy a mechanical gear type positive displacement flowmeter which are sometimes used in this application. In addition, the high sugar content makes frequent cleanings necessary on systems running juice concentrate. The ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters with its simple design allows material such as pulp to pass through it. 

The process of loading and unloading juice concentrates from tankers is critical that the loading process must be accurate for several reasons. First, to avoid overloading, liable for fines when trucks are beyond the legal weight limits, second to avoid wasting time from having to “drum off” any excess product when it is overload and finally time is not wasted when the tanker is undefiled. A positive displacement pump, the product is transferred to or from the tanker. The sampler system, using a SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters, pulled a certain amount of product every 50 gallons. Given the high degree of repeatability of SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters, a certain number of pulses is expected from the electromagnetic flow meter during each sample. If there was a variation from the normal count, the system automatically shut down and a new brix reading was taken.

Advantages:

•    SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meter is the centerpiece of a more modern  sampler system which  accurately measure the amount of juice concentrate that was transferred
•    The ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are a better alternative to mechanical type flow meters due to its unobstructed flow tube.

Flow measurement in bakeries 

When processing dough for bakeries the SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meter is used to batch water and liquid sugar. The batches varied from the required 134 (61 Kg) pounds to over 200 Lb. (91Kg). Bad product qualities can occasional ruined batches of dough.  The ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are used not only measures the amount of water in the process but also the amount of liquid sugar. The liquid sugar for dough is stored in a 7000-gallon outdoor storage tank heated to keep the contents at +85° F (+29° C). Temperature fluctuations cause fluid viscosity changes. The situation is worse in the winter, or whenever the heat tracing system is not operating. A drift in meter repeatability gradually increases the batch size from 134 (61kg) to 160 Lb. (73 Kg). The SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are used in this application effectively for two reasons. First, the flow rate are fairly constant. Secondly, the viscosity is relatively high (160 cP) and viscosity changes does not affect the accuracy of a magnetic flow meter.

Advantages:

•    SmartMeasurement™ ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are used for water, liquid sugar and process dough measurement.
•    The ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are immune to changes in product viscosities.
•    The ALMAG electromagnetic flow meters are a better alternative to mechanical type flow meters due to its unobstructed flow tube.

Flow measurement in fermentation process

The fermentation process produces heat and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide gas can be pressurized over 200 psig (14 barg) and liquefied and recovered to sell as to the food & beverage or chemical industries. Food grade CO2 is often used in the beverage industry for carbonation; industrial CO2 can be used as an industrial coolant and in the production of “dry” ice. This gas often times measured by the SmartMeasurement™ ATMF gas mass flow meters for optimum process monitoring.

The fermentation of corn products for alcohol allows the recover and capture of CO2 vapor which is condensed and pressured to 215 psig (15 barg).  The pressurization of the CO2 drops the temperature to as low as -140°F (-97oC) in liquid form. Liquefied CO2 is an ideal application for the SmartMeasurement™ ALCM Coriolis mass flow meters. By incorporating a Coriolis mass flow meter instead of a volumetric flow measurement, the customer is able to track true mass of pressurized liquid CO2 during the filling process of trucks and rail cars. Several ALCM Coriolis mass flow meters can be simultaneous used for filling of multiple tanker and rail cars. 

Advantages:

•    The SmartMeasurement™ ALCM Coriolis mass flow meter offer accurate load out of liquefied carbon dioxide for trucks and rail car applications. This installation has eliminated the need for costly weigh scales or frequent loading/unloading of tankers or rail cars to adjust the final shipping weights.
•    SmartMeasurement™ offers a one-stop shop for all flow meter requirements in a fermentation process. ALCM series of Coriolis mass flow meters for liquefied CO2 and ATMF mass flow meters to measure CO2 gases.
•    SmartMeasurement™ offers a variety of ALCM Coriolis mass flow meter flow tubes which can meet any centrifuge applications.

 

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