Level and Flow Solutions for the Life Sciences Industry

The profitability and product quality of any life sciences industry facility is dependent upon sustaining the highest standards in cleanliness, sterility and process control through accurate, reliable process measurements. Bio-pharmaceutical sanitation regimens destroy residual organisms in process equipment like reactors and fermenters, and prevent product contamination between production batches. All life science industries rely on the aggressive cleaning processes of clean-in-place (CIP) and sterilize-in-place (SIP) to achieve their sanitation goals.

life sciences industry 2

Hygienic flow switch applications include foam detection, CIP operations and Water For Injection (WFI) systems.

Instrumentation Considerations for the Life Sciences Industry

Using hygienic instrumentation is one way for processes to maintain the cleanliness and sterility of their equipment, whether the hygienic component is the media contact surface of the instrument (such as its probe), or the entire instrument (both probe and housing). Some key characteristics of hygienic instruments are as follows:

  • Manufactured from materials selected for their microbial resistance
  • Stainless steel materials are processed to a surface smoothness that reduces the possibility of bacterial adhesion
  • Products are free from indentations or incorrect radii where bacteria harbor
  • Designed to foster the draining away of cleaning solutions and other liquids
  • Can be specified to withstand aggressive chemicals and sterilization

Applications that involve hazardous materials, such as solvent or alcohol recovery, may require level instruments with explosion-proof (XP) approvals. Due principally to the robust construction of its electronics housing, an XP instrument has been certified to withstand an internal explosion without allowing hot gases or flames to escape from the housing to trigger an explosion in the surrounding atmosphere.

Level and Flow Instruments for Life Sciences Applications

Magnetrol® produces a line of hygienic instruments which are suitable for a wide range of life sciences industry applications, including:

  • Air/compressed air
  • Bioreactors
  • Bubble traps
  • Buffer prep
  • Bulk storage
  • Fermentation
  • Filtration systems
  • Media prep
  • Process/waste gas
  • Pump protection
  • Sanitized water production
  • Single use systems
  • Solvent tanks
  • Tank blanketing
  • Waste treatment

To learn more about the hygienic instruments that MAGNETROL manufactures, download the Life Sciences Industry applications brochure.

life sciences industry

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Frequently Asked Questions About PACTware™ Software

In order to optimize performance of instruments, operators need reliable software that can be used to configure a device for the specific application. In the past, it has often been necessary to use several different manufacturer-specific programs to operate different field instruments to their fullest capacity. PACTware™ software was created to solve this problem and enable any and all adjustment of instruments with only one tool. Many Magnetrol® products are available with custom DTMs that are compatible with PACTWARE. This blog post will answer some frequently asked questions about this software tool:

What are FDT, PACTWARE and DTM?

FDT (Field Device Tool) is an interface code that describes the standardization between a frame program such as PACTWARE and manufacturer-specific DTMs. Its promise is achievement of the elusive ideal of interoperability; any host system working via any communication protocol (e.g., HART, Fieldbus, Profibus) to any field transmitter.

PACTWARE (Process Automation Configuration Tool) is a frame program that operates on a PC or control system. It is a device-independent software program that communicates with all approved DTMs.

A DTM (Device Type Manager) is not a stand-alone program. It is a device-specific software driver designed to operate within a frame program such as PACTWARE. It includes all special information needed to communicate with a specific device (e.g., Eclipse® Model 706, Pulsar® Model R96, etc.). There are two basic categories of DTMs—Communication (e.g., HART, Fieldbus, Profibus) and Field Device (e.g., ECLIPSE GWR transmitter). DTMs allow MAGNETROL to present their level devices to the user in a way that is simple and easy to use.

What capabilities do these different software programs offer me?

Utilizing DTMs with PACTWARE offers a broad range of monitoring, configuration and troubleshooting capabilities:

  • Level monitoring
  • Viewing, configuration and saving of all parameters
  • Viewing echo wave form
  • Capturing false target rejection profile
  • Trending data including level, signal quality, loop and %output
  • Viewing of Diagnostic conditions

Level Monitoring
Continuously viewing the level in a tank is the starting point for this new software. Position of liquid level can be viewed on the Home Screen in a simple graphical format. Level and output values are shown numerically as well. This screen can be left open to show the relative position of the liquid level.

PACTWare software 1

View and Configure All Parameters
Every parameter in the PULSAR and ECLIPSE radar transmitters can be monitored and modified remotely with a few clicks of the mouse. From units of measure to settings for dielectric range, each parameter can be viewed or changed to suit application conditions. Parameters can be developed offline or saved from one transmitter and loaded to another. Easy to use tabs and icons show the major commissioning categories of Identity, Basic Configuration, I/O Configuration, and Local Display Configuration, along with Advanced and Factory Configuration.

PACTWare Software 2


The ability to trend data over a period of time allows insight into overall operation of a device. For example, trending the LEVEL, SIGNAL STRENGTH and LOOP values is invaluable when attempting advanced configuration or troubleshooting. PACTWARE PC software also has the ability to track all parameters including DISTANCE and %OUTPUT. The vertical and horizontal scales can be manipulated to show as much or as little data as necessary. The data can also be saved as a picture (*.bmp) or data (*.txt) file.

Echo Curve Capture

An oscilloscope can be a handy tool when troubleshooting electronic equipment. Few companies own one and fewer people know how to use them. The ability to view an echo waveform is a classic example of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Now any operator can see into the vessel through the eyes of an ECLIPSE transmitter. The Echo Curve screen yields a wealth of useful information such as configuration parameters, thresholds and level location that can be used to optimize performance.

PACTWare Software 3


How can I learn more information about PACTWARE?

MAGNETROL has produced a brochure with more information about PACTWARE software compatibility with our instrumentation. To learn more, please download the brochure.

PACTWare Software 4

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Level and Flow Solutions for WFI Distillation Skids

Many industries require water purified beyond the standard municipal water supply. Two industrial purified water standards are U.S. Pharmacopoeia Purified Water (USP PW) and Water-for-Injection (WFI) —the highest purity industrial water. PW and WFI are widely used in the food & beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, biotech, and electronics industries. Industrial operators can configure their PW and WFI distillation as modular skid systems, enabling high-purity water to be generated easily and cost-effectively for a variety of applications. This blog is the final post in an occasional Magnetrol® blog series on modular skid systems and will discuss level and flow solutions for WFI distillation skids.

WFI Distillation Skid

Incorporating a multiple-effect still, this skid generates highly pure Water-for-Injection. The still can be configured to produce pure steam as an option. Level instrumentation should be of a hygienic design.

WFI production consists of a series of interconnected pressure vessels. These are called distillation columns (or effects). On each column a heat exchanger acts as an evaporator, its upper chamber used to separate pyrogens. The purified water is stored in a dedicated WFI tank.

WFI distillation skids

Level and Flow Applications

  1. WFI Pump Protection
    Whether caused by a closed valve or by pump cavitation, pumps operating in a reduced or no-flow condition can overheat, rupture the pump’s seal and cause a dangerous deviation in process pressure and temperature. A flow switch along a pump’s discharge piping will actuate an alarm and shut down the pump when liquid flow drops below the minimum flow rate.
    Flow Alarm: Thermatel® Model TD1/TD2 Thermal Dispersion Switch for low-flow cutoff (Hygienic THERMATEL designs are available)
  1. Distillation Column Level
    Depending upon its configuration, a WFI skid may contain one distillation column (Single-Effect Still); or, four or more columns (Multiple-Effect Still). Level switches in the separation columns provide control for the feedwater supply and feature alarm capabilities to ensure that all columns are operating at correct liquid levels.
    Continuous Level: Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 Modulevel® Displacer Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch; or Echotel® Model 960/961 Hygienic Ultrasonic Switch
  1. WFI Storage Tank
    Stainless steel WFI tanks typically utilize hygienic clamp-style connections, an aseptic manway, and a spray ball for interior sanitization. The vessel and all components are fabricated to ASME Section VIII, Division 1 requirements. Tank sizes may range from 250- to 10,000-gallons (945- to 37,800-liters). A hygienic level controller monitors the tank level and can activate an alarm in the event of underfill and overfill conditions.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; Pulsar® Model R96 Radar Transmitter or Model R82 Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: ECHOTEL Model 960/961 Hygienic Ultrasonic Switch


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Redundant Level Measurement for Chemical Overfill Prevention

In the chemical industry, level instrumentation is required to measure continuous liquid levels in flammable tanks and to prevent potential overfill. Chemical plants stringently enforce environment, health, and safety (EH&S or HS&E) management practices with the expectation that their suppliers have a similar culture. One way of achieving a high level of reliability in instrumentation is to provide redundant level measurement using separate technologies—in many cases, one technology for continuous measurement and the other as a high level switch for overfill prevention.

Case Study: Chemical Overfill Prevention

Magnetrol® was able to assist a chemical manufacturer in making their plants safer through the usage of two technologies for redundant level measurement. “KMCO is one of the world’s largest tolling facilities and our customer base reaches all over the world,” said Daniel Charles, an engineering manager for KMCO in Crosby, Texas. “Because of the turnover of multiple products in tanks, finding the right fit for a level transmitter was difficult. We went through several vendors and couldn’t quite get what we needed. After meeting MAGNETROL, we knew we were going on the right path.”

Redundant Technology for Reliable Measurement

chemical overfill prevention

KMCO installation with Echotel® 961 ultrasonic high level switch (left) and Eclipse® 706 guided wave radar (right)

Guided wave radar (GWR) technology was chosen for continuous level measurement in the facility. GWR is the fastest growing level measurement technology in the market, with MAGNETROL pioneering the first of its kind in the late 90s. The MAGNETROL GWR transmitter, Eclipse 706®, is a two-wire, 24 VDC loop-powered transmitter based upon the technology of time domain reflectometry (TDR). TDR utilizes pulses of electromagnetic energy transmitted down a wave guide (probe). When a pulse reaches a surface that has a higher dielectric constant than air, a portion of the pulse is reflected. The transmit time of the pulse is then measured.

For redundancy and greater safety, MAGNETROL also recommended ultrasonic gap switches, a popular technology for high level indication. The ultrasonic transducers can be supplied in single or dual-gap design, and with relay or two-wire current shift outputs from the electronics. The MAGNETROL Echotel® ultrasonic contact switches utilize ultrasonic energy to detect the presence or absence of liquid. They are available for single point (Model 961) or dual point (Model 962) level detection. Both GWR and ultrasonic gap switches are suitable for use in Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 loops.

Due to space limitations and the added expense of having multiple process connections, KMCO requested to have both technologies installed on the same process connection—a single 3″ flange. Open communication and accurate feedback allowed for the special design to be accommodated. Wireless communication was also desired, and the level devices were seamlessly integrated into the third-party wireless transmitter.

The Results

KMCO was impressed with the ease of installation and reliability of the MAGNETROL transmitters. “By using MAGNETROL products, we are able to make the operator more productive and make the process safer,” Charles said. “Using MAGNETROL has streamlined our tank level indication installation, allowing us to install more for less cost than the competitors. We have over 1,000 tanks at our facility and with the customer service and quality products we receive from MAGNETROL, it will just be a matter of time before all of them have MAGNETROL devices to depend on.”

More Information

For more information on level technologies for overfill prevention, visit echotel.magnetrol.com.

overfill prevention

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Level Solutions for Turbine and Compressor Wash Skids

Industrial gas turbines are used in plants throughout the power industry. While these turbines can be very effective in generating power, fouling on the compressor blades of a gas turbine can diminish performance of the turbine and reduce the power output of the plant. The cause of fouling comes principally from dust and lubricating oil leakage from the compressor’s main bearings. This results in a buildup of oily dirt and dust that causes increased surface roughness that can result in pitting of the blades. Performance gains of 2 to 4 percent are often achieved by regular cleaning. Using a turbine and compressor wash can help achieve a cleaner system.

Plant operators are increasingly configuring their wash units as modular skid systems in order to reduce site disruption and simplify the process. This post discusses level solutions for turbine and compressor wash skids and is part of an occasional Magnetrol® blog series on modular skid systems.

Turbine and Compressor Wash Skids

Online/offline wash skids are used to store, pump and heat solutions for cleaning turbine blades and vanes. Skids range from small, wheeled carts to large, fixed-skid installations that clean multiple generators.

Turbine and compressor wash skids typically consist of an electric heater, cleaning solution, mixing and storage tanks, wastewater tanks, control system, pumps, instrumentation, valves and interconnects. Updated water wash pumping systems use a variable frequency drive (VFD) to accurately control high-pressure water flow.

turbine and compressor wash skids

Level Solutions

  1. Cleaning Solution Mix Tank
    Mixing and blending the detergent concentrate with water is essential to the cleaning operation. An impeller in the mixing vessel accomplishes the blending of water and concentrates. Level controls monitor the mix tank and trigger alarms in the event of tank underfill or overfill incidents.
    Continuous Level: Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; Pulsar® Model RX5 Radar Transmitter or Model R82 Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch; or Echotel® Model 940/941 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Detergent Concentrate Storage
    To create the turbine wash solution, precise quantities of detergent concentrates are injected into the mix tank by a metering pump system. Concentrate storage tanks require stringent level monitoring in order to maintain continuous availability of the cleaning solution.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; E3 Modulevel® Displacer Transmitter; PULSAR Model R96 Radar Transmitter or Model R82 Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: Tuffy® II Float Level Switch or ECHOTEL Model 910 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Cleaning Solution Storage Tank
    The process-ready cleaning solution is stored in a metal or plastic tank. Tank level controls actuate tank-filling operations and protect against underfill and overfill conditions.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; E3 MODULEVEL Displacer Transmitter; PULSAR Model R96 Radar Transmitter; Model R82 Radar Transmitter or ECHOTEL Model 355 Non-Contact Ultrasonic Transmitter
    Point Level: TUFFY II Float Level Switch or ECHOTEL 910 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Spent Wash Solution Tank
    Spent water wash is collected in a dedicated collection tank and is periodically discharged as wastewater. Level monitoring will actuate fill valves and trigger an alarm in the event of an overfill incident.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter; PULSAR Model R96 Radar Transmitter; Model R82 Radar Transmitter or ECHOTEL Model 355 Non-Contact Ultrasonic Transmitter
    Point Level: TUFFY II Float Level Switch or ECHOTEL Model 961/962 Ultrasonic Switch


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Improving the Efficiency of Industrial Steam Generation: Case Studies

Steam generation is an essential part of numerous industries. Although the pulp and paper industry is one of the largest producers of steam outside power generation, the primary metals, petroleum refining, chemical process, and food processing industries also allocate significant portions of their total energy consumption, anywhere from 10% to 60%, to the production of steam. Effective instrumentation solutions can improve the efficiency of industrial steam generation, helping plants to reduce fuel consumption, ensure product screen-shot-2016-09-01-at-4-40-09-pmquality and lower maintenance costs.

Two industrial plants implemented level control throughout the steam generation cycle and saw improved results. Here are the stories of how better instrumentation led to more efficiency throughout industrial steam generation.

Case Study #1: J.R. Simplot Fertilizer Plant

Operators at the J.R. Simplot fertilizer plant decided to optimize the efficiency of their existing steam system. For a cost of $180,000, a number of repairs were implemented and new instrumentation was installed. The focus was on improving boiler operation and increasing condensate recovery. The plant achieved this in a variety of ways, including improving its insulation and repairing steam traps. J.R. Simplot also began using recycled steam for greater energy efficiency. The result was a cost savings of $335,000 a year and energy savings of 75,000 MMBtu. J.R. Simplot saw a return on investment less than seven months after implementing these changes.

Case Study #2: Goodyear Tire Plant

The Goodyear tire plant needed to improve steam system efficiency in order to better manage cost and energy. There were three main components to the improvement process in the tire plant:

  • Phase 1: boiler operation optimization—boilers were tuned to reduce excess oxygen and lower fuel consumption.
  • Phase 2: a heat exchanger was installed to raise makeup water temperature using energy in condensate, enabling the plant to recover process waste heat.
  • Phase 3: insulation was added to process equipment in order to lower steam system energy consumption.

Goodyear spent $180,000 on implementation and saw a return on investment in less than three months. The improvements to the steam system resulted in a cost savings of $875,000 annually and energy savings of 93,000 MMBtu.

More Information

Optimizing the industrial steam generation cycle and condensate recovery process can reduce spending and increase energy efficiency in your industry plant. To learn more about instrumentation for all aspects of the steam generation cycle, visit steamgen.magnetrol.com.

steam generation

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Ultrasonic Level Measurement Technology Replaces Tuning Fork for International Oil and Gas Company

Ultrasonic level measurement is an advanced technology that can be used as an alternative to the traditional tuning fork or vibration technologies in liquid level applications. One of the world’s leading oil and gas companies needed a reliable low level alarm in a propane stripper. Their refinery had been using tuning fork or vibration technology, but this technology failed due to the low density of the liquid propane (429 kg/m3 or 0.429 SG). Magnetrol® proposed its Echotel® Model 961, an ultrasonic level measurement technology that is immune to low or changing density without the need for calibration or reconfiguration. It operates independent of varying density, dielectric, and thermal conductivity.

ultrasonic level measurement

Magnetrol® Echotel® 961 mounted in an external chamber

The 961 allowed for reduced wiring costs by providing an alternative to relays. It is a two-wire, loop-powered device with a current output. The current output shifts from 8 mA during normal operation to 16 mA upon level alarm. If a fault condition or failure occurs, the current will go low or high per NAMUR NE 43. A failure can be simulated as well through a manual self-test that is available from the bezel. Plant personnel receive unparalleled visibility into the operation of the 961 to prevent undetected level alarms, thereby increasing the efficiencies and safety of the refinery.

Included in the safety requirements of the refinery was the need for Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 2 rated devices. Both the single-point 961 and the dual-point 962 are suitable for use in SIL 2 loops. The 961/962 has unique diagnostics to assist in troubleshooting should a failure occur. Aside from the manual self-test, the microprocessor in the electronics continuously monitors all self-test data. Should a fault occur, the microprocessor can determine whether the malfunction is due to the electronics, transducer, or the presence of environmental noise. The primary sensors in the transducer are the crystals and they are continuously monitored. For accessibility, safety, and ease of use, the electronics can optionally be remote-mounted from the transducer.

The success of the MAGNETROL ECHOTEL 961 in the low density propane stripper has opened the door for other ultrasonic opportunities, such as level detection of sour water in an acid gas knockout drum. To learn more about applications and benefits of ultrasonic level measurement technology, visit echotel.magnetrol.com.

ultrasonic level measurement 2

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Level and Flow Solutions for Ammonia Refrigeration Skids

Refrigeration is a key component of almost every industry. Aside from the obvious applications, like air conditioning and cold storage, refrigeration is used throughout many industries to facilitate processing. It’s employed for solvent recovery, liquefaction, gas separation, condensing, and heat exchange. In power generation, it cools inlet air for improved turbine performance. In oil refineries and chemical plants, refrigeration maintains low temperature processes, as in the alkylation of butane. Pharmaceutical refrigeration chills glycol in reactor vessels and immersion chillers, and removes water vapor and CO2 from preparations. With the majority of countries now agreeing to eliminate hydro-chlorofluorocarbon coolants by 2020, absorption refrigeration (also known as ammonia refrigeration) has become a leading industrial refrigerant.

Many owner/operators, OEMs and plant engineers fabricate their refrigeration units as modular skid systems. These systems are growing in popularity due to their efficiency and minimal site disruption. This post discusses level and flow solutions for ammonia refrigeration skids and is part of an occasional Magnetrol® blog series on modular skid systems.

Ammonia Refrigeration Skids

In an ammonia refrigeration skid, the refrigeration process cycles ammonia (refrigerant) and water (absorbent) through a compressor, condenser, high and low pressure receiver tanks, a throttling device, and evaporators, from where the process recycles.


Level and Flow Applications

  1. Condenser
    The condenser transfers heat from the refrigerant to a coolant medium—usually ambient air. Water-cooled condensers continuously circulate water to absorb refrigerant heat. Level controls monitoring the water basin include high and low level alarms.
    Continuous Level: Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 Modulevel® Displacer Transmitter
    Point Level: Tuffy® II Float Level Switch or Echotel® Model 910 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. High Pressure Liquid Receiver
    A high pressure receiver tank provides a buffer for liquid refrigerant as demand varies, and uses a recirculator to pump the refrigerant to multiple evaporator units. The tank is monitored for level.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch
  1. Low Pressure Liquid Receiver
    A low pressure receiver tank provides a buffer for liquid refrigerant as demand varies, and uses a recirculator to pump the refrigerant to multiple evaporator units. The tank is monitored for level.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter
    Point Level: External Cage Displacer Switch or ECHOTEL Model 940/941 Ultrasonic Switch
  1. Evaporator
    Water level in the evaporator needs to be controlled close to the setpoint. Higher levels can put the refrigerant compressor in danger due to liquid carryover, while lower levels will result in smaller heat transfer rates.
    Continuous Level: ECLIPSE Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitter or E3 MODULEVEL Displacer Transmitter
    Point Level: Model B35 External Cage Float Switch or ECHOTEL Model 940/941 Ultrasonic Switch

Pump Protection
Pumps operating on the skid are protected by flow switches that actuate an alarm in the event of no-flow conditions.
Flow Alarm: Thermatel® Model TD1/TD2 Thermal Dispersion Switch for low-flow cutoff


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Optimizing Plant Energy Management to Increase Efficiency

When it comes to plant energy management, the ability to better monitor combustion air, fuel gas flow and compressed air can help identify losses that over short periods of time can affect profitability. Regardless of the scale of an operation, any improvements in efficiency to purchased fuel and electricity consumption drop directly to a company’s bottom line. The ability to monitor the end-use location of fuel throughout a facility as well as the consumption specifics for individual applications — predominately the boiler — can offer insight to potential areas of improvement. The same is true of electricity consumption. In both instances, reductions can be realized by simply identifying where the energy is being lost.

The ideal instrumentation for monitoring energy usage is cost-effective and provides a strong return on investment. The goal is to realize the benefit in the shortest time frame possible at the most reasonable cost. Thermal dispersion mass flow meters are an optimal choice for both these considerations.

plant energy management

A Magnetrol® TA2 thermal mass flow meter in the field

Benefits of Thermal Mass Flow Meters for Energy Management

Thermal mass flow meters are primarily used in air and gas flow measurement applications. The meters consist of a transmitter and probe with temperature sensors (RTDs) located in the pins at the bottom of the probe. The reference sensor measures the process temperature and the other sensor is heated to a specific temperature above the reference. As the flow rate increases, heat gets taken away from the heated sensor. More power is then applied to the heated sensor to maintain the temperature difference. The relationship between power and mass flow rate is established during factory calibration.

There are many benefits to using thermal dispersion mass flow meters in plant energy management applications:

  • Repeatability of ±5% of reading
  • Direct mass flow measurement without the need for pressure or temperature compensation
  • Easy installation
  • No on-site or in-situ calibration
  • Strong signal, high turndown and good sensitivity with low flow rates
  • Accurate measurement under varying pressures

Considerations for Better Plant Energy Management

When looking for ways to improve plant efficiency, there are a few areas where better, more accurate measurement can make a difference. Combustion air flow measurement to a boiler is important to maintain a stoichiometric ratio with the amount of fuel being supplied. Too little air flow can result in incomplete combustion along with additional carbon monoxide or pollutants depending on the fuel being burned. On the other hand, too much air flow can cool the furnace and waste heat out of the stack. The repeatability of the air measurement is essential to obtaining the most efficient air-fuel ratio (AFR).

Measuring fuel gas flow (natural gas or propane) usage to individual combustion sources compared to the output (steam/hot water) can help optimize boiler efficiency and better manage energy consumption. Knowing individual boiler performance may also assist in operating those offering the best efficiency. Lowering fuel consumption is one of the easiest methods to reduce cost and improve profits.

Another key component of energy and facilities management is making compressed air systems more reliable and efficient. Valuable resources are wasted when a leak goes unnoticed or cannot be easily isolated.

By implementing more effective measurement solutions, plants can reduce the inefficiencies that lead to hidden maintenance costs and improve their steam generation. To learn more about level and flow measurement for all aspects of the steam generation cycle, visit steamgen.magnetrol.com.

steam generation

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Level Solutions for Yeast Separator Efficiency

Yeast, the microorgan­ism responsible for fermenta­tion, also greatly influences a beer’s flavor and character. In the latter stages of beer production, brewers remove the spent yeast from fer­mented beer through the use of a yeast separator. The fermented beer is processed down­stream and the spent yeast is processed for resale.

In addition to their battle to gain the favor of consumers, attaining operational efficienciesyeast separator has always been essential for brewers. Beer and yeast separation and recovery is one aspect of the brewing process where using a yeast separator with a cyclone can realize greater efficiencies.

Separating Yeast From Beer

Separators have been essential equipment in beer brewing for decades. They ensure economical operation, a higher quality of beer, and efficient reclamation of beer and spent yeast. Over a period of time, however, a work­ing separator starts to lose its efficiency due to yeast packing, and the bowl of the separator must be dis­charged of packed yeast. The bowl discharge of the sepa­rator is called a “shoot.” The objective of controlling the shoots is to clean the separator bowl of caked yeast and also minimize the amount of beer that is lost when the separator bowl is open.

When the separator bowl shoots, it discharges the beer and yeast mixture into the top of the cyclone, tan­gentially to the sidewall. The yeast/beer slurry decelerates and col­lects in the bottom of the cyclone. The spent yeast is then pumped out of the bottom of the cyclone by means of a positive displacement or peristaltic pump and enters a yeast decanter or thermalizer. Any beer that is discharged with the shoot is lost.

The cyclone also acts as a surge vessel between the separa­tor bowl and the spent yeast storage, located below the pump. When the bowl shoots, additional beer will be dis­charged with the yeast into the cyclone.

Level Measurement for Yeast Separators

One Magnetrol® customer, a major U.S. brewer, had controlled the level in 64 cyclones throughout its breweries by using a competitor’s point level capacitance probe. The probe measured high level only and indicated when the cyclone was full of yeast/beer slurry. The brewer wanted to use a more precise measurement technique to capture more information about the cyclone.

MAGNETROL worked with one of the company’s brew­eries to prove that continuous level measurements could be made in a cyclone using guided wave radar (GWR) technology.

With the MAGNETROL Eclipse® GWR transmitter, the probe rod can be bent, enabling the brewer to measure down the sidewall, down the cone at the bottom of the cyclone, and into the discharge piping below the cyclone. By measuring level down to the outlet, the brewer can determine when there is slurry in the bottom of the cyclone and initiating pumping into the spent yeast cyclone. When the level is low, the pump will be stopped. This operation controls the discharge of the cyclone during separator shoots.

During normal separation of yeast (clarification of the beer), the separator bowl remains closed – not discharging slurry into the cyclone. However, the bowl of a separator is sealed by an elastomeric gasket. That gasket is prone to leakage, allowing good beer to be discharged at a low rate into the cyclone.

Using a guided wave radar transmitter, this brewer now monitors the cyclone level between shoots of the separator. If the separator bowl seal is leaking, the level in the cyclone will slowly increase. Therefore, by monitoring the level between shoots, the “health” of the separator bowl seal is monitored. If a leak is identified, the yeast separator is scheduled to have the bowl seal replaced.

Magnetrol now has 64 ECLIPSE trans­mitters installed to provide continuous cyclone measurement through­out the company’s breweries.

If this brewer can save one tenth of one percent of the beer by utilizing GWR, this translates into saving tens of thousands of gallons of beer per year! To learn more about guided wave radar and its other applications, visit radar.magnetrol.com.

guided wave radar

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