ITM-51 Saves 120 Liters of Product with each UHT Phase Transition

ITM-51 Saves 120 Liters of Product with each UHT Phase Transition
The Sobbeke dairy in North Germany has a 100-year tradition and has been making 100% organic products since 1988. Today, approximately 60 million liters of milk are processed each year, coming from over 140 organic farms, all of which are affiliated with the Bioland, Demeter or Naturland organic farming associations.

In addition to insisting on the highest quality, sustainability plays a deciding role in the company‘s decisions. To reduce unnecessary product losses at the UHT plant, it was only logical to find the best solution for maxi-mum resource efficiency. And with the ITM-51 turbidity meter, they found it.

Application Details

After delivery and intermediate storage, the raw milk is pasteurized, separated, and, if necessary, homogenized. In the UHT plant, it is then refined to the end product, such as pudding, rice pudding, or cream. Each phase is individually expelled through the water.

At the feed of the UHT plant, a valve ensures that the rinsing water is discharged completely into the drain in time and does not enter the unit. At the UHT outlet, the product phase is again separated from the water via a valve. Here it is important that no rinsing water gets into the product tank after the UHT plant.

The sensor technology used in the past for the phase transitions at the inlet and outlet proved to be not reliable enough. Therefore, the plant managers changed to pure timer-based control. However, in order to avoid any hygiene problem or contamination in the end product, a long time buffer was programmed. The outlet phase, for example, was switched to the sewer early before the rinsing water arrived. This resulted in product losses, which were detected during a process audit. To achieve the highest possible product quality and resource efficiency, a new solution was needed.

The Anderson-Negele solution: Phase transition accurate to the second through turbidity measurement

The ITM-51 relative turbidity sensor is integrated flush in the process line and measures the turbidity of the product via a sapphire lens. Due to the response time of less than 1 second and the high measuring accuracy, the transition from product to water or from one product to another one can be measured with superior accuracy. This reliable phase transition control within one second helps avoid substantial product losses.

The operator took detailed measurements before and after the ITM-51 installation. He detected that, compared to timer-based control, 59 liters of product per phase switchover in both the inlet and outlet are saved: they flow into the UHT system or the product tank instead of being lost in the sewer.

In addition, the respective milk products and their quality level in the line can also be precisely monitored by the high precision turbidity measurement.

Advantages in the application:

  • Compared to the previous timer based control, 118 fewer liters of product are lost with each phase transition since the ITM-51 turbidity meters have been installed (proven by measurement).
  • Only 2 sensors are needed, one ITM-51 for UHT feed control, and one ITM-51 for outlet control.
  • Remote version simplifies on-site control at the inlet in a location which is not easily accessible.
This article is published by

Anderson-Negele, based in South Germany, is an international specialist for hygienic sensor technology in the food processing and pharmaceutical industries. The company philosophy "HYGIENIC BY DESIGN" embodies the fulfilment of customer requirements for process sensor and measuring technology in hygienic production environments. Product range: At ...