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Optimising Product Quality and Yield Savings in a Beverage Plant with Inline Beverage Analysers

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An essential tool

Beverage analysers have become essential tools in the beverage industry, meeting the diverse needs of manufacturers and facilitating significant improvements in product quality and yield savings.

 

Multiple analysis in a single system

Inline beverage analysers perform a variety of analyses rapidly and accurately, responding in real-time to changes in the beverage production process. They are used across a broad spectrum of beverages, including carbonated soft drinks, juices, dairy-based drinks, kombucha, plant-based beverages, diet beverages with artificial sweeteners, and alcoholic beverages.

 

A long history of liquid analysis

A global leader in manufacturing this technology is Maselli S.P.A of Parma Italy. Maselli has been a renowned manufacturer of liquid concentration analysers since 1948, from humble beginnings in the tomato industry they soon became a dominant player in liquid concentration analysis using refractive index technology.

The evolution of beverage analysers

Over 40 years ago Maselli introduced the first in line beverage analyser the IB01 incorporating the expertise in sugar analysis together with a CO2 measurement system. Over the years the system evolved to meet the growing needs of the industry. Seven generations later the latest IB08 can measure multiple parameters including Brix, Diet, CO2, O2, PH, Conductivity to give the bottler an all in one solution. This is coupled together with a touch screen PC providing remote access, cloud connectivity and historical data capture meeting the needs of the latest industry 4.0 requirements.

An adaptive solution for an ever changing product profile

The Maselli range of analysers is particularly adaptive, capable of measuring traditional beverages and accommodating changing market trends towards health and wellness-based products. Refractive index technology lends itself very well to beverages based on traditional or artificial sweeteners, fruit, plant, and dairy based beverages.

Robust core technology

The core technology of Maselli beverage analysers is refractive index measurement, an essential tool for analysing Brix (a measure of sugar content) and diet beverages (artificial sweeteners). Unique analytical modules are offered, including the latest UR71, which is the only inline refractometer for diet beverages approved by the world’s largest bottlers. This refractometer is the diamond standard for precision measurement in the milli Brix range which is needed for these ultra low concentration beverages.

Inline Carbon dioxide analysis

The analysers can also measure CO2 in the liquid which is the gas that provides the beverage with that distinct “fizz” we all love. CO2 analysis is offered in 2 analytical methods using either optical CO2 units that leverage infrared light absorption or pressure and temperature CO2 units that apply Henry’s law to calculate the dissolved CO2.

Additional analysis modules

Additional measurements are also offered with today’s beverage analysers and can be added depending on the bottler’s requirements; these include Dissolved Oxygen, pH, and Conductivity, offering a comprehensive picture of the beverage’s characteristics.

Integration into the production line

Beverage analysers are offered with 2 types of installation and the user would select that based on their beverage portfolio. The first is a 100% inline solution where the analysers are installed directly into the process line with Tri-Clamp or Varivent fitting, ensuring the best sanitary conditions and eliminating any risk of contamination.

Other versions can be connected directly to the line or buffer tank also using sanitary Tri-Clamp connection. By installing in this way the user has the added benefit of using the analyser as the line is primed hence offering significant time savings during the production start-up process.

Data capture and networking

Beverage analysers display results locally for the plant operator and systems can be networked for data collection, including sending data to the cloud for Industry 4.0 requirements.

A software package called MultiLab running either on a PC or the MP06 touch screen allows for the factory’s quality team to view the real time measurements directly from the QA laboratory or the line. The data is automatically captured and a historical record of the production available locally or via the cloud, and in the case of the MP06 in built Wifi hotspot. Seamless connection can also be made directly with the plants master control system so real time information is directly available to the production team.

Start up savings and product yield

The units can also connect to the plants or production line PLC or systems for closed-loop control, making it easier to optimise product quality and yield savings over time. With the beverage analyser connected directly in line or to the plants buffer tank the line start up can be automated using the result from the beverage analyser to begin the filling cycle. Typical production time savings of 10 minutes can be made on regular beverages, extending to more than double that for Diet beverage start up. This start-up time saving is significant for bottlers as saving 10+ minutes of production over the course of a year has not only financial benefit with increased production time but also sustainability benefits in terms of energy savings.

The concept of priming the line analysing and automatically starting the filler is in line with many companies’ goals for industry 4.0 moving beverage analysis from a manual method to a fully automated inline process.

Today’s Beverage analyzers with their advanced technology, offer a variety of other benefits that can lead to significant cost savings in a beverage production plant. As a complete inline quality control system, measuring carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and flavored waters allows a plant to optimize its process, improve syrup yields, and increase production throughput.

A last few words about Inline beverage analysers

In conclusion, inline beverage analysers offer a powerful solution for beverage manufacturers seeking to optimise their process, product quality and yield. Through continuous, accurate analysis of a range of key parameters, these analysers enable manufacturers to respond rapidly to changes in the production process and drive ongoing improvements in their products. Even though this blog post did not cover some specific examples of how Maselli beverage analysers have been used by industry bottlers we have many case studies and success stories, if you would like more detail or to discuss how beverage analysers could help your process please contact us and one of our industry experts would be happy to assist you.

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