Precise batch control is at the heart of many food and beverage manufacturers processes across the world. The old traditional ways of allowing operators to use their ‘keen eye’ to judge ingredients mixing, or having a set of weigh scales and manually adding ingredients until the correct weights or corrected volumes are achieved have, in most cases given way to accurate automatic batch control systems. A modern batch control system in it’s simplest form consists of a flowmeter, valve and electronic batch controller with each part performing their own valuable function. The flowmeter and valve would be specified to match the particular fluid being measured whilst taking into account other contributory factors like suitable wetted parts, viscosity, temperature, pressure and required accuracy. Generally, flowmeters used in batch control applications would have a frequency or pulse output. Many modern flowmeters can output a pulse signal of up to 10 kHz (10,000 pulses per second) which is ideal for accurate, responsive batch control, providing the batch controller is suitably specified.
The batch controller itself must be carefully chosen. It is after all the piece that links all the other equipment together, it’s the only thing that the operator will need to interact with daily so it must be, easy to use, clear to see, reliable and accurate. It should be capable of being installed and operated in wet or hazardous environments, have features that will allow the use of two-stage valves (for slow flows at the beginning and end of a batch) ) to protect equipment and pipework on start-up and compensate for batch overrun. It should have an alarm should there be a problem during the batch and then automatically print out a ticket or output batch data to SCADA or DCS systems.
Contrec have a wide range of batch controllers to suit all applications, for more information contact us on +44 1422 829944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.