Improving operation of pasteurization system using level sensors to determine bay water levels

One of the critical control points in NOBL Beverages’ processing facility is a Pasteurizer, heating beverages to a temperature that has been pre-determined to kill harmful bacteria in the ingredients and extend the storage life of the beverage. For NOBL, when beverages do not meet that temperature, it forces the manufacturing line to cease production so they can investigate the issue. As NOBL reviewed risk assessment and downtime reports, they found themselves forgoing several hours a week of production due to unexpected issues.

With the Pasteurizer being a critical point in the plant, they already had secondary verification alerts that inform operation managers when the temperature in the cans did not meet the required specification. This, however, had proven to be little to no help in preventing the issue as they were only alerted to failures after the process had already gone down. According to Tim Graves, Director of Operations at NOBL Beverages, “Eventually we realized the only way to catch the process going down before it would cause manufacturing downtime is having the ability to monitor for pressure and temperature drops with the equipment”

A Simplicity Gauge pressure sensor was added to the boiler and provided alerts anytime the pressure fell below the set point. Additional pressure sensors were added to the bays of water that were used in the process to track their level. The tanks already contained float valves but these would occasionally malfunction and did not give a good indication of the amount of water left in the bays, so they were looking for a better solution from Preddio. NOBL needed to know when tanks fell below 40% which would allow time for them to react and refill without crashing the temperature. It was clear that this was their most critical issue.

After the sensors were installed, NOBL took advantage of Preddio’s alerts and created an automated group message based on the incoming alarms to ensure the team would react quickly and avoid downtime.

With this solution in place, NOBL had time for refills without crashing the temperature, solving one of their most critical issues. Finally, Preddio also added a motor rotational monitor to alert teams when the main shaft began spinning. This meant that NOBL could automatically turn off the sensors when the machine was not running.

NOBL estimates that by having alarms notifying them when equipment is not working properly, they have saved between 30 minutes – 1 hour of downtime in every 8-hour shift. This has provided significant savings and a rapid ROI. NOBL can also monitor trends throughout the day or week, which has been game-changing from a prevention standpoint. According to Tim, “Overall, we are excited about the flexibility, data, and return we have seen with Preddio’s tech. Their team is always there to support us when we have issues and constantly adds personalized features to make this a custom system for us.”

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