Solid Applied Technologies Ltd. (SolidAT)

Improved monitoring of citric acid level


MonoScan improves level monitoring of citric acid processing by providing advanced non-contact ultrasonic level measurement solution for Israel's leading provider of food additives.

GBI, is a world known provider of citric acid for the food industry. The company supplies citric acid (HOOCCH2C) and other food additives around the globe and therefore invests greatly in improving its infrastructure and control equipment to provide high standard products.

The Problems

The plant engineers sought an ultrasonic solution to control the level of one of the citric acid tanks. The manufacturing process of this kind of acid involves heating, mixing, inlet and outlet of the mixture. There are several problems that may be encountered while measuring the level of such mixture using ultrasonic technology.

The mixture is heated to keep it in a liquid state and therefore the temperature inside the tank is around 60°C (140°F). Steam streamed into the tank to maintain the hot temperature is causing ripples and waves in the mixture that cause acoustic interferences. Moreover, the hot environment inside the tank produces sticky vapors that sometimes hinder the ultrasonic wave and block the sensor's housing. Another obstacle is an agitator, located inside the tank, constantly blending the mixture to keep it homogeneous.

The solution

GBI decided to install one MonoScan unit on top of the citric acid tank. The unit was mounted on a metal tripod approx. 0.50 m (1.64 ft) above the tank to prevent vapors and hot air from entering the sensor housing and interfering with the measurement process. In addition, a sophisticated algorithm preprogrammed in the MonoScan's, was initiate to eliminate further acoustic interferences and to prevent obstacles affecting the accuracy of the readings. The MonoScan's front LCD display enables readings of the acid level inside the tank locally and remotely through analog output to be viewed by the control desk engineers continuously.

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