Blending, also known as ratioing is a complex task that has long been a challenge for manufacturers of foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals and other compounds. With competition driving manufacturers to continually expand and diversify their product ranges, today’s automated manufacturing and processing plants are handling an unprecedented variety of products and the issue of blending has become more important than ever.
Traditional blending systems simply consisted of a flowmeter and a control device (valve or actuator). Since any residue left in the pipe flowed into the mix after the valve was closed, production managers had to use trial and error to determine the shut-off time. More trial and error was involved with each change of product characteristic (e.g. viscosity, density). This created the potential for major inaccuracies that could expose consumers to danger and manufacturers to legal action, for example in the case of ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages, or pharmaceutical products.
Endress Hauser offers the ideal solution: integrated blending solutions that enable processing plants to switch between product lines with optimum speed, accuracy and safety. Endress+Hauser has developed highly sophisticated blending software that is included in all Promag 53 electro-magnetic and Promass 83 Coriolis flowmeters. This provides process managers with exceptionally accurate control over the timing, mass and/or volume of both the primary fill and the fine-tuned secondary fill, optimising process consistency and thus product quality.
The software integrates seamlessly with existing operating programs, transforming flowmeters into blending controllers that synchronise the measuring and control devices. External blending controllers become redundant, and there is no need to rely on PLC/DCS.
The control panel, located on the flowmeter itself, features a user-friendly interface and menu. Up to six user-definable blending set-ups for six products (or batch parameters and sizes) can be easily programmed. Different pre-batch, primary batch and secondary batch parameters (and number of batches) can be specified for each set-up. By locating process control at the control devices, this arrangement reduces processing power demands on the PLC, eliminates the need for specialist programmers and saves on cabling installation, labour and maintenance costs.
Successful blending is also supported by Endress+Hauser’s exceptionally accurate, versatile and robust hardware technologies. The company’s magnetic volumetric flowmeters and Coriolis mass flowmeters measure to within 0.1% of reading. They are chemically compatible with a wider range of materials than competitor offerings, and can operate under harsher conditions.
By re-positioning and improving process control, Endress+Hauser’s blending software provides a single, high-functioning package that empowers manufacturing plants to achieve repeatable blending accuracy across a variety of product lines – and thus the increased product variety, lower prices and shorter lead times that are essential for long-term operational and cost benefits in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
Endress+Hauser’s user-friendly Applicator Selection software tool can help customers explore their blending and flow measurement requirements and determine exactly which Promag or Promass model they need.