Flow measurement is a critical tool for food and beverage manufacturers, the industry having a diverse range of processes that require the precise control of liquid flow rates. Production processes including filling of vessels or bottles, measuring liquid ingredients, and controlling cleaning processes, require varying degrees of complexity and accuracy to ensure consistent product yield and minimise wastage. Although there are a wide variety of general flowmeters on the market, only a few high-performance measuring devices will ensure the high levels of hygiene and precision are maintained for applications in the food and drinks sector.
“The physical properties of the liquids themselves lend additional complexities to the choice of flow measuring equipment,” says Neil Hannay, Senior Development Engineer at Titan Enterprises. “Consideration of whether the liquid is viscous, volatile, corrosive, flammable, or contaminated with particles, for example, or needs to be maintained at a high temperature, are key factors in deciding a suitable flow meter.”
Monitoring Flow of High and Low Viscosity Fluids
Flow monitoring of high viscosity liquids, such as cooking oils, sauces and syrups (e.g. syrup injections in beverage lines) require devices such as Titan’s oval gear flowmeters, which provide highly accurate flow measurement. Unlike other flowmeters, measurement accuracy of oval gear flowmeters improves as the liquid viscosity increases, from a nominal 1% to around 0.1% of flow rate at higher viscosities.
Whereas for low viscosity liquids such as water, beer, wine and spirits, Titan’s NSF-approved 800-series and beverage flowmeters provide a low-cost drink dispensing solution. Designed to give high performance over 6 flow ranges from 0.05 to 15 l/min, these devices have totally non-metallic NSF-approved wetted components making them ideally suited for applications where both food hygiene and precision flow measurement are required.
Flow Monitoring at High Temperatures
In processes where ingredients need to be maintained at high temperatures – chocolate for example – a flowmeter designed for applications requiring precise flow measurement at elevated temperatures would be needed. Capable of operating up to 110°C, Titan’s inline non-invasive Atrato® ultrasonic flowmeter is largely immune from viscosity and offers excellent turndown and repeatability.
Titan Enterprises offers a range of oval gear flowmeters in food grade materials for viscous products such as sauces, oils and syrups, as well as NSF-approved mini-turbine flowmeters for drink dispensing. As an experienced OEM supplier, Titan develop customised flow meters for specific customer applications within the food and beverage industry.