The consistency and better control provided by VEGAPULS 64 enables the factory to optimise both energy and oil input.

A world leading convenience food and beverage manufacturer in the UK has found a new, innovative solution for controlling an integral part of their process for manufacturing tortilla chip snacks. There are always challenges to find ways to improve consistency and quality in the food industry, one of the key areas are the fryers, where a complex interaction between controlling the temperature, cooking time and oil replenishment is critical to making and maintaining the product to the highest quality. Small improvements can also quickly pay back in energy savings.

At this site VEGA radars are already used to monitor the cooking of the raw corn in kettles, before it is softened, processed and shaped into the familiar triangular tortilla shape. The fryer is runs at an ideal temperature of 186ºC and there is a likelihood of some build up from the oil and other deposits. It changes in density and electrical properties through heating and product contamination. It's a careful mix - too much or too little oil will see unwanted swings in the temperature - therefore, the more accurate the information the better the process control can work. The level measurement range is over 220mm and takes place inside a small chamber off the side of the large frying vessel, each mm represents 100’s of litres of cooking oil. It is important that the whole range is measured, both during charging of the oil and heating of the process as well as in full production.

Heat input needs to be carefully controlled in any fryer system for optimal efficiency and safety. The engineers initially tried a high-temperature guided wave radar but discovered that this measuring principle has physical performance limitations when working with poorly reflecting liquids (oil-based products) in small vessels.

VEGAPULS 64 was installed and set up, one thing was immediately apparent; it had the sensitivity to detect the oil almost as soon as the filling began. Sharp focusing meant it was also able to measure the level of liquid inside the chamber over the whole range with no interference from the side connections.

VEGA Italia srl
Via Enrico Fermi 8 - 20090 Assago - MI
Tel.: +39 02 8914081 - Fax: +39 02 89140840
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The accuracy of control of the installed radar sensor VEGAPULS 64 is very consistent and also ‘to the mm’ without any effect from dielectric changes.

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