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Accelerometers Keeping our Fridge Full of Food and Drinks

GVS talks about how vibration analysis and monitoring systems help food and beverage manufacturers keep production lines running smoothly.

The food and beverage manufacturing industry use a wide range of equipment and systems in their processes; refrigerators, ovens and production lines all have pumps, motors, fans and conveyors, and the continued monitoring of each component is needed to enable precision process control. There are many techniques available to engineers when it comes to analysis of these components, but one of the most effective is the ability to identify tiny changes in the operation of rotating components by monitoring and analysing levels of vibration.

Vibration is an great indicator of issues such as wear or misalignment on anything to do with production and manufacturing and is easily implemented using accelerometers and either in-line or hand held instruments. Industrial accelerometers supplied from GVS Reliability Products to the Australian market are easy to install and use, measuring high and low frequencies of vibration across a wide temperature range, with low hysteresis characteristics. These devices are also virtually bullet proof, offering fantastic resistance to moisture, dust, oils and other contaminants with superb levels of accuracy.

To break it down, there are two accelerometer types: AC accelerometers, which are typically used with data collectors, and 4-20mA accelerometers, commonly used with PLCs (value alternatives when AC components are not required). Both types of industrial accelerometer are capable of detecting imbalances or misalignment on a machine, but AC versions can also identify cavitation, looseness, gear defects and belt problems.

A standard 100mV/g AC sensor is an ideal solution for the majority of food and beverage manufacturing equipment. HS-100 Series manufactured by Hansford and supplied out of Newcastle by Good Vibrations can be ordered in two types: either top or side entry components. If you are looking to meet strict hygiene standards imposed within many food and drink industries stainless steel enclosures are also an option. Intrinsically safe versions are available for production lines where, for example, the main ingredient may contaminate equipment, eg. flour and sugar.

To cover all bases you can also look at alternatives for certain conditions. While a 100mV/g AC sensor frequently provides the right monitoring solution, sometimes it’s preferable to look at a 4-20mA sensor connected directly into a PLC so that alarms can be pre-set to shut the machinery down immediately if something isn’t right. Another example is if there are regular machine wash-downs, waterproof sensors may be required, while temperature may also need to be taken into account where there are ovens or refrigeration areas.

When specifying sensors for food and beverage applications, giving us a call to have a chat around your businesses unique situation is a great place to begin. Our guys have years of experience with vibration sensors and we are confident that will be able to offer you to the right solution for your manufacturing for your manufacturing in the food or beverage industry.

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