More sustainable manufacturing means different things for different industries. For many food & beverage manufacturers, achieving more sustainable production means reducing water usage, waste, and carbon emissions.
Emerson’s Melissa Stiegler shared three ways technology has helped play a role in improved sustainability for food & beverage producers.
These ways include more efficient clean-in-place (CIP) operations, real-time mass balance calculations, and energy optimization.
In between production runs, it’s necessary to clean and sterilize the parts of the production line which come in contact with the product. Greater efficiency is attained when the amount of water needed for CIP is optimized for the minimum usage required.
By using Rosemount 225 toroidal conductivity sensors designed for sanitary applications, the concentration of CIP solutions can be measured. These measurements help to automate and record the detergent strength and minimize water usage by basing the rinse/flush time off the measurement instead of time-based estimates.
Other important technologies for more efficient CIP operations include Rosemount hygienic non-contacting radar level transmitters for accurate CIP tank measurements, Rosemount hygienic DP level transmitters for chemical holding tanks, and Micro Motion hygienic Coriolis flow and density meters for product, rinse water & cleaning solution measurements.
Including the measurements required to perform mass balance calculations in real time helps provide visibility on all the water usage and waste generated in the production process.
Technologies such as Rosemount magnetic flow meters provide high accuracy, suitability for both high and low volume applications, and Smart Meter Verification. This diagnostic technology monitors the entire flow meter’s performance and integrity–without requiring a stoppage in the process. It provides information in real-time to ensure flow measurement accuracy and when will be the best time for flow meter calibration.
A leading brewer in India needed to accurately and reliably monitor, in real-time, data from the various units of its breweries and distilleries, thereby enabling it to calculate their specific energy and water consumption. These units included boiler plants, cooling plants, water treatment plants, CO2 recovery plants, nitrogen generation, compressed air plants and electricity supply. They also needed to create efficiency reports as part of a comprehensive management information system, which would enable consumption and production patterns across all its breweries.
They installed wireless flow measurement points throughout the breweries and distilleries. These added measurements provide greater visibility and ensures all energy, water and wastewater is accurately measured and monitored at each unit. Access to diagnostic data from the flowmeters via the wireless network now enables the company to identify any potential problems with a device at an early stage and schedule maintenance during planned periods of downtime. This reduces costly unplanned shutdowns and helps to ensure that the flowmeters are always operating correctly, thereby increasing measurement reliability.
Added measurements and monitoring can help identify and alert conditions where energy is being wasted. For processes requiring steam, energy efficiency can be increased by monitoring the steam traps. Failing steam traps typically result in 10-20% energy loss per year. Wireless Acoustic transmitters monitor steam traps 24/7, and the Plantweb Steam Trap Insight application shares greater visibility into the status of steam trap assets to help recapture lost energy costs.
Boilers are a significant energy consumer. Energy efficiency can be improved with DeltaV pre-engineered boiler control strategies available for gas-fired, oil-fired, and optionally dual-fuel combination boilers.
One South American food manufacturer added steam trap monitors and saved more than 1.1 million liters of water and $67K in energy savings and had a return on investment in under a year.
Visit the Food & Beverage section on Emerson.com for other examples of how these technologies can help deliver more sustainable manufacturing operations. You can also connect and interact with other food & beverage experts in the Food & Beverage group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.