Increasing Efficiency in Sugar Production

by | Jan 31, 2023 | Food & Beverage, Industry, Measurement Instrumentation

Sugar can derive from two different plant sources: sugar beets and sugar cane. The first ones are harvested in mid to late autumn when sugar content peaks. The leafy beet tops are sliced off and the roots are lifted out of the ground with special harvesting equipment. The harvested sugar beets are trucked from the field and are likely taken to a receiving station.

The extraction of sugar from sugar beets is done in different stages in which the beets are processed to finally get refined sugar. In these phases, measurement instrumentation is needed to control and monitor the different processes to guarantee the best product quality while increasing throughput and avoiding downtime at the sugar processing plants.

Level Measurement Optimizes Beet Handling and Sugar Crystallization Process 

In the beet handling stage, the main goal is to minimize operator interaction and increase safety. Using level measurement technologies in the flume can help ensure the water level remains consistent while avoiding overfills. The Rosemount 1408A Non-Contacting Level and Flow Transmitter can be mounted easily above the flume and provides reliable and accurate level measurement.

Additionally, the Rosemount 2120 Vibrating Fork will provide point level detection and ensure that the flumes do not overflow by delivering level alarms when reaching critical levels.

Wireless Remote Monitoring Technologies Increase Efficiency in the Sugar Washing Phase

Rosemount Wireless Technologies monitor level, temperature and flow in holding ponds and will help to minimize manual rounds at sugar processing plants. Additionally, wireless instrumentation is suitable for use in areas with limited power. The Rosemount 648 Wireless Temperature Transmitter offers best-in-class wireless accuracy and stability for process monitoring, and the Rosemount 3308 Wireless Level Transmitter enables automation of level measurements without calibration, apart from being immune to changing process conditions.

The solid waste removed during the washing step is often pressed into a mud mixture for further drying. The Micro Motion ELITE Coriolis Meter can help with achieving optimized polymer consistency and aging in the mud, while monitoring net solids flow.

Flow Measurement Optimizes Sugar Purification Process

Coriolis meters are used in the purification stage to monitor mass flow and density in the Lime Kiln, so that it is possible to know how much Milk of Lime is added into the process. The Micro Motion Elite Coriolis Flow and Density Meters are perfect for this application, since they have been designed to deliver accurate and repeatable flow measurement, and they also come in the widest variety of line sizes and materials.

In the purification process, the sugar water (raw juice) has to go through several purifying and filtering steps to remove as many impurities, solids and fine particles as possible. The separation tanks from this stage can have numerous flowmeters to monitor the flow of the raw juice or the amount of waste that is being removed from the process. The Micro Motion F-Series are compact, drainable Coriolis Flow and Density meters that deliver highly reliable and robust measurements.

Pressure Measurement Helps Improve Evaporation and Crystallization Processes in the Sugar Processing

After purification, the raw juice is heated with steam to evaporate the natural water. This is carried out through a series of evaporators and the result is a more concentrated dark caramel syrup. The Rosemount 3051S Electronic Remote Sensor (ERSTM) System provides numerous advantages in this application due to fast response time, high reliability and easier maintenance over capillary systems.

After evaporation, the caramel syrup enters the crystallization process, where vacuum pans continue concentrating the sugar. This process is a very abrasive process and the Rosemount 3051ERS is also suitable for this application, due to its high reliability and its reduced maintenance costs.

Temperature Measurement Increases Safety in the Sugar Handling Stage

The step after purification is sugar handling, where the sugar dries and cools down with air ducts to blow air for drying. In this stage, temperature control is important to ensure proper drying. The Rosemount 214C RTD Temperature Sensor will help to measure temperature with a high level of accuracy. The temperature measurements can be sent to the Rosemount 848 Temperature Transmitter to avoid any safety issue on conveyor belts.


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