Powelectrics and PI Sales join forces to deliver IoT solution to the food industry

Powelectrics offer 30 years’ experience in sensing and instrumentation, empowering the Industrial Internet of Things by connecting sensors to the cloud. The company’s technology, combined with the highest quality third party instrumentation and software, is deployed across many industries and is truly global.

Process Instrument Sales offer effective application solutions for industry, installing, commissioning, calibrating and servicing a broad range of instrumentation.

Dave Oakes, Powelectrics MD, commented: “Powelectrics have worked with Process Instrument Sales for over 20 years. They are hugely respected in the instrumentation industry and have built up a fantastic team. Their broad understanding of sensor applications partnered with our expertise in connecting sensors to the cloud, is a winning combination!”

The customer is a leading UK manufacturer of crisps and snack products. Their production is heavily reliant upon a constant supply of high-grade cooking oil.

The site has two enormous tanks connected to local SCADA. This was useful to local operatives in the control room, but the tank level data could not be seen by other parties.

If the tanks ran dry, production would stop, potentially incurring penalties from volume customers, such as supermarket chains, in addition to the internal costs associated with lost production.

Conversely, if the tanks were accidentally overfilled, oils would spill down the sides of the tanks into the bund, wasting oil, creating a safety hazard and obscuring local gauges on the sides of the tanks.

Over time, the local gauges had become illegible. The customer decided to invest in an IoT solution that could enable multiple stakeholders to see essential tank level data and receive user-defined low level alerts, so supplies could be arranged. The wireless kit avoided the need for cabling to the control room, which would have been time-consuming, expensive and created a potential safety hazard.

Powelectrics installed Metron telemetry hardware, which can monitor up to four tanks per device. For this project, external power was available and this unit had battery back-up. Metron IIoT units can also be solely battery or solar powered, for use in remote and rural locations.

Process Instrument Sales supplied and commissioned the Labom Ci4103 hydrostatic level transmitters. These sensors were selected for their stainless steel case, IP67 electrical connection for washdown protection and their clear three-line, customer-selectable back-lit LCD, showing contents, output, level and temperature. With HART 7 as standard, this well-specified instrument is ideally suited to food and beverage applications. Click here for further information. The tanks did not need to be emptied as the sensors were fitted to valves at the base of the tank.

This installation was completed in under a day, with no lost production. Our customer now has an Industry 4.0 solution which reliably reports data every two hours, though this could be every few minutes if required.

Since the installation there have been no run-outs or overfills. Data and alerts can be visible to any number of authorised users, on or off site. In addition to assisting stock reordering, data can be used for production planning, monitoring energy usage, maintenance and more.

Powelectrics Metron4 supports 2G & 4G for global deployment! It offers 4 analogue inputs, expansion cards for pulse counting & RS232 and options to develop RS485 & CANBUS interfaces. With solar, battery & external power options, IP67 enclosure & operational temperatures – 25 to +65°C, its able to deliver sensor data & alerts into many global applications!

MetronView offers customisable dashboards and reports, but also offers a common API, so that data may be drawn into other platforms for application-specific processing. These can be developed by Powelectrics or by customers.

Powelectrics ‘connected sensor’ solutions are employed in many industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, Adblue, fuels, oils, LPG, lubricants, food and beverage, waste & recycling, landfill & leachate, agriculture, utilities, pumping and environment, rail and security.

Jon Tayler, PI Sales MD, explained: “We have enjoyed a long and friendly business relationship with Dave Oakes and all the team at Powelectrics. Their attention to detail, ‘can do’ attitude and service response is welcomed and refreshing.

“With the current trend to working from home and reducing unnecessary journeys, remote monitoring of valuable assets is going to become ever more important. I can see our opportunities to grow the business with Powelectrics.”

To learn more about Process Instrument Sales on-site capabilities please click here.

To discuss any queries or applications with Powelectrics, please call +44 (0)1827 310 666 or email to sales@powelectrics.co.uk

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