IR Sensors in Food, Pharmaceutical, Construction & Power Industry -
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Industry Applications - Other Applications

IR Sensors in Food Manufacturing
General Industries

There are many industries that require heating or cooling of their products and controlling temperature is critical to achieving quality products at the lowest cost and fastest production time. There are many ways to measure temperature, but noncontact infrared thermometers have several advantages. Noncontact thermometers measure actual product temperature and not the temperature of the environment surrounding the product. With noncontact measurement, there is no contamination of the product and the process is not interrupted. The response time of these sensors can be very fast - 10 ms is very common.

The applications discussed below are typical examples of how Ircon® infrared thermometers can help with the production process. For additional applications and product recommendations, please contact our application engineers.

Food Processing

Food processing from cooking, chilling and freezing is temperature sensitive and Ircon® noncontact thermometers can be used in the following applications:

  • Food chilling and freezing - the food temperatures measured at the exit of the flash cooler insures each item is frozen to the correct temperature.
  • Cereals manufacturing - measure the temperature at the exit of the puffers or from the flakers.
  • Candy manufacturing - measure cooling of the plastic molds, molten sugar and chocolate.
  • Soups and canned food making - measure the temperature of the soup as it is cooked in large vats, as well as liquids and vegetables in plastic or glass containers. The infrared sensor can detect the food temperature inside the container.
  • Food drying and roasting - measure the temperature of the products inside ovens and roasters.

Ircon infrared thermometers used in food processing operate at 8-14 microns with emissivity set at 0.94. The outputs can be integrated with PLC controllers to easily control the process for improved quality and reduced production costs.

Recommended Ircon products: Modline® 56 for measuring liquid food temperatures in glass containers and Modline 43 and 48 for measuring food temperatures in plastic containers.

Construction Processes

Ircon IR sensors are used in the production of materials for the construction industry that require temperature control.

  • Roofing shingles - verify the temperature of the asphalt before the granules are attached, and the cooling of the shingles before cutting and bundling
  • Particle board - detect hot spots during the curing process
  • Drywall - measure the board curing temperatures
  • Brick firing - control the temperature in the tunnel kilns
  • Asphalt - monitor temperatures of the dryer, kiln and storage bins
  • Cement kilns - measure temperatures of the clinker and shell

Ircon instruments are designed to operate in hot, dusty environments and provide alarms and outputs for controlling and recording product temperature.

Recommended Ircon products: Modline 5R, Modline 52 and Modline 74.

Power Industry

The power industry has several unique applications that require temperature control to insure complete and proper combustion, as well as maintain lower fuel costs. These applications include:

  • Coal temperature - linescanners and spot thermometers measure the temperature of the coal to prevent fires in storage areas.
  • Flame temperature - two color thermometers are used to measure the flame temperature to insure proper fuel to air ratio. If garbage is burned, complete combustion has occurred.
  • Fly ash temperature - in water tube boilers, the gas temperature has to be hot enough to prevent the fly ash from adhering to the tubes. Thermometers operating at 1 micron measure the fly ash temperature to prevent this problem.

The recommended products: Modline 5R two color ratio thermometer and Modline 4.

Pharmaceutical Processes

The pharmaceutical industry requires very accurate process temperatures and small spot sizes. The following are some typical applications where noncontact temperature sensors are used:

  • Pill coating - if the pill temperature is too low, the coating will not cure and will leave the pills moist; if the pills are too hot, they may be destroyed.
  • Glass vial manufacturing - the edges of the new vials have to be heated to make them smooth and often the vial is heated to develop specific shapes. The Modline 74 series can see thru the flames and measure the glass temperature.
  • Product temperature - the temperature of the liquid in glass containers has to be correct to insure proper sealing and sterilization. The Modline 56 can see thru the glass and measure the liquid temperature.

Recommended Ircon products: Modline 56 and Modline 74

Most manufacturing processes where the temperature is key to product quality benefit from the use of noncontact infrared thermometers through:

  • Increased product quality and productivity
  • Increased productivity with instantaneous feedback of operating parameters
  • Reduced energy costs, scrap and downtime
  • Enhanced personnel safety and environment control in hazardous areas

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