New Regloplas system for digitalization in process temperature control

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Feeder-mixer-kneader-conche, throughput 400 kg/h, temperature controlled up to 90°C. Pic: Regloplas
Feeder-mixer-kneader-conche, throughput 400 kg/h, temperature controlled up to 90°C. Pic: Regloplas

Related tags processing Dairy Temperature control Temperature digitalization digitalisation pandemic

Lockdowns and pandemic-related employee absences have made it difficult for many food producers to maintain their usual production capacity.

However, production of dairy products, pasta, pastries, confectionery, food additives, even new types of foods such as plant-based meat replacements must continue, even when everything around is at a standstill.

The food industry made advances in digitalization last year that would otherwise have taken many years. And this has had a major impact on temperature control. Systems operating 24 hours per day must record the core parameters over the entire production process to comply with the regulations of hygiene and traceability, for example the temperature of grinders for chocolate production, the bath or screw temperatures of extrusion plants for pasta or confectionery, temperatures in double-walled vessels (often with agitators) for tempering fluids, temperatures in pipelines for transporting various semi-finished or finished products, and increasingly also large reactors that can be used for everything from sugar production to the production of natural flavorings for foodstuffs.

Any deviations from the standard, temperature deviations, alarms etc. must trigger the necessary remedial actions immediately, especially at those times when there is no-one standing by the system. There are also the needs for remote support by the plant manufacturers' service technicians and the ongoing optimization of the whole production plant.

To provide better support to its customers during this development, Regloplas AG offers a range of solutions for its temperature control units and cooling systems (-20°C to 350°C and 3 to 80 kW heating capacity), which drive forward the digitalization of temperature control in the food industry.

Regloplas AG's new RT200 control system with integrated OPC UA server offers flexibility for digitalization within the production process. The central concept of digitalization is data exchange of all the process and machine data across the network and to higher-level IT systems such as MES, ERP and PPS.

All peripheral machines, devices and systems involved in the production process communicate with one another. This enables real-time process optimizations, leading to higher productivity, reduced downtime, optimized machine capacity and improved product quality.

The company said use of its temperature control units offer additional advantages: Cost reductions compared to plant manufacturer's own solutions (produced in small quantities); problem-free continued use of the temperature control unit in a new or upgraded system; and technical improvement and increased reliability due to the use of a temperature control unit by a manufacturer specializing in temperature control.

The company said less outlay on the integration of high performance and flexible temperature control solutions is attractive to both plant manufacturers and to processing operations.


Related topics Processing & Packaging