Dairy - Loss Monitoring

Quadbeam Sensors have been specifically developed to meet the unique requirements of the dairy process. We understand the importance of accuracy in your operations; therefore Quadbeam sensors use the Four Beam ratio-metric self-compensating process. This allows you to measure only solids in the liquid, not what is stuck to the surface of the sensor. A range of sensors is available to best measure the level of solids you require, allowing you to achieve greater accuracy, and therefore increased control and efficiency.

Dairy - Loss Monitoring

Product Loss monitoring - quadbeam

Product spills both large and small are a fact of life in dairy factories and town milk treatment plants. These spills are now more difficult to detect because of the recent trend of reducing the number of plant operators employed in wet areas of dairies.

Another factor common to many town milk treatment plants, is that few have their own wastewater treatment plants and rely on the local municipal waste water treatment plant to clean up their plant waste. The cost of lost product is huge with acknowledged losses of 10,000 to 40,000 litres of product in a typical spill. The clean-up cost can be very expensive with one USA dairy plant reporting that after a major spill they had a monthly BOD/TSS bill of US$290,000 from the local publicly owned waste water treatment plant.

Until recently, with no easy way of being alerted to spills, many plants resort to “the solution to pollution is dilution” method. In this scenario “identified” product spills are washed down the drain with large volumes of water to dilute the waste. If the spill is identified quickly all this does is remove the peaks from the BOD charges. However, as the time from the start of the spill to the time of detection is often unknown, it is not always possible to know how much product has already been discharged to the drain. It is at best a hit and miss solution to an immediate problem and does nothing to eliminate future product losses and the associated clean up costs.

How to prevent product loss

Fortunately there is a proven solution to the problem of milk product losses. The Quadbeam MXD75 Suspended Solids monitor and associated S20 Immersion sensor can immediately identify when milk products have been discharged to the drain. The S20 immersion sensor uses proven Quadbeam™ Technology which compensates both for changes due to ageing of the optical components and also build up on the sensor surface. The sensors can be mounted in a guard assembly in the bottom of the drain with the sensor guard fingers resting on the bottom of the drain. The sensor is connected via a 10m connection cable to a MXD75 Transmitter which provides a proportional 4 to 20mA current output signal that is usually connected to a DCS or PLC system.

Once the milk spill in the drain has been detected by the sensor, the operator has an audio / visual alarm “pop up” on the PLC screen that will allow him to identify and correct the spill before any significant amount of milk has been discharged. By using the MXD75 and the S20 Immersion sensor product losses are minimised and the high BOD/TSS charges are eliminated.

Once operators know that Product Loss Monitors are installed in the drains, the late Saturday night “accidental” discharges can then be eliminated and the waste milk is instead sent to product recovery, again increasing productivity. 

Easy Instrument Setup

The Quadbeam transmitter has been designed with the process user in mind. Transferring the complex sensor information into a simple, linear curve output is very easy to complete during initial installation and calibration setup.  Take a look at the following video to learn how to complete this using your on-site samples:
Quadbeam Training Video


Suspended Solids is a quantitative measure of particles in fluid often Suspended Solids particles will settle out relatively quickly. Suspended Solids are often measured in mg/l, ppm or % concentration. It generally relates to higher concentration solids in fluid. 

Turbidity is qualitative measure of liquid clarity and is measured in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU). It generally relates to lower concentration of solids in fluid. For low range, ISO7027 requires the NIR light to be measured at 90° from source.   Both suspended particles and chemicals in solution can influence clarity.

Products used in this project