MTS Systems' Temposonics® R Series linear position sensors and Level-Plus® M Series transmitters are being incorporated into automation and control applications in the food and beverage industry due to high reliability, accuracy and compatibility with smart sensor networks such as DeviceNet.

“Because poor end-product quality and machine downtime are costly in this industry, our customers choose MTS Temposonics position sensors time and time again to keep their processes running at peak efficiencies,” claims Matt Hankinson, marketing manager, MTS Sensors.

According to the company, with the Temposonics linear position sensors’ response and accuracy controlling the roll gap for grain-rolling processes, operators realize higher machine performance and optimized product flow control. The accuracy also results in higher consistency between changeovers, as well as reduced setup time. (Due to the inherent absolute positioning of magnetostrictive sensors, the need for resetting to a home position or recalibrating is eliminated for the sensor’s lifetime.)

In food and beverage applications, uptime and productivity are crucial to meet production and packaging goals, and because Temposonics position sensors are noncontact, they provide wear-free measurement for a high level of repeatability and long-term stability. This robustness makes them ideal for food-processing applications that require continuous production cycles.

MTS says that the SSI output of the R Series sensor is fast, with an optional data update rate of 250 µsec, which is suitable for high-speed positioning applications in processing equipment. A DeviceNet output is also available for integration with device-level sensor bus networks to reduce complexity and cost. According to the company, the smart sensor technology enables lower-cost distributed control with improved diagnostics for better productivity.

Reliable liquid-level sensing is critical for beverage inventory control and filling applications. For example, MTS sensors are used for accurate inventory control at several U.S. distilleries for reporting production volumes in order to correctly calculate taxes. Level-Plus® transmitters are also used in bottle-filling applications due to the combination of performance and a 3-A sanitary rating.

One key advantage that has allowed Level Plus transmitters to excel in food and beverage applications is the ability to report two liquid levels from the same transmitter, and with this feature, users are able to measure both the alcohol and water content of a storage tank.