Crystobserver® Further Progress On Crystal Growth On-Line Monitoring

For sugar mills and refineries, crystal growth on-line monitoring gives a very good knowledge of the sugar boiling process. The number of crystals, the Coefficient of Variation (CV) and the Mean Aperture (MA) real-time measurements provide the operator with the information necessary to ensure that the graining is focused, on schedule and moving toward the goal: a cost effective production of homogeneous crystals with the required size.

This article describes how the pan microscope can play an important role at different stages of the process. Before seeding it checks the syrup quality and potentially detects contaminants, air bubbles and super coarse crystals that will limit the production of high quality crystals. At the seeding stage, it counts and measures the crystals to make sure the good volume with the correct size have entered the pan at the right time. During the graining phase, the CV and the MA are monitored to check normal crystal crop. Any non conformity (air bubbles, bad circulation, bad crystal size, etc…) can trigger alarms.

On the whole, every single data is registered for future analysis and complete traceability. On batch pans, different strikes can be compared at fixed intervals or at predefined key-points to easily follow the global trends of the measured data over time and closely run the pan.

Much of the responsibility for good quality final crystals resides in the seed quality: big crystals, free from fines particles and without conglomerates grains will preserve the homogeneity and the size of the crystals at the end of the crystallization process. In addition, the total amount of crystals produced at the end of a strike depends on the seed quantity. It is therefore essential to closely monitor the seeding stage in order to control final crystal amount and size. The microscope can characterize these criteria in Real Time.

When the super saturation is not properly contained, it can lead to the spontaneous formation of crystals or false grains that will have a significant influence on the massecuite production. The software has a dedicated section that continuously monitors the presence of fines particles.

All the data being stored in a SQL database, it can be easily accessed and manipulated to be analyzed. Another key feature of the software is its ability to compare up to three strikes over a common time axis, starting at their own seeding point.

Another major use of this feature is to set a standard strike and compare it to the other strikes to make sure that the pan operation remains stable and within predefined limits, which will ensure a stable and good quality massecuite production.

All the data being stored in a SQL database, it can be easily accessed and manipulated to be analyzed. Another key feature of the software is its ability to compare up to three strikes over a common time axis, starting at their own seeding point.

Another major use of this feature is to set a standard strike and compare it to the other strikes to make sure that the pan operation remains stable and within predefined limits, which will ensure a stable and good quality massecuite production.

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Spotobserver®

Detection, sorting and counting of brown lumps, out of spec color and black spots

Colobserver®

New functions 'multi qualities', option 'severe environment', compatible with enclosed shakers

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