NDC Infrared Engineering said that its newly developed on-line MM710e gauge, unveiled at IPA 2008, is Ethernet enabled and can measure moisture, fat, and protein in a wide range of foods including dairy powders, chocolate, snacks, biscuits, coffee, sugar and cereals.
Andrew Brunt, marketing manager with NDC said that the continuous online measurement offered by the MM710e in contrast to the more conventional grab sampling method enables an improvement to product yield output of three to four per cent.
In addition, he said, the gauge’s optical gating system allows for product absence recognition, which enables the measurement of products that do not have continuous flow such as biscuits – it analyses the moisture level of the product and not the belt.
Brunt told FoodProductionDaily.com that this gauge retains the essential measurement engine of the MM710 range but now provides greater process and data control with separate line operator and supervisory access for setting parameters or checking outputs and trends development.
The gauge also differs from the company’s MM710 range in that it has high-speed digital processing technology and Ethernet connectivity for high accuracy and easy integration into exiting processing plant networks and management information systems, continued Brunt.
The hub system with switching technology also allows for the use of multi-gauge configurations, he added.
Brunt said that the gauge is designed to help food processors avoid costly production downtime in that it can be ordered pre-programmed with a specific calibration to suit the measurements needed for a particular product.
The MM710e is housed in stainless steel and is placed above the conveyor belt at 250mm from the surface of the product, he continued.
Brunt explained that the gauge works by use of a near infrared light engine, whereby the light leaving the MM710e interacts with the product, unabsorbed energy is reflected back into the instrument and this is then transmitted to a detector that subsequently generates a signal output proportional to the amount of moisture, fat or protein in the product.
He claims that the gauge’s optical components also enhance quality control through their ability to reject interference from external contributions that could affect measurements such as ambient light, relative humidity, particle size, colour variations and temperature.
And product consistency is assured as the MM710e guarantees that each batch is the same regarding moisture, oil or protein levels, he claims.