This summer, Novus put in the next generation of tank telemetry at mills that include enhanced features. Our systems manager, Dr. Johnny Wilson, takes us through what makes Novus unique:
What are the types of application or dosing systems? What do we use and why do we utilize that technology?
We have customers that use both individually metered liquids and liquid scales in their operations. Metered liquids use either a mass flow Coriolis or oval gear meter. These are the most common for both ALIMET® and SANTOQUIN® systems.
Mass flow Coriolis meters deliver the highest degree of accuracy for most liquid feed ingredients, provided they are calibrated as part of a regular maintenance schedule unlike other liquid manufacturing equipment.
Mass flow Coriolis meters perform a series of calculations using measured product density, flow rate and other factors to determine the weight of product added to each batch of feed.
What’s next for application/dosing systems in the industry? Where is the industry headed with this technology?
Over the past year, I have seen more and more customers adopt remote monitoring and validation techniques for all ingredients with an emphasis on their liquids. Oftentimes, they will collect data from the meter transmitters through a local network and have software that can be used to remotely adjust variables and settings. Product usage data from the flow meters can then be validated against tank inventory to determine if dosing is accurate, or if there is an equipment issue.
What is Novus working on to advance their current technology?
At the end of August 2018, we began to install our next generation of tank monitoring equipment for those fitting a specific customer profile. These are custom made units manufactured by Bentek Systems that are equipped with SCADAlink satellite and/or cellular communication. This will allow us to obtain tank inventories much faster and with greater reliability.
Their basic function will be to provide our AIMS system with tank inventory levels, but the additional features are really what makes them impressive. Within the coming months, we will be connecting the Micromotion meters installed on our liquid systems to the Bentek SCADAlink RTUs (image 1), so we can remotely monitor system variables and remotely troubleshoot systems.
The system flow rate will tell us if the pump is operating at the desired speed and the calculated density will tell us if the meter is in need of calibration. The product temperature will tell us if the heat trace is functioning and the total volume can be used to validate how much was used over a given time frame, versus the inventory measured by a pressure sensor inside of the tank.
We will also be able to tie in an electronic pressure sensor to determine if the system loses prime between batches as well as a high level alarm for the tank. All of these additional features have been developed and tested over the past six months, and we are very excited for the possibilities.
Along with the new RTUs, we have a new web portal from Bentek Scadalink that can be used to monitor inventory and view all of the information from equipment tied into the unit. Future developments will utilize customer-specific profiles and allow customers to view their liquid system information and tank inventory. Customers will be able to create setpoints for high/low level alerts. In the case of high usage, it will automatically send an email if an event occurs. This can lead to a much faster response time for correcting inventory levels, preventing overfills and detecting leaks (Image 2).