Blending improvements

To address the shortcomings of traditional continuous in-line blending, SensiBlend developed a patented adaptive feedback control system. It not only monitors, but adjusts the blending process in real time by adding an in-line chemical analysis to volumetric proportioning, the company says. Instead of metering in the ingredients and relying on downstream quality assurance testing, the SensiBlend system uses process analytical technology to analyze inputs from sensors that measure pH, UV and other variables to adjust ratios before releasing fluid flow, the company says. Customers can program the system with a detailed chemical analysis, and SensiBlend ensures these set points are met. The product’s patented skid system adjusts proportioning on-the-fly based on the measurement inputs to ensure product quality, the company says. With an in-line, real-time system, quality control is integrated into the process.

• SensiBlend, 910 North Lake Shore Drive, Unit 820, Chicago, Ill. 60611; 855/494-3423;


Thermal imaging camera

Wahl Instruments Inc. introduced a new generation of Wahl Heat Spy high-speed 30 hertz, 160-by-120 pixels, thermal imaging cameras. The Heat Spy is available in two series with 16 different configurations to suit a variety of applications. The z30 series Detector is designed for on-the-spot maintenance inspections and repair. The z50 series Inspector is designed for users required to document and prepare reports including thermal and digital images. The z30 Detector model features 11 languages; four color palettes; Celsius, Fahrenheit  or Kelvin measurement scales; hot-cold seeking and two-fixed spot measurements; and freeze frame for viewing the current image. The z30 models quickly detect problem areas, and are ideal to search, find and fix applications, the company says. The z50 Inspector models feature all the functions of the z30 with 11 color palettes; built-in emissivity table for easy look up; measurement offset correction; and includes digital camera and image storage via an SD card. The digital camera included on the z50 Inspector series Heat Spy takes a digital image simultaneously with the thermal image, it explains. Wahl’s Double Vision feature allows the user to place the corresponding images adjacent in a report. Side-by-side comparison or picture-in-picture make it easier to pinpoint trouble spots, the company says. The z50 Inspector includes voice annotation of up to 45 seconds per image that records notes and observations in the field for transcription to a final report. The measurement mode includes lines, areas and Isotherms with visible alarms. All models have 2x digital zoom, 3.5-inch high resolution display, laser aiming, audible and visible alarms, video output, spots, delta T, auto ranging, manual level and span, and adjustable display brightness. All pixels are individually calibrated, and Heat Spy quickly acclimates to ambient temperature changes.

• Palmer Wahl Instrumentation Group, 234 Old Weaverville Road, Asheville, N.C. 28804; 800/421-2853;


Handheld analysis

Paul N. Gardner Co. Inc. and Tintometer Ltd. introduced a new handheld photometer for the analysis of European Brewing Convention (EBC) color units and another for the analysis of Pfund color units. The Lovibond EBC ColorPod combines simplicity with accuracy for the measurement of color in the brewing industry, the company says. The measurement is performed in accordance with the official photometric EBC method for color that relates the light at 430 nanometers (nm.) passed through the sample being analyzed with the EBC color value. The light is generated by a single wavelength LED that the company says will last the lifetime of the instrument; samples are measured in 10-mm. path length plastic cuvettes that are inserted into the spill-proof sample chamber. The measurements take three seconds to perform, with resulting output either in EBC color units or absorbance at 430 nm. Tintometer also introduced Lovibond ColorPod, a new handheld photometer for the analysis of Pfund color units. Measurement is conducted by an instrumental method based on a photometric measurement, the company explains. The measurement is performed using two single wavelength LEDs at right angles to each other. Light at 430 nm. and 530 nm. is passed through the sample being analyzed. The transmitted light is then related to the Pfund color scale or to the seven U.S. Department of Agriculture honey classifications. The LED will last the lifetime of the instrument, the company says. Samples are measured in 10-mm. path length plastic cuvettes, with four clear sides, that are inserted into the spill-proof sample chamber. The measurements take three seconds to perform, with resulting outputs in mm. Pfund honey.

• Paul N. Gardner Co. Inc., 316 N.E. First St., Pompano Beach, Fla. 33060; 954/946-9454;


CO2 cylinders

Worthington Cylinders, a Worthington Industries company, expanded its existing carbon dioxide (CO2) product lines. The expansion completes the company’s product line and ensures one-stop shopping for customers in the foodservice industry, it says.

The company’s new 20-pound CO2 cylinderprovides foodservice customers with a lightweight, longer-lasting cylinder option for dispensing carbonated and on-tap beverages. Adding to the existing product line, which ranges from 2- to 15-pound cylinders, the expanded size still has a corrosion-resistant interior and exterior, 6061-T6 aluminum alloy to improve strength and portability, and an optional carrying handle for valve protection. The new cylinder will be manufactured at the company’s plant in New Albany, Miss., and available for distribution throughout North America. The products are available to be finished to customer paint, valve and stamp specifications within days, according to the company.

• Worthington Cylinders, 200 West Old Wilson Bridge Road, Worthington, Ohio 43085; 614/438-3013;


Small-footprint accessory

Tharo Systems’ PA2000t/b Tamp/Blow Label Printer/Applicator is an accessory for Tharo’s H-Series thermal/thermal transfer bar code label printers. It is designed to meet demanding applications with maximum uptime and economical, worry-free operation, the company says. The PA2000t/b Tamp/Blow accessory features a small footprint: 16.5-by-30 inches for the H-400 or 19.5-by-30 inches for the H-600, with a remote front panel for easy access, regardless of the orientation of the applicator. It has an all-metal construction and is made to last with time-tested components, the company says. With or without a computer attached, the PA2000t/b Tamp/Blow can print and apply labels and has the ability to apply labels on either the top or side of a product of convex, concave or flat surfaces. The adjustable down sensor stops the Tamp Pad between a half-inch to 2 inches from the product; from there the label is blown on, the company says.

• Tharo Systems Inc., 2866 Nationwide Parkway, P.O. Box 798, Brunswick, Ohio 44212; 330/273-4408;


Sterilization method

KHS developed a new method of sterilizing preforms. Sterilizing preforms in advance eliminates the need for classic upstream PET bottle sterilizing and rinsing, the company says. The KHS method of preform sterilization is intended for use in the InnoPET BloFill stretch blow molder/filler monoblock where a newly developed sterile chamber module is implemented in the heater area of the Series IV InnoPET Blomax generation of stretch blow molders. The sterile chamber module follows the initial preform heating process. A sterile air airlock separates the sterile chamber at the preform feed end as well as the discharge end from the remaining heater area. Preforms are sterilized inside the sterile chamber module by a mixture of hot air and hydrogen peroxide and are subsequently flooded with sterile air to remove any remnants of hydrogen peroxide that might still be clinging to the outside of the preforms. Once the sterilization process is completed, the preforms are conveyed to another heating chamber where an exact heating profile is applied to preheat the preforms quickly and precisely, the company says. The preforms are transferred to the blowing process through a housing containing sterile air to eliminate any risk of contamination during transfer. Freshly blown PET bottles pass through the same kind of housing at the discharge of the stretch blow molder to ensure that the PET bottle materials are sterile when they ultimately reach the ultra-clean filling area through a sterile airlock.

• KHS USA, 880 Bahcall Court, Waukesha, Wis. 53186; 262/797-7200;


Inspection solution

Mettler-Toledo CI-Vision introduced a full bottle inspection (FBI) system that inspects filled bottles at high production line speeds for proper fill level and cap integrity such as missing, incorrect, skewed and under- or over-torqued cap and tamper-evident band integrity. Defective bottles are automatically rejected from the production line. By reliably detecting package defects, the FBI system ensures that defective bottles do not reach the retail shelf, where they can lead to costly product recalls, retailer complaints and consumer dissatisfaction or harm that can lead to liability issues, the company says. The CI-Vision FBI system is easy to operate, enabling operators to set up inspections and changeover between products using a touch screen menu on the system’s human machine interface, it adds. CI-Vision installs the turnkey system over an existing production line and provides startup run testing and operator training as part of the installation, the company explains. Following installation, CI-Vision also can serve as a source of technical assistance through its extensive network of service centers, it says.

• Mettler-Toledo CI-Vision, 6005 Benjamin Road, Tampa, Fla. 33634; 813/889-9500;


Electromagnetic flowmeter

Endress+Hauser introduced the Promag 53 electromagnetic flowmeter with Ethernet/IP connectivity for easy integration with the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx process automation system, the company says. The Promag 53 flowmeter measures electrically conductive liquids and is suited for applications in food, beverage, water, wastewater and other process industries. The Promag 53 flowmeter features an integrated Web server that allows authorized users to remotely view flow data, conduct diagnostics, configure the flowmeter, or perform process optimization. Data also can be securely accessed by higher-level software such as ERP systems, process historians, control loop tuning programs and asset management systems. By using Ethernet/IP, up to 10 variables can be configured including volume flow, calculated mass flow and totalized flow for remote access. By improving this complex multi-tier networking strategy with one standard network architecture, namely Ethernet/IP, users have better access to real-time information, it says. This improves the ability to monitor overall performance, troubleshoot out-of-margin conditions and minimize downtime, according to the company.

• Endress+Hauser Inc., 2350 Endress Place, Greenwood, Ind. 46143; 888/363-7377;


Label applicator

ID Technology’s Model ST1000 Label Applicator now is available with a standard blow-on label applicator module. The solution is designed for non-contact label application. To facilitate this, a fan is used to create a low-pressure, high-volume vacuum to hold the label in place on a grid until label application. A high pressure jet of air through a controlled pattern of tubes then blows the label onto the product. The air tubes can be arranged in a variety of patterns to accommodate most label shapes, from 0.5 inches by 0.5 inches and up to 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches, without the need for change parts. Because the label is pre-dispensed, it is not necessary to match speed with the conveyor or product, the company says. The applicator can be positioned either from the top or side. It also can be placed in the direction of product travel on the line, reversed to product travel, or 90-degrees to product travel, it adds.

• ID Technology LLC, 2051 Franklin Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76106; 888/438-3242;


Data logger

DeltaTrak announced the release of the FlashLink Mini Data Logger, its newest addition to the company’s line of data loggers. The FlashLink Mini Data Logger is a small size, single-use, in-transit data logger featuring DeltaTrak’s patented Shadow Log capability, which guarantees retention of data even in the event that the unit is not activated, the company says. The low-cost logger is ideal for documenting storage and transport conditions of temperature-sensitive products, it says. Data analysis from any of the loggers can be captured and manipulated using methods as simple as a PDF graph and easy-to-use desktop software to the comprehensive DeltaTrak ColdTrak cloud-based information management system to automatically document and audit cold chain processes.

• DeltaTrak, P.O. Box 398, Pleasanton, Calif. 94566; 925/249-2250;


Safety-focused lighting

Hazlux 5 HID Lighting Fixtures from Thomas & Betts allow for safe installation in a wide variety of areas that require explosion-proof operation, the company says. Hazlux 5 HID Lighting Fixtures feature thermal- and shock-resistant glass globes that are factory assembled and pre-tested for quality and safety. They are certified as UL844 Listed for Class I, Division 1, Groups C and D Hazardous Locations. The factory-sealed assembly meets code requirements without the need for external sealing fittings, the company notes. The fixtures’ temperature range is 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Hazlux 5 HID Lighting Fixtures feature dual-pitch Acme threads, which make assembly easier and faster than designs with standard V-cut threads and greatly reduce the risk of cross threading, the company says. Additionally, the ballast is pre-wired to the lower half of the electrical connection block, which enables the wireless connection of the ballast housing to the mounting module. The die-cast aluminum guards are powder-epoxy coated for corrosion resistance, and feature keyhole slots for easy attachment to stainless steel screws, it says. Hazlux 5 HID Lighting Fixtures are available with a choice of high-pressure sodium or metal halide lamps in wattages from 50 through 400, and can be purchased in pendant, ceiling, wall, angle stanchion and bulkhead mounting options. Polymeric reflectors are available in standard dome and 30-degree angle versions.

• Thomas & Betts Corp., 8155 T&B Blvd., Memphis, Tenn. 38125; 901/252-8000;


Software upgrade

FactoryTalk VantagePoint 4.0 software from Rockwell Automation now includes enhanced connectors, configuration and reporting tools to significantly reduce the time, complexity and cost of developing meaningful reports, visualization and analytics for manufacturing operations, and it enhances performance for manufacturing intelligence applications, the company says. The latest version is designed to simplify the end-user experience, include connectivity to additional Rockwell Automation products and provide native integration to Microsoft SharePoint 2010. This brings an opportunity to expose plant floor data to the enterprise and many other capabilities, such as business intelligence, collaboration and communications typically not found in a real-time manufacturing operation, it says. FactoryTalk VantagePoint software connects to disparate data sources — real time, historical, relational and transactional — to create a single resource that can access, aggregate and correlate information into a common, unified model that allows trends, reports and dashboards to help customers make fact-based decisions. FactoryTalk VantagePoint Web-based dashboards and reports monitor key performance indicators and help empower users at every level of an enterprise to better manage their operation in real time, the company notes. FactoryTalk VantagePoint also includes direct connectivity to third-party historians and control systems. Users can create reports using common tools, such as Microsoft Excel, and view data through the FactoryTalk VantagePoint portal or Microsoft SharePoint leveraging a long list of Web parts, scorecards, business intelligence and other collaboration tools. FactoryTalk VantagePoint software can be used to address specific manufacturing needs, including downtime reporting, status tracking and multiple-control system reporting. Users can work intuitively and interactively with reports and dashboards to view key performance indicators that enable data-driven decision making.

• Rockwell Automation Inc., 1201 S. Second St., Milwaukee, Wis. 53204; 414/382-2000;


New reach truck

Raymond Corp. released the new Raymond 7000 Series Reach-Fork trucks to address productivity and efficiency in warehouse and distribution centers. The Raymond 7000 Series Reach-Fork trucks feature industry-leading, productivity-enhancing lift and lower speeds, it says. To further maximize the number of pallets that can be moved each hour, the truck series is optimized for energy efficiency through Raymond Eco-Performance, which is the company’s approach to designing and engineering lift truck solutions for maximum economic and ecological benefits, it says. This includes regenerative lowering, which produces energy when the forks are lowered to increase battery shift life and reduce the need for downtime created by charging and changing batteries, it adds. Key features of the Raymond 7000 Series include the following: an intuitive control handle; a patented open view mast designed for visibility; an optional Vantage Point camera that offers advanced height and tilt information via a monitor mounted in the operator compartment; low step height with universal dead-man pedal; A-frame suspension with steel springs; an exclusive steered idler wheel to eliminate caster snaps and offer full-time traction and steering; and an external encoder, see-through reservoir and fewer moving parts to simplify maintenance and reduce downtime.

• The Raymond Corp., P.O. Box 130, Greene, N.Y. 13778; 607/656-2311;


Converter cores

Double H Plastics now produces precision, extruded plastic cores in reprocessed as well as virgin high-density polyethylene (HDPE) formats. The sizes offered handle the full range of requirements from narrow web to wide web in lengths up to 84 inches, the company says. Users can purchase standard lengths or order them pre-cut on Double H Plastic’s precision core cutters. The company also provides cores in custom dimensions of wall thickness, diameter and other specifications. Special packaging also is offered, and the cores can be both reused and recycled. Being moisture-resistant, these cores are dimensionally stable and can be sterilized, the company says. Because of their minimal dusting, they’re suitable for clean room applications, it adds. For film converters and others, cores can be supplied with the specified surface characteristics.

• Double H Plastics Inc., 50 W. Street Road, Warminster, Pa. 18974; 800/523-3932;


Gas flow control

Alicat Scientific offers its MFC series Mass Flow Controllers, which provide precision gas flow control for a variety of food and beverage processes, it says. The units accurately regulate flow of process gases, attaining and maintaining flow set-points in less than 100 milliseconds (ms). Alicat’s MFC series can be used in sparging, blanketing, filling and injection processes in food and beverage production. The MFC series units are calibrated for 30 inert gases and a number of corrosive gases to quickly and accurately measure pressure, temperature and volumetric flow in addition to mass flow. Alicat’s patented laminar flow differential pressure technology delivers accurate results with a faster response time than that of competing technologies, the company says. The MFC has a response time of less than 10 ms. and a control time of 100 ms. Successful food and beverage MFC installations include carbon dioxide sparging for pH control in beverages and nitrogen gas blanketing in winemaking, according to the company. Simple to install and cost effective, the MFC operates as a standalone device, the company says. Its integrated digital display enables users to change the configuration of the meter without the need for computers, software or scripts. For more complex operation, the MFC also interfaces with most process control software without requiring any additional equipment or controllers.

• Alicat Scientific, 7641 N. Business Park Drive, Tucson, Ariz. 85743; 520/290-6060;