Global Processing

A fructose manufacturer improves the blending process with Coriolis and saves $20,000

July 11, 2003
A manufacturer of corn syrups had installed a system of refractometers and magmeters to continuously blend 90 percent and 42 percent solutions of fructose to produce a 55 percent fructose solution. For the system to perform properly, it was necessary to measure the ºBrix content of each component stream, feed the information into a control system, and then determine the amount of each component required to achieve the desired product. In this continuous blending system, the ºBrix measurement was constantly updated and the blending ratios were changed accordingly.
The densities of the component streams varied with temperature, causing difficulties with the existing system. Even if the ºBrix measurements were accurate, the volume/mass ratios could vary and result in an inconsistent product. Because the variations were unpredicatable, the set point for the final product concentration was two percent higher than the desired target value.

This manufacturer had been using Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters for several years on its truck loading systems with great success. It decided to install Micro Motion meters to measure mass flow and monitor density of its fructose solution.
The ºBrix and flow rate of the 90 percent fructose solution, measured by a primary Micro Motion meter, is fed into a controller. Simultaneously, a secondary meter monitors the ºBrix of the 42 percent solution and sends the signal to the controller. Based on the ºBrix measurement of each fructose stream and the flow rate through the primary meter, the controller determines what flow rate is required through the secondary meter to produce a final product with the desired 55 percent fructose concentration.
The controller is also wired to level gauges on both the 90 percent and 42 percent fructose storage bins. If either tank reaches a low level, the 90 percent and 42 percent fructose streams go into a recirculation mode until the tanks are full. During the recirculation mode, mass flow rate totalization is inhibited. The totalizer inhibit prevents inventory total errors. Once the tanks are full, blending and totalization automatically continues.
The company produces 55,000 pounds-per-day of the 55 percent fructose. With the old magmeter and refractometer system, actual concentration of the final product was on average 2 percent greater than the target value of 55 percent.
With the new system, final product concentrations are consistently at the target value of 55 percent resulting in an $80 to $90 raw material cost savings, while maintaining the 55,000 pound-per-day production level. The mass flowmeters cost $12,000 and resulted in savings of $20,800 to $23,400 per year. These savings represent a return on investment within seven months. Equipment and maintenance requirements were also reduced because two sensors perform the same function as two volumetric flowmeters and two refractometers.

For more information, contact Micro Motion, Div. of Emerson Process Management, at 800-522-MASS.