Dansensor, a MOCON company, has engineered gas mixers and in-line gas analysers to help food processors meet their Industry 4.0 objectives – with the products demonstrated at a forthcoming event.

The company will be demonstrating these capabilities at Anuga FoodTec, Cologne, 24-27 March.

Industry 4.0 or the “fourth industrial revolution,” refers to industrial computerisation to produce intelligent manufacturing processes with a high degree of automation, continuous process monitoring and high levels of quality assurance.  The concept was introduced in Germany in 2011 and has been gaining traction across Europe.  It is expected to be one of the focal points at this year’s Anuga trade fair.

Dansensor’s latest modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) gas-mixing technology and in-line gas analysers have been engineered to support those processors moving towards intelligent processing.

“Ten years ago a single packaging machine would typically require several operators to monitor the process and make adjustments as necessary. Now a single operator can attend to several machines, which in turn now run at much higher speeds,” said Karsten Kejlhof, Director of Sales and Marketing.

For example, the company’s MAP Mix Provectus has been engineered to adjust the gas mixture via simple, continuously-monitored programming. The end result is higher gas mixture accuracy and therefore significantly less down-time when compared to conventional mixers.

Similarly, the gas mixture entering the packaging line can be continuously monitored by Dansensor’s MAP Check 3 in-line gas analyser. The MAP Check 3 ensures that a preset target for the gas content target is achieved, resulting in stable production. If for some reasons the analyser is not able to reach the target, it will alert the operator, and if necessary, stop the line.

In the context of Industry 4.0, the MAP Mix Provectus and the MAP Check 3 can operate in tandem and can communicate electronically. If the MAP Check 3 detects that the mixture is falling outside the predetermined limits, it can instruct the MAP Mix Provectus to alter the gas flow rate accordingly. This restores the required gas flushing levels within the packing chamber. Both machines can also communicate with external IT systems for data logging and control.

“In terms of MAP, Industry 4.0 is all about automated systems that allow continuous process monitoring and self-regulation to achieve high levels of efficiency and quality assurance,” said Kejlhof. “At Dansensor, we have a proven track record of helping many customers achieve their Industry 4.0 goals.”