Brewery Implements High Operating Distance Sensors

The König brewery in Duisburg, Germany — maker of König Pilsener — counts among the largest breweries in Germany. The König brewery primarily concentrates on the production of a fresh and “hoppy” flavored beer.

König only uses choice ingredients for brewing: first-grade hops from the best growing areas of the world, mellow and ripe barley and top quality water. The company also pursues high standards in production and quality assurance, and attaches great importance to internal research and design to continuously optimize the production process of one of the most advanced brewery systems in Europe.

Alongside the quality of a product, system availability plays a decisive role in highly automated brewing systems. “A single problem in the production chain can jeopardize the entire production process and cause a standstill. In order to prevent such costly downtimes, we have consistently opted for quality,” comments Heinz Dieter Poscher, who has been working as manager of the electronics workshop in the König brewery for more than three decades, the critical point in system automation.
Pipe Elbow Adapters

Pipe elbow adapters, which distribute and feed liquids such as brewing water and wort — an intermediate brewing product — are a crucial point in production.

“In the production process, it is often required to shift the pipe elbow from one position to the next. Due to frequent loosening and fixing of the screw connection, the seal suffers continuous damage so that the distance between sensor and pipe elbow varies,” states Poscher.

Position monitoring is a typical application of inductive sensors. However, these sensors often must be re-adjusted or supported flexibly due to a sensor’s varying switching distances. This procedure is no longer necessary for König due to the extremely high switching distances provided by TURCK uprox®+ sensors. The sensor’s emitter and receiver coils are printed onto a circuit board using an extremely precise method. The combination of modern production techniques and a coil construction without a ferrite core and wound coil allows for triple the switching distance — up to 30 mm — to be achieved compared to conventional sensors with a ferrite core.

Sensors with an extremely high operating distance are known for their complex mounting requirements, but this does not apply to uprox+ sensors. Based on the novel multiple coil construction plus integrated pre-damping protection with self-compensation, only very small metal-free zones have to be observed during mounting. This minimizes installation errors and enhances the freedom in planning and developing machines and systems. A recessed mounting option also protects the sensor against mechanical damage. Reduction factors are no longer an issue: uprox+ sensors are capable of detecting materials such as iron, stainless steel, copper, aluminum and brass at the same extended switching distance with extremely high precision.

Special features make the uprox+ sensor family well-suited for the food industry: a special double lip sealing system prevents the ingress of cleaning agents among the LCP front cap, the threaded barrel and the connector insert, and effectively seals the sensor. The sensitive measuring core is securely protected by a robust stainless steel housing. Even aggressive detergents and disinfectants, whether alkaline or acid, can cause no harm to the sensor.

The sensors easily exceed IP68 and IP69K protection requirements and withstand cyclic cleaning procedures. The devices are capable of being cleaned and disinfected daily at high temperatures of +80°C or more with high pressure chemical cleaning agents.

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