News


Mark Pfender Named Group Sales Leader for NSI

May 18, 2022 | Company News

Mark Pfender has moved from his role as Territory Manager to Group Sales Leader!

Mark‘s philosophy on leadership was formed and molded from his time spent operating underwater nuclear reactors with the US Navy. “We have to get the details right, we must be the product experts, and if everyone is responsible then no one is responsible. Ultimately our customers problems are our problems. I am humbled and honored to serve amongst the greatest sales engineers in the industrial automation world.”

We look forward to seeing how Mark can use his leadership to assist our team to better serve our customers.




Advantages of Cloud-Based Monitoring & Control

May 12, 2022 | Company News

Phone dialers continue to be a consistent choice for many businesses in the water and wastewater industries. However, those alarm dialer systems come with pain points that may create vulnerabilities to the overall system.

The solution? A Cattron cloud-based monitoring and control system.

Phone dialers were a great solution for many years. However, technology continues to evolve, and dialers succumb to a variety of susceptibilities and out-of-date issues, including:

  • Damaged equipment from lightning strikes
  • Marginalized phone line quality
  • Critical alarm notifications are not received when phone lines are down
  • Costly and significant fines when unaddressed critical events happen
  • Surge vulnerabilities
  • Limited service from phone line providers

Experiencing one or more of these frustrations can lead to unnecessary additional costs. In fact, the average annual phone line service costs per site for an alarm dialer is between $600-$1,200 – and that’s without any service, equipment, or replacement costs.

Monitoring and control systems for water and wastewater application need to be reliable, efficient and cost-effective. One way to reduce the chances of key pain points – surges from lightning strikes, outdated equipment, phone line quality, etc. – is to focus, instead, on a cellular- or satellite-based solution. Cattron’s SCADA cloud-based solutions are wireless with a dependable battery backup and an alarm notification if any lost communication events are detected.

Ultimately, what this means is a solution designed to:

  1. Decrease service costs. Have an average savings of $360 or more per site by eliminating phone lines and with it, annual service costs.
  2. Increase notification dependability. The modem connection for a SCADA cloud-based solution is monitored 24/7. If a communication loss is detected, personnel are notified immediately.
  3. Improve asset management. The ability to access site data, reports, and alarm history from computers and mobile devices reduce unnecessary site visits.

Plus, RemoteIQ technology helps ensure issues are caught early and not when it’s critical. Proactively troubleshoot problems from basic pump stations to the most sophisticated plants with monitoring, control, and alarm notification for small to large scale water and wastewater applications.

RemoteIQ Provides Greater Reliability and Usability

From communication loss notifications to pain point-eliminating technology, a SCADA cloud-based solution ensures you stay connected, control the system, and protect your costs from outdated technology that can incur additional repairs, updates, and service. Therefore, it makes sense to transition to a Cattron wireless cloud-based solution.



Nanodac Update Alert

May 5, 2022 | Company News

V10.04 released for nanodac recorder/controller

Eurotherm by Schneider Electric TM is pleased to announce the release of V10.04 product firmware for the nanodac™ recorder/controller. This is a minor update to increase the number of supported Modbus clients from 4 to 6.

iTools Engineering Studio

A new IDM installer supporting nanodac recorder/controller V10.04 firmware will be available to download and install.

Availability

All units shipped after the 23rd

May 2022 will be fitted with V10.04.

How will my customer get technical support?

For Technical Support: to contact us for advice, either by telephone at 215-968-7577 or via email at sales@nealsystems.com. 

 



Thayer Scales: Case Study

May 3, 2022 | Company News

Case Study: Improved Quality and Range of Products for BrightPet Nutrition Group

Background

BrightPet Nutrition Group Manufactures Premium and super premium pet foods for U.S. and international markets. Its top-of-the-line ingredient options and state-of-the-art American manufacturing operations ensure the quality of every recipe they produce. A pioneer in the organic pet food space, BrightPet owns the first organic-certified plant in the U.S.

and is the only USDA organic certified pet food producer on the east coast. BrightPet manufactures dry dog and cat foods for a number of the most respected super-premium branded customers in the industry. The company is also a supplier of private label brands to its retail customers.

BrightPet approached Thayer Scale to help upgrade their existing pet food batch mixing system.

The original system consisted of a stainless steel tank on legs with a dual hose peristaltic pump with an inverter drive. The pump discharged through a 2” sanitary tube line and passed through a 1” coriolis style flow meter on its way to the mill/extruder.

At the time, the system pumped a homogenized slurry of fresh frozen meat, vegetables and water to the mill at rates of around 5 – 40 lbs/min depending upon the recipe and the production rate of the pet food. The speed of the pump was manually adjusted to achieve the desired rate, but the flow rate signal tended to be noisy and maintaining a steady consistent feed rate was problematic.

Challenge

BrightPet hoped to improve the quality and the range of products that could be produced by modifying the equipment to become more efficient, less noisy, more accurate and repeatable.

A New Challenge Arises

The pump speed control was tied to a central control system that now allowed the operator to enter the desired flow rate from the recipe and the feed back from the flow meter allowed closed loop control of the pump speed. This system worked well at times, but very poorly at other times due to inability of the coriolis flow meter to provide an accurate flow rate reading on the slurry. Since the slurry is quite viscous (similar to soft ice-cream) and near the freezing point, the meter would not see the slurry as homogenous and the flow through its two internal tubes was not equal.

The end result was that the signal from the flow meter was erratic and resulted in poor operation of the system. A new, more consistent system needed to be implemented that would allow for a stronger, more consistent reading.

 

The Thayer Scale Solution

 

 

After looking into other types of flow meters and not finding any that looked like they would provide an accurate and reliable output, the decision was made to go with a Loss-In-Weight approach. After having good results with Loss-In-Weight powder feeder and five weigh belt feeders for the dry pet food ingredient batching system, the team decided to look at a cable scale Loss-In-Weight system for the meat slurry.

Implementation

The exclusive Thayer Scale “FMSS” (Force Measurement Suspension System) design provides extremely high sensitivity. Feeder and weigh hopper “dead load” are mass-counterbalanced so that only material weight (live load) is measured. This feature helps assure excellent control in “noisy” environments.

All of the articulate parts of the scale mechanism are supported from “axially inextensible, but laterally yieldable” suspension elements (stainless steel pre-stressed aircraft cable), which are arranged to hang freely, thereby avoiding any appreciable spring or hysteresis effect, variation in mechanical advantage, or binding due to imperfect leveling.

Because of this unique mechanical property of the force transmission system, any laterally directed forces and shock on the scale or its supported feeder cannot cause destructive shear and bending stresses to develop in the elements themselves or at the load cell junction. The system, being yieldable in the lateral direction, is therefore effectively and completely protected by using laterally placed “stops” in proximity of the weighed structure.

The team removed the legs from the meat slurry tank and mounted the tank on the scale. The pump was supported off the bottom of the tank and a piece of sanitary flex hose was installed from the pump discharge to the fixed 2” sanitary piping. The Loss-InWeight controls are connected to the plant control system via an Ethernet connection allowing the control system to set the desired feed rate and to monitor the operation of the system. The Loss-In-Weight controls provide a 4 – 20 ma signal to operate the pump at the required speed, and controls the automatic refilling of the meat slurry tank.

Today

 

 

The system was commissioned in July of 2010 and today remains in successful operation. The combination of the progressive cavity pump and the cable scale and controls provides a very steady and accurate flow of the meat slurry to the mill.

This has greatly reduced the variation in the pet food as it is produced and allows for faster startups and less frequent adjustments by the mill operator. The system takes less than 60 seconds to get within a 1% accuracy of the desired feed rate after startup or changes in set point. The system has worked very well over the entire operating range of 5 to 65 lbs/min and is immune to changes in the flowability or makeup of the slurry.


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