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American Italian Pasta

Food M anufacturer Saves Time and Money with Reliable Inventory Measurement Solution

American Italian Past (AIP), Columbia, SC, is a private label food manufacturer that makes a large variety of popular consumer choice pastas in several shapes and sizes. In addition to the food manufacturing plant at this site, they have their own facility that produces flour meal that makes Semillena.

Problem

AIP was not able to validate that they received all the flour that was sent from their flour mill next door. They had no visibility of their current inventory information other than a manual measurement. The operators would have to physically go to the top of the silo and once in the room they would open the bin top (hatch) having to be very care­ful not to contaminate the flour and perform a manual measurement. To get the measurement, they would drop a tape, which inherently provides the prospect of contami­nation. Variations in readings were an ongoing problem as different operators would measure in varying ways caus­ing inaccuracies. Another problem was the man-hours it took to take these manual measurements. Training was needed before each operator was allowed to climb to the top of the silo and with all the cost of the extra man-hours and training the system was still unreliable.

Application

The application consisted of twelve, seventy-foot cone-bottomed, skirted silos. The silos were not decoupled so they were not candidates for bolt-on strain gage tech­nology. The silos also contained clean-out cages which can interfere with level type devices.

Solution

KM carefully selected the type and location for each sensor due to the clean-out cages. KM selected the SC14PT and located them within the vessel at the top, attached to the top of the ladder going into the silo. The SC14PT offers an FM approval rating to be oper­ated in this explosive, dusty atmosphere. The SC14PT also has self cleaning capabilities and is a non-contact solution.

The instrumentation was an ultra-wave level indicator which is capable of reading up to sixteen points so only one indicator was needed. The ultra-wave level indica­tor is very easy to set up with its built-in quick-configTM set up program. It can be located in a central area to reduce the cost of wiring. The ultra-wave is also ex­pandable, configurable and provides high speed continu­ous inventory information. KM also supplied the ORB 2.0 Remote Monitor for con­nection to their LAN for