How an IO Box Module could improve your process
The IO Box Module was specially developed by ITS to enable users greater process control over closed loop systems. The prime benefits of the Input-Output module (IO Box) are twofold. Firstly, it automatically recalibrates output measurements in reaction to changes in the process conditions to ensure that the system always provides valid data.
For example, an industry leading food and dairy manufacturer utilised the IO module to overcome troubles they had when processing curds in whey mixture, during cheese production. The manufacturer’s aim was to insure the solid concentration of curd was consistent within each batch of their final product; to do this they invested in ITS’ P2+ data acquisition system with incorporated IO Box Module and accompanying inline sensor.
Tomography systems operate by taking a base reference and assigning it a value of conductivity. During the processing multiple frames are scanned per second and compared to the base reference to detect changes in conductivity. When a change is detected it is representative of different substances entering or traveling through the pipeline (or vessel).
“The IO Box Module was specially developed by ITS to enable users greater process control over closed loop systems.”
In the current example, the base reference was taken from pure unaltered whey. As seen in figure 1, the first phase measurement accurately detected the solid concentration of curd particles traveling through the pipeline with little difficulty. The need for the IO box arrives in phase two of the processing. Throughout manufacturing the conductivity of the whey does not remain consistent, this is due to the adding of water and salt mid-processing; which can ‘fool’ the system into ‘thinking’ that the curd concentration has changed when in-fact it has not. To correct this, the IO box automatically recalibrates the base reference to filter out the conductivity values generated by the water and salt, thereby allowing the manufacturer to obtain reliable and consistent processing data which provides real insight into the curd concentration in the final batch of their product.
The second main benefit of the IO Box Module is its ability to track and record multiple process changes simultaneously. The module contains 3 channels of 4-20mA signals, which can record and time-stamp process changes including temperature, pressure and flow. This data can then be exported in real-time as a csv. file, enabling the measurements to be analysed with ease.
ITS’ IO Box Module connects to PC’s via a standard USB 2.0 connection and has been utilised in a variety of industries including chemicals, food manufacturing and the dredging sector. The IO Box Module can be bought as a stand alone product to compliment an existing P2+ or V5R or can be integrated into a newly built data acquisition system.