H2OMCON - Process-Management-System

General information | Moisture content | Calibration | Temperature | Output | Dosing | Data recording | On-line assistance | Alarms | Technical data


For online measurement and automatic control of butter moisture content for continuous butter makers


General information


The utilization of modern butterchurns with increasingly competitive national and export market conditions, today call for a continuously advancing optimization of the moisture and fat percentages in the butter. Furthermore, the parameters of solids not fat, minimum fat content, culture dosing and salt content are subject to increasingly stricter tolerances.

Today, it is no longer sufficient to effect laboratory examinations. It has rather become necessary to utilize a metering system directly collecting and adjusting all important process data during production.

The Process Management System is wellsuited to provide the man-machine interface for the purpose. All parameters and data essential for the process as, e.g., the moisture content, the butter temperature or the amount of cream, are being collected and/or controlled by the internal microprocessor system and then transmitted to the computer for further processing.

The system’s accuracy now facilitates production within 0.1% H2O below the legal limit without exceeding it. This constitutes a significant improvement compared to the possibilities that have been available till now. Given a daily output of 5t/h based on one-shift production, 0.1% butter fat not utilized, amounts to a profit loss of about 100.000 German Marks per year. Therefore the financial returns are extremely attractive with paybacks often within a 12 month period.

There are additional cost savings due to reduced laboratory testing, that is fewer analyses being required. Similarily, automation of e.g. dosing pump control is continuously highly accurate compared to what the operator can achieve. Furthermore manual cleaning of the highly sensitive sensor is no longer necessary and it may be cleaned in the normal CIP cycle.


The time required to instruct operators will be short because of the user friendly process visualization operated with MS Windows ® . The required entries and operations are described and displayed for the operator by means of clearly arranged screen menus.

The input required by the operator is significantly reduced through the inbuilt semi automatic calibration system which can be further enhanced through the option of direct connection of a laboratory scale or other systems to improve on the time required and to reduce errors.

A touch screen is offered to reduce operating time and eliminate any requirement for keyboard skills.

Utilizing a standard PC offers additional possibilities. For instance, a network connecting additional process visualization systems may be installed in the production or a remote-control system for maintenance and online support/ assistance to reduce service call outs with the minimum of interruption to manufacture.

The integrated DDE interface facilitates the exchange of data with other programs operated with Windows ® like, e.g., Excel ® , Winword ® or Access ®. Production data once acquired may thus be further processed by existing application programs and do not require changing to a different program.

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Moisture content


A CIP capable sensor installed at the outlet of the butter churn continuously measures the moisture content of the butter and transmits the measured value to the Process Management System.

The sensor which is manufactured to a high standard to take into account the exacting requirements of todays food production sites, was developed by the WAL company. The fitting length of the device corresponds to the plants that were common up to now, thus reducing conversion costs.
One of the sensor’s most important features is its temperature consistency up to 120 °C ensuring CIP capability.
The inline cleaning of the sensor enconomizes on time and therefore costs with the operator free to perform other tasks.Provided that the moisture is well and evenly distributed, this measured value will be indicated with an accuracy of ± 0.05% H2O. The nor-mal setting for the measuring range is 13.0 to 17.0 % H2O, however, it may be adjusted to the customer’s request.

Due to the measuring accuracy, a moisture content of 15.9 to 16.0 % H2O may be target-ted to achieve maximum efficiency. This still ensures that the legal limits will not be exceeded.


Window "Choosing"


The system is designed for the accurate moisture content measuring of sweet and sour cream, slightly lactic butter, NIZO butter as well as salted butter and spreads through the use of pre-selected setpoints which the opera-tor chooses from for that days particular manufacture.
This way, only a single input of the desired parameters is required. These subsequently constitute a data record allocated to the respective product. Time-consuming and repeated modifications of, e.g. the set values are completely eliminated saving time and avoiding mistakes. Please also refer to the section “water dosing”.

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Calibration and automatic calibration


Samples which are subsequently analyzed in the laboratory, are taken from the ongoing production process.

As soon as the actual sample for laboratory reference is taken it is “marked in the calibration window” ensuring the current time and corresponding measured value is registered. A minimum of 3 calibration sample are recom-mended for each run/cream vat.

Window "Calibration"

The operator enters the laboratory result after verification.

The system is automatically calibrated by selection of a single key.

Accurately taken and tested samples improves the performance of the Process Management System to a high level.

(Option: XOPTH20WAA)

For calibration purposes, a laboratory scale , linked directly to the system is available to reduce potential errors.

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Cream and butter temperature


Cream temperature


In order to monitor the quality of the incoming cream, a fast response and highly sensitive temperature sensor (Pt100) is inserted into the supply line continuously recording the cream temperature within a measuring range from 0 to 15 °C. Stability of cream temperature is closely linked to minimal moisture variations in production. This measured value is therefore an important production factor.

Window "Measure Values"


To allow the operator to input to the overall quality assurance of production, continuous display of temperature parameters are shown on the screen.

Butter temperature

Another temperature sensor (Pt100) is inserted at the outlet of the butterchurn. It provides continuous recording of the butter temperature within a measuring range from 0 to 15 °C thus allowing for additional control of the pro-duction process. This parameter is important in order to ensure good consistency and spreadibility of the butter.

The combined parameters described provide a simple and reliable production analysis to ensure quality consistence of the butter pro-duced.

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Production output



Moisture, salt and culture contents are indicated as % of butter throughput, therefore the system requires continuously, the amount of cream entering the churn.

This measured value is given to the system by a magnetic inductive flow meter (MIF) which is installed in the cream supply line.

Using entered data such as cream fat results from the laboratory together with dosing and measured amounts the system accurately cal-culates the butter amount being produced.

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Water, culuture and salt dosing



Culture and salt dosing

Moisture as well as the culture and salt contents have to be adjusted in accordance with the current measured values to ensure optimal production with the quality remaining consistent. For this purpose, the Process Management System contains an “intelligent” dosing system which may control up to 5 pumps.

The entries needed to effect the adjustment are performed by the operator via a single window in which the desired set values for the moisture content, the salt content and the culture are displayed and controlled, including inputs such as cream fat percentage.

The set values are given automatically, provided a product type for which the corresponding data already exists is selected.

- Please also refer to the section “Moisture content”.

The set values and the amount of butter are relevant for controlling the culture and salt pumps. Modifications made to these are immediately compensated for, by a precise water dosing adjustment, so that the measured value of moisture content is not effected.

The moisture content is then adjusted depending on the set value, the cream fat percentage and the amount of butter.

Whether production is currently ongoing with the adjustment system activated or the cleaing process is underway, is determined via switch selection or automatically with signals from the butterchurn. This way, e.g. the dosing pumps are automatically set to an output of 100% in the CIP mode to ensure optimal cleaning.

Window "Dosing"

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Recording of operational data


In order to document the current process data, all measured values are recorded in a graph window. The visible range may be changed in four steps showing any period from 6 minutes to 12 hours. All views may be printed out with the color printer, included in the scope of delivery, information recorded and filed for review at a later date.

In addition, the graph window or a print-out may be referred to for error analysis in case irregularities occur during the production process.

For ensuring uniform documentation of all acquired operational data, inclusive quality assurance, ISO 9000 (and following stan-dards), GLP certifications a memory graph is integrated into the Process Management System providing operators and management with a simple but effective tool.

In order to allow for reviewing the process data at a later date, all data is stored on hard disk for up to 60 days, meaning that it is possible to review and analyze data from a production of, let’s say, 3 weeks ago, in detail.


A complete analysis of the butter production requires the amount of buttermilk produced as an additional value to be measured. A second MIF (magnetic-inductive flow meter) inserted into the buttermilk outlet line provides this.


An additional statistics window offers a complete overview of production data like, e.g., the average moisture content and standard deviations, cream processed, the average cream temperature, the production time or the amount of butter produced.

Window "Graph saving"


The data shown in this window is automatically printed out every day at the same time in order to provide comparative values of the production data. Nevertheless, the print-out may also be requested manually and can be specifically tailored to management requirement.

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On-line assistance/Remote control


Working with the Process Management System is facilitated by extensive on-line assistance and instruction windows. At the same time, ensuring only a short period is required by operators and management to become familiar with and use the system fully.

This way, the risk error is almost eliminated, ensuring a smooth production process.


In case further assistance will be required, support may be obtained directly from the manufacturer by utilizing a remote control system, thus avoiding potential periods of production downtime. The plant computer will then be controlled via the regular telephone line by means of a modem. Software updates may also be transmitted in this way.

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Alarms and warnings


The alarm function calling the operator’s attention to potential production errors, constitutes an important function of all automatic plants.
Prior to enabling an alarm signal to be given, limit values have to be entered.
This is effected via limit value windows which may be used for all recorded parameters in one single display screen. These are set up and appear in an analogue form for recognition and checking.

There is also the option to enter pre-alarm limits when determining the limit values.This means that for the cream temperature, e. g., a pre-alarm value “Hi” and a main alarm value “HiHi” may be entered for the upper alarm limits as well as a pre-alarm value “Lo” and a main alarm value “LoLo” for the lower alarm limits.
If this is done, the system may warn the operator of errors at an early stage, thus allowing him to take corrective action before production parameters are influenced.


Window "Limit value cream temperature"


All current alarms are indicated along with the dates, times and names of the operators in a separate window. Thus, uniform documentation of the production process for quality assurance is provided.
Alarm signals have to be acknowledged on a separate screen, thus providing a degree of corrective action and “checkability”.

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Technical data

Control cabinet(Option: XOPTH2OPUL): desk-type cabinet from stainless steel
AISI 304 (1.4301)
1200 mm x 1170 mm x 600 mm (W x H x D)
Power supply : 230 V AC / 50-60 Hz / max. 1000 W
PC: standard PC, IBM compatible
Intel processor of latest generation
operating system: MS Windows ®
Monitor: 17", 1024 x 768 > 75 Hz min. resolution
Keyboard: front panel build-in keyboard, A6 type
IBM XT/AT and MF 2 compatible
TouchScreen: 17" touch panel
512 points per axis
Printer: inkjet color printer
min. 600 x 300 dpi, colored
Data storage : up to 60 days onto hard disk
unrestricted access possible
Microprocessor: 1 moisture content sensor,
8 differential analog inputs
16 digital inputs
16 digital outputs
2 RS 232 interface
Moisture content measuring:
Measuring principle: electronic analysis of dielectric constant
Measuring range: 13 - 17 % H2O (other measuring ranges are optional)
Meßgenauigkeit: ± 0,05 % H2O absolut
Reproduzierbarkeit: 0,02 % H2O
Moisture content sensor:
Material: parts that come in contact with product are made from stainless steel AISI 316Ti (1.4571)
Temperature: max. 120 °C
Fitting length: 280 mm
Nominal diameters: DN 100, DN 125, DN 150 (andere Größen auf Anfrage)
Connections: Milk pipe thread,
DIN 11851
Cream temperature measuring:
Measuring principle: Pt100
Measuring range: 0 - 50 °C
Measuring accuracy: 0,15 K
Repeatability: 0,02 K
Reaction time: t 50 = 1,2 s
Butter temperature measuring:
Measuring principle: Pt100
Measuring range: 0 - 50 °C
Measuring accuracy: 0,3 K
Reaction time: t 50 = 3,2 s
Cream amount measuring:
Measuring principle: MIF, magnetic-inductive flow meter
Measuring range: 0 - 203/h
Measuring accuracy: 0,25 %
Repeatability: 0,1 %
Measuring principle: MIF, magnetic-inductive flow meter
Measuring range: 0 - 20 m 3 /h
Measuring accuracy: 0,25 %
Repeatability: 0,1 %

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