Campbell Technical Services Inc. (CTS), an industrial consulting and technology firm based in Kimberly, Idaho, has provided project consulting, instrumentation, controls and client project management services for 15 years. Within the last five years, the company has increasingly begun using infrared sensors for food freezing applications. According to Stace Campbell, president of CTS, the accuracy provided by infrared temperature measurement can help plants eliminate waste, reduce their refrigeration load and optimize product quality.
For example, a manufacturer that is returning to production from a freezer defrost will typically draw down the freezer for an estimated amount of time before sending product through the system. The standard practice is to divert the product until manual temperature checks indicate that the product is frozen and ready for packaging; however, this process can produce a substantial amount of waste due to the lag time between temperature measurement and packaging, as well as errors associated with manually entered data.
“Infrared temperature sensors can allow manufacturers to determine precisely when the freezer bed has reached the correct temperature and to assess in real time whether the product being discharged from the freezer is frozen and ready for packaging,” Campbell says. “The real-time data also help ensure that the product remains at the desired temperature after it is packaged, which can improve overall quality assurance and food safety.”
“There is no doubt infrared is underutilized in food and beverage processing operations worldwide,” Campbell says.
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