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The Monitor

Production Process Insights

How Automated Sampling for Allergens Helps Ensure Food Safety

Posted by AJ Naber on 1/11/17 11:30 AM

Peanut and tree nut allergies are two of the top eight most common food allergies. The other six are milk, eggs, soy beans, fish, shellfish, wheat and corn. Allergies to peanuts are generally a life-long condition, with only about 20 percent of people with the allergy ever receiving a remedy. In addition, up to 40 percent of people with peanut allergies are also allergic to tree nuts.

An allergic reaction can occur just by touching a surface with a trace amount of peanut butter and then touching one’s eye. Some of the serious reactions can be deadly; therefore, identifying an allergen such as peanuts or tree nuts in food processing is vital to protecting consumers. The challenge in controlling allergens such as peanuts and tree nuts involves the entire process at a food production plant. Identifying the allergens means using preventative measures to detect them, particularly when producing products with allergen sources such as nuts.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Refinery Implements Best Practices in Crude Oil Sampling

Posted by John Powalisz on 1/4/17 10:30 AM

Within the oil and gas industry, hydrocarbon liquids such as crude oil, condensates, and oil and water mixtures must be sampled to yield representative samples for analysis. The resulting data is used for quality control, to determine product properties and composition, and for fiscal calculations, allocations and loss control.

In addition to complying with custody transfer standards such as API 8.2 and ASTM D 4177, the advantages of representative sampling include:

  •  Higher return on investment
  •  Better loss control
  •  Lower operating costs
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Topics: Oil & Gas

How to Best Service Your Sampling Solution

Posted by Paul Williams on 12/21/16 11:15 AM

Reducing and managing downtime in any process operation is vital to ensuring uninterrupted production and the safety of your plant operators. You need to obtain representative samples reliably to assess plant and product condition to control your process effectively.

Regularly scheduled maintenance keeps your sampling solution operating at peak performance and extends their life. Over time, however, the efficiency of samplers and sampling systems decreases. For example, in a steam and water analysis system, sample coolers lose capacity due to calcification and wear. Analyzers may not deliver consistently accurate measurements which can compromise regulatory compliance. Wear and leakage of valves and safety devices can cause unnecessary risk to operator safety. While much of this can be a result of normal operation, it is often a direct result of improper maintenance, calibration or obsolescence.

As your sampling solution ages, it requires ongoing maintenance, service, and in some cases refurbishment, with replacement of components or at worst, complete replacement. You need qualified technicians to service your equipment and recommend the correct course of action. Operator safety and protection of production is not something to take lightly. While some organizations have in-house capabilities, many don't  and under these circumstances, you need to look to an outside service partner.

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Topics: Any Application

What to Know About Food Traceability and Sampling

Posted by AJ Naber on 12/14/16 11:00 AM

Today’s media posts include food recalls due to contamination, impurities, and mislabeling almost weekly. Food recalls have grown 4-fold in the last 5 years and the average cost of a recall for a food company is $10million. The food supply chain is getting increasingly complex and safety problems can directly affect public health. Protecting a food producer’s brand and its consumers with product traceability is more important than ever.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Safely Cool High Temperature Samples in Plants Without Water

Posted by Jeff McKinney on 12/7/16 11:15 AM

Analysis of process steam and condensate are important aspects of any chemical processing or refining operation. Impurities in these systems such as silica, sodium, and chloride, or deviations from target pH values, can wreak havoc on a plant’s operations. Online analyses of parameters such as pH and cation conductivity are commonly performed to monitor the condition of process water and steam.

In order to achieve accurate analysis, EPRI, ASTM and ASME recommend cooling of water samples to 77°F (25°C) to ensure consistent, accurate analysis. Unfortunately, cooling water temperatures in process plants commonly exceed 100°F (38°C). While this is acceptable to provide rough cooling, it is insufficient to properly cool samples for online pH, cation conductivity or similar analyzers.

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Topics: Power, Steam & Water

Sentry Equipment Featured by Business in Focus Magazine

Posted by Paul Dybro on 11/30/16 11:30 AM

For food and beverage manufacturers, finding a solution to a processing problem goes beyond consulting internal resources to seeking industry experts. To understand a processing problem, representative sampling may be at the heart of diagnosing it accurately and reliably. To have confidence in solving the problem, partner with a strategic food and beverage sampling supplier that understands it and can provide insights to solve it.

“My job is to go out and look for market problems that exist that we can help solve – whether that is by developing a new product, partnering with a different company and bringing our customers different solutions, or even acquiring other businesses that extend the Sentry brand to provide a wider range of solutions to our customer,” explained Industry Manager AJ Naber in a recent interview with Business In Focus magazine.

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Topics: Food & Beverage, Company News

How to Make Food Safe with Representative Sampling & Hygienic Design

Posted by AJ Naber on 11/16/16 11:30 AM

Earlier this month PACK EXPO International 2016 brought the best-of-the-best in processing and packaging innovation from a wide variety of industries at the largest processing and packaging trade show in the world.

This year’s show introduced two new hygienic automatic samplers for free-flowing solids and powders: the Sentry HPR automatic point sampler and the Sentry HRX automatic strip sampler.

In addition to exhibiting at this show, AJ Naber, Industry Manager for Sentry Equipment, presented on the Innovation Stage to discuss why representative sampling is critical for food safety: “Promoting Food Safety Through Representative Sampling & Hygienic Design.” If you missed PACK EXPO or the presentation, the content of it is discussed below.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

What Does an Advanced Manufacturing Plant Look Like?

Posted by Rick Steinke on 11/9/16 11:50 AM

Today’s manufacturing has changed in recent years to promote quality, innovation and productivity. As a result, customers are demanding more from their suppliers. They want manufacturing partners with an advanced manufacturing plant with more capabilities.

In addition to an organized, orderly, clean and safe environment, customers want products from advanced manufacturing plants that use the latest production equipment and processes to employ agile, flexible and smart manufacturing. They want the benefits of the facilities that use advanced technologies for improved product quality, reduced costs and on-time production and delivery.

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Topics: Company News

9 reasons to standardize sampling in your plant

Posted by Brian Winkelman on 11/2/16 10:45 AM

Building a new plant or updating an existing facility is a complicated, long-term process that involves dozens of agencies and partners. Petrochemical companies are planning to invest over $80 billion in new manufacturing infrastructure, meaning facilities will become more familiar with this process over the next few years.

We’re already seeing a new trend within this building surge: Standardizing sampler designs to maintain consistency in manual sampling systems.

One plant in California recently replaced their sample panels with new panels that have a consistent design. While the panels aren’t identical, they share a design philosophy that ensures each one operates in the same sequence.

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Topics: Chemical & Petrochemical

How to sample smarter using the Industrial Internet of Things

Posted by Jay Kristola on 10/26/16 11:55 AM

Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), manufacturing is smarter and faster than ever before. Equipment is increasingly autonomous as technology allows it to not only manage data, but collect and share it in relevant ways: man to machine, machine to man and machine to machine. As a result, “smart” equipment introduces objective processes that dictate how components will interpret and adjust to information, including monitoring service needs and correcting output before bad products are made.

Applying IIoT principles to samplers and analyzers demonstrates that using technologically intelligent equipment isn’t just a matter of convenience. Wired or wireless electronic data collection from sampler sensors – such as temperature, pressure, flow and weight – is advantageous in optimizing process parameters through real-time data collection, interpretation and application.

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Topics: Any Application