Measuring a liquid's fingerprint in real time

Tuesday, 09 March, 2021

Measuring a liquid's fingerprint in real time

Finnish tech company ColloidTek Oy (Collo) has developed a technology that allows producers to monitor the state of any liquid in industrial processes continuously.

The radio wave-based analysis can be used for thick slurries, resins, adhesives, coatings, emulsion, beer, water and any other fluid irrespective of viscosity.

It works by an electromagnetic resonator emitting a continuous radiofrequency field into the liquid. The signal reacts to interferences caused by different components, chemicals and phases in the liquid. The analyser immediately warns if the process is disturbed in any way so that the process can be adjusted according to the online data.

Matti Järveläinen, CEO and founder of Collo, said the sensors can be placed anywhere in the process to optimise, for instance, the use of raw materials and chemicals in the critical process steps.

“Our analyser monitors the process constantly, compared to manual samples that provide a delayed snapshot of the process status at a given time. The advantage of real-time monitoring is that it takes away the guesswork when adjusting the process, which in turn can save a lot of chemicals, materials, energy and time,” he said.

The solution, dubbed the Collo Analyzer, simultaneously measures eight proprietary parameters from a liquid, forming the liquid’s fingerprint.

If these characteristics are changed during processing, the analyser shows the changes so that corrective measures can be made immediately.

“A brewery is an example of a typical slurry process, where solids are blended into the liquid followed by several critical steps that each has to be optimised to get an even quality. Now it is possible to measure these critical steps in real-time using one single technology,” Järveläinen said.

Collo also combines data and analytics with liquid measuring technology to provide actionable information for improved process performance. For optimal results, analytics are adjusted for each liquid application.

“Once adjusted, the same system can be replicated in similar processes,” Järveläinen said.

“This is especially beneficial for customers that have a vast number of identical liquid processes, as they are able to achieve significant economies of scale with Collo. The analyser is very low maintenance since the sensor is not sensitive to dirt and does not require cleaning.”

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