A Multi-sensor Approach for Fouling Level Assessment in Clean-in-place Processes

Research Area:
Eco-Intelligent Manufacturing

Year:
2016

Publication:
Procedia CIRP

SMART Authors:
Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone


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Clean-in-place systems are largely used in food industry for cleaning interior surfaces of equipment without disassembly. These processes currently utilise an excessive amount of resources and time, as they are based on an open loop (no feedback) control philosophy with process control dependent on conservative over estimation assumptions. This paper proposes a multi-sensor approach including a vision and acoustic system for clean-in-place monitoring, endowed with ultraviolet optical fluorescence imaging and ultrasonic acoustic sensors aimed at assessing fouling thickness within inner surfaces of vessels and pipeworks. An experimental campaign of Clean-in-place tests was carried out at laboratory scale using chocolate spread as fouling agent. During the tests digital images and ultrasonic signal specimens were acquired and processed extracting relevant features from both sensing units. These features are then inputted to an intelligent decision making support tool for the real-time assessment of fouling thickness within the clean-in-place system.

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