Heateflex Corporation (www.heateflex.com
), a supplier of ultra-pure fluid heating systems, was looking to diversify their product portfolio by offering a new solution for the food & beverage industry. Their challenge was to develop a microbiology media preparation system for food manufacturing QA/QC labs to use in conducting pathogens testing for E.coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. The system needed to provide +/-2% of dispense volume accuracy (ISO 6887), weight accuracy of <1%, temperature accuracy of <2%, and food sample test traceability.
Valin had received a call from the Heateflex Vice President of Engineering, asking us to help his engineering team design the control system for the new product. We worked with the Heateflex engineering and sales teams to understand their needs, processes, and traceability requirements. We then helped them in selecting the hardware to be used with the system’s PLC and HDMI, and assisted with the subsequent programming needed for successful operation. The hardware included an Omron PLC, HMI, level sensor, and serial communication needed to interface with the flow meter, bar code reader, and printer on the new Heateflex product, providing a precise dispensing system and traceability.
This system, the Demeter
™, allowed Heateflex to tap into a new market by introducing this ultra-pure & precise sterile water dispensing system for food manufacturing QA/QC lab customers. The Demeter not only eliminated manual logging and human errors, but also decreased the testing time from 2,198 minutes to 302 minutes for 96 media samples…that’s seven times faster! Demeter added new incremental revenues to Heateflex’s overall business, and allowed the company to expand into the food and beverage industry.