Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Fresh Produce Extended Shelf-Life System Verification with Clamp-On Katronic Flow Measurement

Gaugele GmbH designs and implements turnkey cooling and storage solutions for vegetable producers. Non-invasive ultrasonic flowmeters from Katronic form an integral part of this.

The family-run company supplies cooling and storage facilities that allow vegetables to be stored for up to six months after harvesting with no reduction in quality, maintaining harvest yield and value. Process measurement and data acquisition play a major role in process reliability and cost savings. 

Today, nothing is left to chance when it comes to storing fresh produce. The ventilation and cooling systems and their connected control solutions that counteract the deterioration of a vegetable harvest in the drying and storage process can be critical to supply chain success. 

The Upper Bavarian company Gaugele GmbH brings a wealth of experience to vegetable storage, developing high-performance customized cooling systems, with purpose-designed control solutions that allow their customers to store vegetables such as onions or potatoes for up to six months after harvesting without fear of a reduction in quality or yield. Producers are able to secure their income well after the harvest, regardless of the season.

Core elements of the climate control of cooling and ventilation systems from Gaugele GmbH are the monitoring of coolant flow rates and heat quantities. In order to monitor the high flow rates in the process, the Gaugele GmbH had previously used mechanical paddle meters, but they were often damaged by the high pressures involved, which is why a flowmeter that didn’t come into contact with the media, like the compact, clamp-on Katronic KATflow 100 was so attractive to them. "A functioning measuring system", says Gaugele, "is the basic prerequisite for an investment in device technology." The required "flexibility of the Katronic flowmeter systems and their range of selectable process interfaces used in today's industrial landscape" were a second, central topic at Gaugele GmbH. 

Another important reason for reliable and accurate flow measurement is that, in Germany, energy-efficient storage systems attract state subsidy, and control system outputs form an important part of system verification. The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) offers various funding opportunities for different system variants, so that projects for their customers are implemented in accordance with the BAFA funding guidelines. 

The climate control system of the Gaugele agricultural warehouses ensures the optimum freshness of the stored goods with the most energy-efficient operation possible, here regulating the cooling and ventilation systems of the onion and potato drying facilities. In addition, the climate control system records all relevant data on flow and heat quantities from the process, supplying them to BAFA via Modbus protocol. 

A KATflow 100 fixed ultrasonic flowmeter, non-invasively installed on pipe sections with nominal diameters DN 80 ... 150 mm as a reliable component solution for verification purposes, is always included in the sale when Gaugele GmbH hands over one of its individually tailored, energy-efficient onion or potato drying plants to customers.