Bronkhorst

How pump control makes our homecare products colorful

June 7, 2022 Ron Tietge
Accuracy

Using flow control

The major household companies around the world use liquid colorants (dye) for adding color to their products. These colorants are very concentrated and often only a small amount is needed to give the required color to the end-product.
They do not add anything to the cleaning properties; however, it makes the product more attractive, and it will help to recognise a certain brand.

Especially the major brands place great value on consistent coloring of their end-products. Therefore, repeatability is of major importance, to make sure that there is no color difference between the flacons on the shelves. Another important characteristic is accuracy. Since the colorants tend to be rather expensive, it is very much desired to dose as little as possible for optimal effect. The more accurate the dosage, the less colorant will be used, thus minimizing wastage.

What would be an appropriate way to dose the colorants

First solution which comes in mind is using a pump to dose the dye. However, this is not a very accurate way of dosing, at least not for this application. To improve the accuracy it is an alternative to combine the pump with a flow meter, for example a Coriolis mass flow instrument or an ultrasonic volume flow instrument, to monitor the flow of the pump.

In many cases a PLC will be used to control the speed of the pump, based on the measuring signal of the flow meter. This is already a big improvement compared to using only a stand-alone pump. But there is an even better way to optimise your process: letting the flow meter control the pump with the powerful, on-board, PID controller. 
 

How can you benefit from pump control?

We have Coriolis and ultrasonic flow instruments in its portfolio with a PID controller on board. You can benefit from this integrated PID controller in several ways;

A huge benefit, besides from being very compact, is that this set-up is a so called ‘closed loop’ system. The flow will be immediately corrected if there is a change in back pressure. The pump will run faster or slower almost instantly, keeping up the required accuracy.
Furthermore, the pump will run extremely stable on a moderate speed, decreasing wear, and thus increasing its service live. This results in less down time of production equipment and therefore saving precious production time and costs.

Another advantage of our ultrasonic and Coriolis instruments is that the measurement is independent of the fluid properties. This means recalibration or working with conversion factors is superfluous which, again, saves you time and money.

Ultrasonic instrument with pump control

Low flow pump control

In the example of dosing liquid colorants, the use of an (ultra) low flow Coriolis or ultrasonic flow meter will give you the benefit of dosing undiluted dye. How? There is no need to mix the colorant with water to create a high enough flow. Not only is undiluted dye much more concentrated and therefore higher in quality than mixtures with water, also savings on water consumption can be achieved.

Want to learn more about low liquid flows? Download our e-book

Download e-book

Video explaining the Coriolis mass flow measuring principle

Pump control in detergent production

Applications using pump control

Other applications where you can encounter these challenges with dosing colorants are in production processes, for example, personal care products but also in production of fertilizers and many more:

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Bronkhorst USA LLC

57 South Commerce Way
Suite 120
USA - Bethlehem, PA 18017 
Tel.  +1-610-866-6750
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