Product purity is serious business for the food and beverage industry. WIKA’s DMSU21SA combines accurate pressure measurement and advanced digital connectivity with a patented dual-diaphragm system that eliminates the risk of contamination from the gauge’s transmission fluid.
Food and beverage manufacturers cannot afford even the smallest risk of product contamination. The costs are enormous in terms of human health, dollars, and brand reputation.
This reality was brought home earlier this year, when a maker of powdered infant formula had to halt production and recall several lots after four babies who were fed the product came down with a rare Cronobacter infection. The incidents triggered a six-week FDA investigation, and the plant could not restart production until it was cleaned, thoroughly sanitized, and cleared by the federal agency after meeting compliance requirements. The shutdown lasted more than three months.
The High Cost of Process Contamination
While the FDA could not conclusively determine that the plant’s unsanitary conditions caused the infants’ illness, this episode was yet another reminder for F&B manufacturers that preventing process contamination is paramount in their industry.
One potential source of contamination is the transmission fluid in diaphragm seal systems for measuring process pressure. The metal membrane separating the hygienic media from the gauge’s internal mechanisms is thin yet sturdy. However, in case the diaphragm breaks and the system fill fluid escapes, a manufacturing facility faces several risks and costs:
- The production line has to shut down for cleaning and sterilization, a process that takes many hours.
- The product that’s already in the aseptic tank is fine, but the rest must be discarded.
- Besides the value of the contaminated product, there’s also the cost of disposal, cleaning chemicals, and lost productivity.
Pressure Solution for Sanitary Applications
WIKA’s DMSU21SA is the ideal pressure solution for hygienic pressure measurements in the food and beverage industry. This patented diaphragm monitoring system (DMS) has built-in redundancy so that if the outer diaphragm seal is ever compromised, the internal diaphragm prevents the system fluid from leaking into the aseptic process, all the while continuing to measure the process pressure. And because a separate gauge is dedicated to monitoring the vacuum between the two seals, the DMSU21SA will alert operators of a breached primary diaphragm via HART® communication protocol. Onsite personnel can also see the outer diaphragm’s status as noted by a pointer in either the green (intact) or red (defective) zone.
This state-of-the-art DMS is made of stainless steel and comes standard in a variety of clamp and aseptic connections. WIKA can provide all the relevant certificates, including:
- FDA conformity of the system fill fluid
- 3-A conformity of the diaphragm seal (based on third-party verification)
- EHEDG conformity
- 2 test report and 3.1 inspection certificate per EN
WIKA USA, Part of Your Food and Beverage Business
F&B companies must do everything in their power to ensure that their products are safe to consume. Quality-control measures range from equipment checks to employee training, but it should also include an audit of the measuring instruments used in the production line. Contact WIKA USA to find out more about the DMSU21SA and other high-quality instruments for hygienic processes.
Product mentioned in this blog:
• Diaphragm monitoring system with HART® protocol (for sanitary applications)