CAS DataLoggers Provides Automated & Centralized Monitoring
To ensure that pet food production meets demanding FDA requirements, manufacturers must continually monitor the temperature of their extruding equipment to document that their food is properly processed and safe. A CAS DataLoggers customer held to these requirements called in with a request to monitor the data from multiple plants all from their single, corporate location.
CAS Applications Specialists recommended dataTaker intelligent automated systems to the manufacturer as the most dependable solution. Subsequently each of the manufacturer’s processing plants installed a dataTaker DT80 Intelligent Data Logger. Each stand-alone DT80 could monitor up to 4 extruders and featured a built-in display and a robust construction able to withstand extreme industrial environments and years of constant use. Their extensive communications capabilities included RS232 with modem support, USB, Ethernet and USB memory stick ports enabling connection to the DT80 locally, remotely or over the Internet.
Users then connected a thermistor to each datalogger to monitor the food’s temperature as it exited each machine. This data was also recorded to satisfy product regulatory requirements and to prove that the extrusion occurred at an appropriate temperature to prevent any harmful bacteria growth. Each extrusion machine was equipped with industrial I/O modules wired into the dataTaker’s digital I/O to monitor its proper operation.
Additionally, a program was written for the data loggers to automatically record the data at 1-minute intervals. Each machine was monitored independently to aid in data management. An alarm was also configured for each logger to compare the measured temperature against the threshold and activate a digital output on the logger if the food temperature fell below the acceptable temperature—on this event the dataTaker then activated a diverter to redirect the food to a scrap container.
Each site’s data was stored to the internal memory of the data loggers, then periodically transferred to a USB stick and archived on a separate server. The USB stick also allowed for easy programming changes and firmware updates without requiring connection to a PC.
Additionally, free user-friendly dEX software was included with the Series 3 DT80, featuring a user-friendly graphical interface that allowed quick configuration of the data logger and displayed real-time sensor measurements, calculations and diagnostic information. Users could also view their real-time data in mimics, trend charts, or tables, and retrieve historical data for analysis.
The dataTaker DT80s provided an extensive array of communications features making them an ideal solution for the manufacturer’s remote monitoring and control needs. Using this designed solution, the manufacturer has since been producing continuous documentation for their production process to ensure that every product leaving the facility is safe and meets all FDA standards.