Food Engineering

König Brewery maximizes uptime with the right sensors

November 8, 2010
Having to readjust the mounting locations for proximity sensors as machine parts wear wastes time and can cause poor product quality.


Proximity sensors check the state of valves in equipment at the König brewery. However, moving piping elbows were too much of a challenge for old proxes. TURCK uprox+ sensors offered a solution with a much greater usable distance capability. Source: TURCK.
The König brewery in Duisburg, Germany-maker of König Pilsener-is one of the largest breweries in Germany. König only uses choice ingredients for brewing: first-grade hops from the best growing areas of the world, mellow and ripe barley and top-quality water. The company also pursues high standards in production and quality assurance, and attaches great importance to internal research and design to continuously optimize the production process of one of the most advanced brewery systems in Europe.

System availability also plays a decisive role in highly automated brewing systems. “A single problem in the production chain can jeopardize the entire production process and cause a standstill. In order to prevent such costly downtimes, we have consistently opted for quality,” comments Heinz Dieter Poscher, manager of the electronics workshop in the König brewery. For more than 20 years, the company has specified TURCK sensing components.

Pipe elbow adapters, which distribute and feed liquids such as brewing water and wort-an intermediate brewing product-are a crucial point in production. “In the production process, it is often required to shift the pipe elbow from one position to the next. Due to frequent loosening and fixing of the screw connection, the seal suffers continuous damage so that the distance between sensor and pipe elbow varies,” says Poscher.

Position monitoring is a typical application of inductive sensors. However, these sensors often must be re-adjusted or flexibly supported due to a sensor’s varying switching distances. This procedure is no longer necessary since the brewery selected TURCK uprox+ sensors that have a much greater sensing distance-up to 30mm-compared to conventional sensors with a ferrite core. In addition, only very small metal-free zones have to be observed during mounting, minimizing installation errors.

A double-lip sealing system prevents the ingress of cleaning agents into the LCP front cap, the threaded barrel and the connector insert, and effectively seals the sensor. A robust stainless steel housing securely protects the sensitive measuring core. The sensors exceed IP68 and IP69K protection requirements and withstand cyclic cleaning procedures at temperatures of 80°C or more with high-pressure chemical cleaning agents.

For more information on TURCK products and solutions, visit www.turck.us.