Sand Moisture Control

Sand Moisture Plant 061616Sand Moisture Control is important in the manufacturing and processing stages.  Giant sand piles may sit exposed to the weather rain or shine impacting the moisture content of the whole pile and external versus internal moisture profiles.  It rained for 3 days and yesterday it was hot bright sunshine, then the exterior is dryer than the interior.  Near Infrared Moisture Transmitters provide an immediate measurement of sand moisture on the belt.  The transmitter is mounted between 8 and 18” (200 – 450 mm) above the product with an air purge of 3 – 10 psig to keep the sight lens clean.  Large digital display, proportional analog output (4 – 20mA) and Ethernet communications are available.

Sand is sold by weight and specification, meaning that there is range of acceptable moisture level in the sand upon delivery.  If the sand moisture exceeds that moisture level it can be rejected or purchased at a significant discount.  If the sand moisture is lower than that specification the supplier is leaving money on the table by not adding water to increase the weight while still being in specification.

Sand moisture can be controlled by dryer temperature, throughput and re-moisturizing.  Dryer Temperature adjustment may be used if a known incoming run of sand is high in moisture.  As a practical process control option dryers have too slow a response time for minor variations that still need to be optimized to maximize efficiency (profit).  Dryer throughput is the best control parameter as it can increase or slow throughput through the dryer based on moisture.  When raw product is over dried or oven has over dried a moisture spray station may be triggered by the PLC.  Moisture is money for Sand Suppliers.  An upper level in-specification sand moisture allows End User to optimize for specific application and maximize profits for supplier.


Sand on Conveyor Paul Good Pic 090313


Sand Moisture Graph 061616


Sand Moisture Table 061616

Powder & Bulk Solids Show Chicago A Flaky Affair!

Powder & Bulk Solids Show in Chicago was a success!  First day was a bit slow but second day was high traffic and lots of contact with existing customers with new projects and new customers seeking solutions to their moisture problems.

Interestingly, many of the new inquiries were for Flake Applications which are easy applications for our Near Infrared Technology.  Also much interest in our Snorkel Sampler for hopper, vertical and gravity conveyor applications.

Jun and Lucia presented our products and enjoyed the Windy City!


Powder and Bulk Show Jun Lucia May 2016



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PSC NIR Solutions!

Process Sensors has many Near Infrared (NIR) Solutions for your Process,

At-Line and Laboratory Needs. Call us!



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Glue Pillow Moisture Application – MCT460 NIR Transmitter

H.B. Fuller Pillow Lab pic edit 051414In packaging, converting, assembly, bookbinding, nonwovens, footwear and many other markets, hot melt glues and adhesives offer a critical advantage: fast processing. Unlike water-based or solvent-based adhesives, hot melt adhesives do not require drying. Hot melts begin bonding almost immediately after application, as they cool down to their solidification point. This fast solidification is ideal for use on highly automated manufacturing lines that require rapid bond formation.  Glue pillow manufacturers report increasing demand as customers move from drums to returnable/recyclable containers.  While the moisture contained within the glue pillow is very low, problems occur when surface moisture on the pillow exterior accumulates during the manufacturing process prior to packaging for shipment.

The Near IR moisture transmitter is mounted 8-18” above the conveyor where it scans product only, with few gaps between pillows.  An angle wedge or diverter may be installed that insures constant glue pillow product under the transmitter without slowing the overall product flow.  The intention of measuring moisture on the glue pillow is not to determine absolute moisture but to determine when the surface moisture is within acceptable limits.

Samples of low, acceptable and high moistures are presented to the transmitter and it is scaled appropriately.  For example, low surface moisture is assigned a value of 0, acceptable 3 and high moisture 5.  The MCT460 features a 5.7” Operator Interface Display, 4-20 mA proportional analog output and optional Ethernet connection.  


Glue Pillow TREND PLOT Hot Melt PSA Application 051414

Powder & Bulk Solids Show May 6-8 – PSC Booth #3006

Process Sensors will Exhibit at Booth #3006 May 6-8 Rosemont

The International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference is THE technical training event of the year that delivers the latest innovations and best practices in dry processing, bulk material handling, storage, particle technology and much more. This highly competitive industry requires engineers to stay up to date with the latest innovations and procedures. The 2014 program is designed to provide value to powder & bulk solid engineers of all experience levels. Click here to view full agenda

The International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference is your exclusive opportunity to obtain a years’ worth of educational content and networking in just three days.

New Format – Shortened 1.5-hour sessions to expand your education menu each day!
Proficiency Indicators – The core technical training we have always featured now has easy indicators to tell you whether it is Fundamental (F) or Advanced (A) education so that you can determine what level of training is right for you.
Enhanced International Presence – It’s the International Powder Show, so we’ve heightened the international representation on the speaking faculty to give you access to more experts from around the globe including Australia, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Scotland, Spain, and United Kingdom.



Made Tough? Built Tough? Salt or Hazardous Environments? MCT460-SS. Performance and Reliability.

The MCT460-SS Nova Series of Near Infrared (NIR) Analyzers offer unparalleled performance/price ratios in all applications.  Hazardous and challenging environments that others stay away from are routine for us.  While some recommend high air purges, we recommend a 3-5 psig across the window in rough situations.  Anything higher causes a turbulent air flow forcing particles onto the measurement lens and blocking signal and impacting signal/noise and accurate readings.  Others sometimes want a high flow, quick demo and exit.  We’re there to make your installation a success.

This Successful Salt Mine Installation Shows It All!

Salt moisture analyzer

MCT460-SS Nova Series Stainless Steel Transmitter in Salt Environment

NIR Snorkel Sampler for Gravity Drop and Air Conveyed Applications

Snorkel Sampler

Stainless Steel Snorkel Sampler Assembly

Certain applications require the NIR measurement of moisture or active ingredient in powdered, granular or flake material at a point where it is conveyed by gravity drop or air.  The lack of continuous flow and varying product density are not suitable for measurement through a sight glass.

The Snorkel Sampler collects product via a stainless steel tube terminating in a sample cup and viewing window.  The Snorkel Sampler is bolted to a spud attachment that is welded to the conveyor duct around a hole cut at the selected sample point and supported with a bracket.  This allows easy insertion and removal of the Snorkel Sampler for routine maintenance.

The user selectable measurement cycle allows for sample collection and measurement followed by an air purge blast to empty the sample cup.  The Snorkel Sampler also includes an adjustable delay cycle that holds the digital display, analog and digital outputs constant while the collection cup of the Snorkel Sampler refills for the next measurement cycle.


Snorkel Sampler Installed

NIR Snorkel Sampler Installed In-Line

Polyethylene Moisture in Plastic Strip/Fastener Manufacturing Critical in Winding and Binding Processes

PE Chemical Structure

Polyethylene ((C2H4)nH2) Plastic Resin

Plastic strips are fabricated in a continuous process into specific shapes based on application.  Generally any long, narrow, solid plastic shape is likely to be considered a strip.  Strips are found in new re-sealable applications every day from sandwich bags, chips, and many others.  Moisture control is critical prior to wind up because moisture impacts proper winding and binding characteristics to other materials at the end converter.  Improper moisture levels will cause expansion and contraction of the product roll which will then cause problems in the end user’s unit operations or unraveling.

A Near Infrared Moisture Transmitter is often complemented with a Thermal Imaging System to completely characterize the process.  The Near IR Moisture Transmitter communicates with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and outputs data history to an archiving PC.  The PLC controls strip moisture via an air blower.  Moisture ranges from 0.2 to 0.6% with targets usually around 0.4 to 0.5%.

Process Sensors MCT Series of Near IR Moisture Transmitters meet this need in the manufacturing of plastic strips.  Process Sensors IR Division features Thermal Imaging Systems.

PE Moistures

PE Lab vs. MCT Moisture


PE Moisture Control

PE Moisture Before and After Air Blower with Moisture Measurement and PLC Control


PE Sandwich Bag Strip

Zip Bag

PE pellets

Polyethylene Pellets

Teflon PTFE Moisture Control is A Non-Sticky Application!


Teflon Fluorocarbon Chemical Make Up

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is better known as Teflon.  PTFE is a high molecular weight fluorocarbon compound that is hydrophobic and commonly used to provide a non-stick coating on cookware.  It has many other applications as a lubricant and coating.  Teflon PTFE is so slippery that it is even used as a coating that most insects can’t climb.  And as with many great discoveries it was discovered by accident while an engineer working for DuPont (Roy Plunkett, Kinetic Chemicals, 1938, DuPont and GM founded company) was looking to develop a better refrigerant.  Application development took only a few more years.

Teflon PTFE

Teflon PTFE Molecular Make Up


After polymerization in the reaction chamber and draining, the stringy Teflon PTFE is dried and pulverized into a flour like consistency.  Moisture measurement and control is critical at this stage in maintaining Teflon PTFE performance characteristics when applied to down the line applications such as fry pans and lubricants.  Process Sensors MCT Series of moisture transmitters provide immediate non-contacting moisture measurement and display, analog and digital outputs.

Teflon PTFE Moisture Graph Lab vs. MCT

Teflon PTFE Graph Lab vs. MCT Moisture

Teflon Moisture Chart

Teflon PTFE Lab vs. MCT Chart