Application Driver: Biscuit moisture impacts taste, quality and shelf life. Biscuit moisture that is too low causes the biscuit to crumble. Biscuit moisture that is too high adversely impacts biscuit texture, taste and shelf life.
Project Justification: Laboratory moisture testing consists of taking biscuit samples from left, right and center of dryer exit prior to the cooler and packaging operation. It has been determined that the left and right side are consistent with each other and the center is usually 0.2 to 0.4% dryer than the edges. Additionally, the packaged biscuit moisture varied with ambient temperature and humidity while the biscuit travelled from dryer exit through cooler and onto packaging operation.
Installation of a NIR Moisture Transmitter at cooler exit and prior to packaging allows the operator to see the actual moisture of biscuits being packaged and make required adjustments or feed the signal into a PLC to control the moisture. This improves quality control, reduces start up time waiting for lab values and reduces waste. The large 5.7” Operator Interface displays moisture percent in green for good product, yellow for alert and red for alarm. Additionally a stack light flashes when biscuit moisture is out of spec and annunciates if in alarm condition to draw operator’s attention to process.