WUTÖSCHINGEN – Realization of continual quality monitoring of coffee beans by implementing a moisture measurement in the automated bags loading- and unloading system “Copal – C2 bags handling line”. Four moisture sensors detect the water content of coffee beans instantly. Immediate outward transfer of the jute sacks with high moisture values.
Nestlé, the largest food company in the world and leader in the field of nutrition, health & wellness has given a new input on their motto “Good food, good life”. While Nestlé has plants all over the world and in almost every country, they feel highly responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of their employees. Creating Shared Value (CSV) is not something that is not meant to look good for their stockholders, it’s a responsibility they take very seriously. One of the top priorities is keeping the people healthy and save.
For this reason they have been looking for a solution for a worldwide problem: heavy physical work of manually unloading of bags out of containers. The plant where they wanted to take the first step, in automatic unloading and palletizing, is the coffee plant in Mexico. Here, enormous amounts of bags with coffee beans, with weights between 60 and 70 kg, are unloaded, checked and palletized every day.
How to measure the water content of coffee beans?
The used sensors operate on the capacitive measuring principle. The penetration depth of the stray field capacitor is about 150 mm. Based on the major difference of the dielectric constant between water (about 80) and coffee beans (about 3 … 10) the moisture measuring unit is able to detect the water content right through the jute bags. Those with a high moisture level are sorted out immediately.
This new generation of moisture sensors is suitable for many other bulk solids (such as sawdust, sand, cocoa beans) and different kind of granulates, powders and pastes. The moisture measuring sensors can be calibrated easily by calibration software.
Intelligent Load- and Unloading Systems supported by moisture measuring devices
Nestlé decided to commission Copal Handling Systems, located in Heerenberg (NL) to solve the issue. A fully automated jute bag unloading system should be developed and produced:
- detecting the water content of the coffee beans
- bags with an high moisture level should be sorted out
- automatically taken probe of the coffee beans for quality check
- palletizing the jute bags