A new approach to process control for a bottling plant

  • Jeffries M
  • Lai E
  • Hull J
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Abstract

The bottling industry has relied on mechanical means to facilitate control of liquid levels ever since its inception. However, as the need to reduce waste becomes an increasingly dominant force in the modern manufacturing world, the search for a reliable and accurate method for the control of container filling has been brought to the fore. Although modern bottling plants are sophisticated in mechanical design, the employed principles no longer provide sufficient scope for the optimisation necessary to meet waste reduction targets. However, the introduction of modern control theory and new technologies could allow for further improvements to be made. Using a Kalman Filter to reduce limitations in the sensor technology (due to less-than-ideal placement) will allow measurement of the liquid level during filling of individual bottles. In addition, an overall controller for a multi-headed filling plant using Fuzzy Logic will allow for a robust approach, which will build on the advantages gained from using ultrasound technology to obtain not only liquid levels but also flow rates by means of Doppler shift of the returning signal. The approach has great potential to improve the filling process, with implementation on a range of different configurations possible by utilising the rule-based inference engine of the Fuzzy Logic to provide overall control.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Fuzzy Logic
  • Kalman Filter
  • Liquid level control
  • Ultrasound

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Authors

  • M. Jeffries

  • E. Lai

  • J.B. Hull

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