ACO moisture measurement systems – the innovation at Wienerberger,
The first solution proposed by ACO was an automatic moisture measuring system in the plant for special shaped tiles. In this plant, special roofing tiles are made, which on account of their shape require a higher moisture content (22 to 24%). The clay is moisturized in a circular screen feeder. A part of the clay comes from the (indoor) storage; another part is return clay coming from the special shaped tile department. Here lies the problem: The return clay has a higher moisture content compared to the stored clay. A precise moisture measurement prevents the clay from becoming too moisturized due to the return clay by reducing the amount of water added.
The moisture measurement system TFM1
Due to the difficult structure of these materials, the moisture measurement is dependent on constant pressure conditions on the material. A compressing unit developed by ACO prevents the measured result from being influenced by different densities. The electro-mechanical device TFM1 compresses the material always with the same (adjustable) pressure, so that the readings of the moisture sensor are reproducible. The output signal of the sensor is a signal from 0-10V DC or 0/4-20 mA and is averaged (filtered). It can be directly hooked up to any PLC controllers or command circuitries.
The TFM1 helps to achieve constant moisture in the production process, which in turn extends the service life of the press and improves the quality of the products.
Moisture measurement at Wienerberger
The second solution was a new idea offered by Wim van Gelder of the Engineering & Product Development: to place the digital moisture sensor behind a ceramic window directly into the press head (»3).
› Location: under the press head
› Product: clay
› Density: almost constant 1700 kg/m3
› Measuring range: 18 to 25% H2Owt, goal between 21 and 22% H2Owt
› Temperature: ambient
A special press head is adjusted for the implementation of the moisture sensor. Wim van Gelder designed the special ceramic window to the requirements of the moisture sensor. Since the moisture sensor “looks” through the ceramic window, an accurate moisture measurement is the end result.
Digital moisture sensor DMMS
The advantages of these moisture systems for Wienerberger are easier controlling of the plant and quality control of the tiles by the press operators.