Stream Sensing offers in-line, real-time rheology measurement in processing industry first

Manchester-based Stream Sensing, a spin-out of Industrial Tomography Systems (ITS) – a world leader in tomography-based analytical process instrumentation – has launched a unique technology that enables automated, in-line rheology measurement for fluid process optimisation. Suitable for complex fluids, the Stream Line Rheometer and accompanying software will help improve process efficiency in the personal care, household cleaning, food, pharma, speciality chemical and oil and gas sectors.

Measuring the rheology of liquid food products such as ketchup or yoghurt is important throughout the manufacturing process for quality control purposes. With raw ingredient inconsistencies common, rheology is a critical quality attribute that affects end product quality.

The patented instrument was developed by experts at ITS based on the latest electrical resistance sensing technology and provides a continuous measurement that does not interfere with the process and eliminates the need for sampling or time-consuming lab-based testing. The technology has been proven to provide an accuracy of 98% compared with offline rheology measurements.

Ken Primrose, Stream Sensing’s CEO commented: “The ability to accurately measure the flow profile of liquid in a pipe, in real time, is a game-changer for FMCG manufacturers and other process companies. Until now, they have used sampling solutions that measure flow properties during the manufacturing process, resulting in the loss of millions of pounds each year because of time and materials wasted while waiting for test results.

“Our technology provides accurate measurements of a key functional product quality in the production line in real time, and could result in huge savings, shorter lead times and better quality control. Ensuring the rheology is right is key to product quality and effectiveness. We’re already in the advanced stages of trialling the technology at processing plants of leading blue-chip manufacturers and are excited to be offering this unique digital technology to global processing markets as part of the Industry 4.0 revolution.”

Earlier this year, Stream Sensing secured a six-figure investment from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, allowing the business to fully commercialise the technology and support its planned growth.

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