Distillery goes digital with Memosens pH sensors

10 November 2008

Set in the heart of the Scottish highlands, The Glenfiddich Distillery is home to the biggest-selling single malt whisky in the world.

Endress+Hauser was praised by the Glenfiddich Distillery for the accuracy of its Memosens ph sensors
Endress+Hauser was praised by the Glenfiddich Distillery for the accuracy of its Memosens ph sensors

Passed down through five generations, the whisky-making experience ensures each variant in the Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky range matures well - balancing rich complexity with Glenfiddich’s unmistakable character.

For the Glenfiddich Distillery, it is imperative that the accuracy of the pH measurement in the outdoor effluent tanks meets the requirements of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Unfortunately, the distillery was experiencing problems with the pH measurement in its effluent tanks as the analogue signal transmitted by the cables was often distorted due to water or moisture ingress. In addition, the existing pH transmitters required the use of expensive high-impedance cables that were connected to the outside effluent tanks. The Glenfiddich Distillery wanted the existing electrodes and transmitters to be replaced with a more reliable solution that would not be affected by moisture and would allow standard screened cable to be used in order to reduce cost and allow the cables to cover longer distances.

Endress+Hauser suggested the installation of Memosens digital pH electrodes, as a digital pH signal provides an interference-free measurement signal between the sensors and the transmitters to guarantee measurement integrity. In addition, the Memosens pH sensor has a memory chip inside the sensor head that allows all important data to be stored, such as calibration and sensor performance data. As a result, this allows offline calibration of the sensors so that faulty electrodes can be simply exchanged in the field with no need for on-site calibration in exposed areas. Memosens pH sensors are also compatible with standard screened cables – so fulfilling another of the distillery’s requirements.

After the installation of the Memosens pH sensors, Glenfiddich now experiences fewer failures due to moisture ingress and, more importantly, achieves more accurate pH measurement - the digital signal doesn’t distort in adverse weather conditions. Consequently, the distillery saved money on spares and calibration, not to mention the cost of expensive cabling.

Steven Morrison, maintenance electrician, commented: ‘The new system is much better as we have now eliminated unscheduled downtime in these areas. In addition, the cost of replacement parts has significantly decreased - we had no replacements last year. The system has been so reliable that we have no intention of moving away from it. In time, all instrumentation will be replaced with Endress+Hauser equipment in order to standardise our instrumentation on site.’

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