A radio wave-based technology developed by the Finnish company Collo is designed to continuously monitor the state of liquids including slurries, resins, adhesives, coatings, emulsions, beer, water or other fluids during industrial processes.
Collo’s technology is based on an electromagnetic resonator that emits a continuous radio frequency field into the liquid. According to the company, the signal reacts to interferences caused by different components, chemicals and phases in the liquid. The analyzer immediately warns technicians if the process is disturbed so that the process can be adjusted according to the data.
“Our sensors can be placed anywhere in the process to optimize, for instance, the use of raw materials and chemicals in critical process steps,” said Matti Järveläinen, CEO and founder of Collo, in a press statement. “Our analyzer monitors the process constantly, compared with manual samples that provide a delayed snapshot of the process status at a given time. The advantage of real-time monitoring is that it takes away the guesswork when adjusting the process, which in turn can save a lot of chemicals, materials, energy and time.”
The technology is said to measure eight proprietary parameters of a liquid that form its fingerprint. If these characteristics change during processing, for example, if unwanted solids are formed or the chemical balance is negatively impacted.
“For the first time it is now possible to analyze the changes in any desired liquid in real time using our radio wave technology that penetrates liquids of any dry mass,” Järveläinen said. “A brewery is an example of a typical slurry process, where solids are blended into the liquid followed by several critical steps that each has to be optimized to get an even quality. Now it is possible to measure these critical steps in real time using one single technology.”
Järveläinen added, "Once adjusted, the same system can be replicated in similar processes. ...This is especially beneficial for customers that have a vast number of identical liquid processes, as they are able to achieve significant economies of scale." In addition, the analyzer reportedly requires low maintenance.
“When using [the] Collo analyzer, you can see when the liquid has the right properties and when adjustments are needed,” Mikko Tielinen, head of sales, noted. “This means you don’t have to add more raw material than needed or use time and energy to blend the liquid longer than necessary, just because you cannot be sure of the consistency. This way the productivity gets a boost, and the use of energy and materials is decreased, while at the same time less waste is generated, and the final product is much less vulnerable to complaints because of quality issues.”
Collo is an industrial liquid process performance solution, developed by ColloidTek Oy (Collo) and founded in 2017 after extensive research in measurement technology at Tampere University by its founders and key personnel.