Development of the TellingTank-sensor
In this article Actemium colleagues Stijn Martens, project leader of engineering projects electronics and Mark Kleuskens lead engineer hardware at Actemium, tell about the development of the TellingTank-sensor.
At the location Veghel Eisenhowerweg, Actemium engages in professional electronics development and production for a variety of market segments. There, ideas for the development of an innovative electronic module, are translated into a practical design and product. A solution that you can actually put on the market with optimum results in terms of price and quality.
TellingTank is an example of this. It is a solution that will give brewers total control over tank beer. From production and delivery, to quality control in the catering facility. An IIoT-Sensor (Industrial Internet of Things-sensor) is placed on each beer tank and captures information from the tank such as quantity, pressure, temperature etc. TellingTank will aggregate this data and send it via a gateway to apps and to planning software or ERP-programs.
We could say TellingTank consists of three parts:
- Gateway and connectivity
- Platform, app’s and front-end applications
In this article Actemium colleagues Mark Kleuskens (left in picture) lead engineer hardware and Stijn Martens (right in picture), project leader of engineering projects electronics, tell about the development of the TellingTank-sensor. Stijn has developed the electronic parts of the TellingTank-sensor on a printed circuit board (PCB). Mark is responsible for the overall development of the sensor.
What makes the TellingTank-sensor unique?
There are comparable systems to determine the content of a tank, but the way in which measurements are taken with the TellingTank-sensor is unique, namely one electronic device for all information.
Stijn explains: ‘The electronics (hardware and embedded software) have been specially developed and tailored to the needs of TellingTank. The TellingTank-sensor consists of assembled parts such as various sensors and a PCB. The micro controller (small computer) the main part of the circuit board. Through a smart algorithm in this controller, we can determine the amount of beer in the tank. Other components are memory, connectors for the network cable, electronics to control the valve and sensors to measure precision pressure and temperature.
Together with the smart measuring algorithm, there are also quality-checks implemented in the embedded software. Those checks are monitoring the condition of the tank beer continuously.
Saving energy and costs
Stijn: ‘The first PCB version contained all options we could think of. After a extensive test period we have adjusted the design requirements to a minimum. As a result, the final model is is the optimal electronics design for its functionality. All unnecessary functions have been removed. This increases reliability and lowers the cost: the fewer parts, the fewer defects can occur.’
Mark continues: ‘In various ways we try to save energy. Such as the choice of certain components and developments of software that are in the micro controller. We have adjusted the pneumatic components to the electronics, which means that we need as little energy as possible. Although these savings are offset by logistical savings, it helps to save energy. Thanks to the smart software, unnecessary measurements are not taken, which also results in lower energy consumption. Also, we have to deal with a cool cell in which we do not want to rely on wireless reception and will use cables. Normally there is a separate cable for the power supply and a separate cable for signal transmission. We use only one cable for which we have applied Power Over Ethernet (PoE) components to the PCB. This saves time and costs.’
For more information about TellingTank and the sensor, please contact Michiel van Vlijmen via his details below.
Read more about TellingTank
An IIoT-Sensor (Industrial Internet of Things-sensor) is placed on each beer tank and captures information from the tank such as quantity, pressure, temperature etc. TellingTank will aggregate this data and send it via a gateway to apps and to planning software or ERP-programs. Read everything about the TellingTank-sensor.
In this article Actemium colleagues Peter van Deursen, project manager, and Mark Kleuskens, lead engineer hardware, talk about the technical aspects of the innovation TellingTank.
Want to know everything about our latest brewery innovation: TellingTank? In this article, Actemium business developer Michiel van Vlijmen, tells you all about it!