Root Cause Analysis Solves Gauge Failure for Food and Beverage Customer

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The XSEL® process gauge is designed to be the most versatile pressure gauge in all conditions from the everyday to the extreme, as one leading food and beverage company discovered.

Failing pressure gauges prove costly

A leading provider of privately labeled foods noticed that the pressure gauges on their cooker process equipment were failing so often that the plant supervisors began planning for the stoppage as part of their operating routine. Addressing the failed pressure gauges quickly became a costly inconvenience.

Unsure how to solve the problem, the company tried connecting a capillary to the pressure gauges and even considered liquid-filled gauges without satisfaction. Plant supervisors decided against using a capillary to remotely mount the gauge. And, they did not want to pursue this for their application.  They decided not to use liquid-filled pressure gauges because they did not want to risk foreign contaminants entering the production stream.

Steam and shock were causing recurring gauge failures

Determined to have the problem solved once and for all, the food provider sought help from a WIKA distributor. The failed pressure gauges were inspected, and the instrument’s discolored and melted windows indicated that a root cause of failure was high temperatures.

In the processing of food, steam temperatures of up to 250°F are required for cooking and sterilization. Additionally, pointers on some of the failed pressure gauges had broken off.

As it turned out, pressure gauges were failing shortly after equipment was started up following extended idle periods due to pressure spikes. System temperatures would decrease, and condensation would build up in the lines during system idling. When the process started back up, the condensation would cause the system pressure to spike, momentarily causing the gauge to be over-pressurized. 

The problem is solved

Knowing that temperature and pressure spikes are two of the most common causes of gauge failure,  WIKA’s XSEL® process gauge was recommended as a solution. Siphons, used to prevent steam from reaching pressure instrumentation, were also installed to provide extra protection from high temperature steam.

The XSEL process gauge with a siphon attachment solved the problem for the food and beverage company, decreasing maintenance time, increasing production time, and reducing cost. Because of the improvements, the company decided to replace all of the problem pressure gauges with the XSEL process gauge.

Need technical assistance with pressure and temperature measurement?

With manufacturing and customer service in the United States, WIKA offers a quick response time if you prefer to customize the gauges to meet your specific requirements. Simply Contact a WIKA representative for more information, or visit the WIKA Support page.

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