TEWS Elektronik acquires TOVALIA Microwave Technology

The design, manufacturing and distribution activities of the TOVALIA iScan System had been acquired by te German company TEWS Elektronik GmbH & Co. in April 2017.  TEWS provides a range of well-designed online process measurement and control solutions for the human food, animal feed, pharmaceutical, chemical, tobacco and wood industries.

The iScan system has been used by feed mills for several years and is renowned for its performance.  TEWS have for many years been the leader in moisture measurement systems serving various industries.  By taking over the iScan technology, TEWS will be able to respond even better to the needs of users providing customer specific solutions.

hp dezign Pty Ltd is pleased to announce that the long-standing relationship with TOVALIA will continue through TEWS Elektronik.  Existing and new customers will be unaffected by the acquisition and will only gain from the broad experience and expertise of TEWS that stretches over more than 50 years.  Please read more about TEWS on our Capability Page or visit the TEWS website to explore the online and other process measurement and control solutions the company has to offer.

TOVALIA Process Moisture Auditing Service

Hennie Pieterse, hp dezign

We all agree that unnecessary moisture loss during processing can have a negative effect on

  • how the processing plant operates;
  • nutritional outcome of the final product when specific process moisture is required for processing certain ingredients or formulations;
  • overall processing plant economy.  We purchase and accept into the processing plant ingredients at a certain  moisture content.  Losing unnecessary moisture during processing and before packaging or bagging simply means that we loose both weight and money.

Moisture Auditing can help us understanding and managing this problem.  Managing the problem “on-line” helps us to prevent unnecessary quality problems or processing losses.

The Tovalia Moisture Auditing Service compares the actual moisture profile with the measured moisture profile and then propose a technical “online solution” that is both cost effective and feasible. Moist Audit Example

Moisture Auditing Service

Tovalia / hp dezign designed a Moisture Auditing Service assisting customers to map the moisture profile of their specific process.  The service involves :

  1. A Site visit to analyse the existing customer process;
  2. Mapping the desired moisture profile at pre-determined Critical Control Points and based on own and customer experience and requirements;
  3. Measuring the actual moisture profile at the same Critical Control Points;
  4. Plotting the desired and actual results;
  5. Analysing the results to determine the best placement of Tovalia Moisture Sensor(s);
  6. Specifying and costing a solution to meet the specific customer process requirements;
  7. Confirming feasibility of the proposed solution;
  8. Providing the customer with a full report & proposal for rectification of an existing system or installing a new system.

Moisture Auditing ProfileThere are several online moisture control systems in operation in feed mills around the world.  However, many of these are not in use as a result of poorly designed or the wrong type of Moisture Sensors.  Tovalia can supply Tovalia Moisture Sensors to interface with existing factory systems supplied by other Suppliers.  (Please see a seperate Blog dealing with the issue of Moisture Sensor Types)

Advantages to Customer

  1. A first-hand understanding of the moisture profile in customer’s processing plant;
  2. Finding a new moisture management solution or upgrading an existing one;
  3. A full understanding of the required process, equipment and required investment;
  4. A Feasibility analysis confirming the proposed solution has an acceptable payback.

The Tovalia / hp dezign moisture auditing service could in general be executed in 1 to 3 days.  Contact Tovalia / hp dezign to discuss your specific situation and to make a booking.

Visit us at Stand 107 PIX / AMC 2016


Visit us at Stand 107 at PIX/AMC 2016 to discover solutions tailored to your requirements.  Ottevanger focussed on supplying the Industry with complete plants and equipment solutions for more than 100 years.  Our solutions include complete Animal Feed Plants, Petfood Plants, Aquatic Feed Plants, Pre-Mix Plants, By-Product Processing Plants and Oilseed Processing Plants to name but a few.

Paul and myself look forward to seeing you at our stand.  Please contact me should you like to make an appointment to discuss your specific needs or just drop in to learn more about our solutions in general.  My contact details are as follows : Hennie Pieterse / Ottevanger Australia / tel +61 (0)410 950 746 / e-mail : h.pieterse@ottevanger.com.  / web : www.ottevanger.com 

The Need for Feed

Hennie Pieterse, hp dezign

Feed Selection

The Need for Feed.  We know that the need for feed is driven by the need for food.    Edible protein forms a very important part of our diet and compound feeds are designed and manufactured to produce edible fish, meat, milk and eggs.  A rapidly growing amount of Petfood should also be listed as a driver for ingredients and processing technology to produce food (rather than feed) for companion animals.

The Need for Feed is increasing as we speak.  But what are the real drivers for this trend ?  And how can we as scientists, nutritionists, feed manufacturers and feed milling engineers play a role ensuring that our world and its people will have enough nutritious, healthy and safe protein foods available in the future?  Let’s consider a few of these drivers:

 1.  Population Increase

For many years and with great interest I studied changes in world population.  There are many resources available on the internet with real-time “population counters” based on statistical analysis and mathematical modelling.  One I follow as a source of information is from worldometers.  Another is TheWorldCounts.  I used information from both publishing this Blog.

It took human history until 1800 for the world’s population to reach 1 billion.  From then onwards growth in population happened exponentially as per table 1 below:World Population Growth MilestonesWe count just over 7.4 billion today at a net growth in population of just more than 2 people per second!  No spelling mistake here : per second it is!  No wonder mathematical models predict we will hit 11 billion by the turn of this century.

At the current population growth rate roughly 80 million people are added to our planet each year.  These people need space for domestic and industrial purposes and in the process, reduce the agricultural land space we have available for (feed and) food production.

Global Population Density & Distribution

The distribution of population globally is reflected by the map in fig 1.

It is clear from this map that the concentration of people and therefore feed and food is still Asia-Pacific; the EU; the USA, and some parts of South America and Africa.

2.  Hunger Statistics

The World Food Programme (WFP) indirectly confirms the Need for Feed through their focus on malnutrition and hunger.  Just consider the following:

    1. 795 million people on earth do not have enough food to lead a normal, healthy life;
    2. the majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries where 12.9% of the population is undernourished
    3. two thirds of Asia do not have enough to eat.
    4. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of hunger
    5. poor nutrition causes 3.1 million children under age 5 to die each year
    6. one in six children (approximately 100 million) in developing countries are underweight
    7. 66 million primary school age children go to school hungry in developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone

And this list could be expanded with similar facts from the WFP website.

There clearly is a growing need for feed to produce edible protein products that will provide people with a better quality life.

3.  Global Economy Increase

One of the resources I cited states that the world economy could grow a massive 26 times in this century.  We experienced this trend in recent times by following economic developments in Asia, and in particular China and India accounting for roughly 2.7 billion people.

A growing world-wide population with more money to spend per household leads to a change in the way people buy and consume food.  By now, we are all well aware of the need for foods classified as Organic, Kosher, Vegetarian, Vegan and Chemical-Free to name but a few.  All of these trends call for specific approaches in primary production of commodities and the way in which we process these commodities into high quality and safe feeds for edible protein production.

4.  Environmental & Social Sustainability

We all understand that something has to change or improve in order to secure sustainability of the world we live in.  We have no choice but to ensure we minimise our effect on the environment as we

  • farm and produce commodities for feed and food production;
  • utilise by-products, new commodities and traditional commodities to formulate feed;
  • design smarter and more efficient processing solutions for feed processing.

The role of Food & Feed Manufacturing Technology

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 4.39.16 pmAs food and feed processing technologists, manufactures and suppliers of equipment & complete plants, this topic should be of great interest to us.  We are part of the chain of scientists and engineers adding value to basic food commodities transforming it into safe and healthy feed & food.  We have a direct effect on The Need for Feed world-wide, both in terms of quantity and quality.  As Feed Millers and Feed Milling Engineers we play a key role in providing the latest technology and equipment helping our world to produce Fish, Meat, Milk and Eggs at optimum Quantity and Quality while striving to achieve this at the lowest unit cost possible. 

We need each other in our quest to meet the increasing demand for edible protein world-wide.  We are eager to learn how you are contributing to this goal and are keen to share with you the innovative equipment and engineering solutions we can help you with.

We are back at VICTAM Asia 2016!

We are back at VICTAM Asia 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand next week (29 – 31 March 2016).  We invite you to visit our Stand A099 and share with us your company’s current and future Feed Milling requirements and Intentions.  We are keen to learn more about your needs and share with you the Innovative Solutions we can offer.

I will be on the Ottevanger Stand and together with our personnel from The Netherlands are ready to find solutions for your processing needs.

We look forward to spending time with you in Bangkok! 

VICTAM Asia 2016 Invitation


Tovalia wins an Innovation Award at VICTAM 2015

Our Supplier Tovalia wins an Innovation Award at VICTAM 2015.  Congratulations to Olafur Jonsson and his team!

The award was given to Tovalia for applying their iScan Silo Moisture Sensor Technology to accurately measure several important processing parameters during extrusion processing of Aquatic Feeds.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 7.50.07 amMicrowave Technology

The Tovalia iScan Moisture Sensor is based on Microwave Technology and accurately; on-line and continuously measures processing parameters such as

  1. moisture content of feedstock before pre-conditioning and extrusion.  This knowledge is continuously used through Software and a Moisture Addition System to ensure moisture content of feedstock going into the extruder is always constant (as set or pre-determined by the operator) resulting in exceptionally stable extruder operation, and hence consistent extruded products;
  2. density of individually extruded pellets;
  3. pellet diameter;
  4. shininess of pellets after fat coating to determine oil absorption efficiency.

The same technology has also been used in fish counting while transferring fish or fry by means of a fish pump from one culture compartment to another.

Moisture Sensor Design makes the difference

Various designs and technologies are used to continuously sense moisture in feed manufacturing processes.  However, not all of them are equally successful.  Poorly designed Sensors can lead to frequent maintenance procedures and may ask for frequent calibration as formulations change.  All of these issues are eliminated by the specific design of Tovalia Moisture Sensors.

Visit our Blog Page to read more about Moisture Measurement Sensors in Animal Feed and Online Moisture Measurement in general,  or visit the Tovalia Website  for more information.

Visit us at VIV Asia 2015

We invite you to visit our stand at the upcoming VIV Asia 2015 Exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand next week.  We are ready to learn more about your company’s current and future Feed Milling requirements and will share with you the Innovative Solutions we can offer.
Paul Eijmberts (Area Sales Manager Asia Pacific), myself and personnel from our sister companies within the TRIOTT Group will all be there to assist you.
We look forward to seeing you in Bangkok! 

VIV Asia 2015

Moisture Measurement Sensors in Animal Feed

Olafur Jonsson (Tovalia)

When producing animal feed, controlling the moisture content is one of the most important control parameters.  Moisture Measurement Sensors in Animal Feed are a very important part of how accurately we can sense and control process moisture.

Moisture content will affect the quality of the finished feed and its shelf life.   Moisture content in the feed will also directly affect the profitability of the feed mill.

It is therefore evident that this parameter should be monitored and controlled to an optimum level at each stage in the process.

Moisture Measuring Techniques

Measuring moisture content can be done by the so-called moisture balance method; this method involves heating a certain amount of material and the weight loss is interpreted as moisture.  This method takes from 25 – 25 minutes and is not very practical if the operator wants to react quickly to changes in the production.

Measuring moisture in animal feed instantly and continuously is however tricky.  The three most common technologies for doing these measurements are:

  1. Measuring the response of Near Infrared (NIR) Light as it is reflected off the materialScreen Shot 2014-10-03 at 7.50.37 am
  2. Measuring the dielectric properties of the material with Electrical CapacitanceScreen Shot 2014-10-03 at 7.50.22 am
  3. Measuring the dielectric properties of the material with MicrowavesScreen Shot 2014-10-03 at 7.50.52 am

The advantage of NIR is that it can measure more than just the moisture content.   It can measure protein and fat.  However, the NIR requires a separate calibration for each new recipe which is not ideal for compound feed, where recipes constantly change.  For pellets the NIR technology has the disadvantage that it is a surface measurement, it will not measure the moisture inside the pellet.

Electrical capacitance is measured at low frequency.  This is the cheapest method.  However at this frequency, the ionic conduction effects are considerable.  The effects of density as well as temperature are also considerable.

The Microwave method for online moisture measurements of animal feed is becoming the recognised method in the industry.   At microwave frequencies above 2-3GHz, the ionic conduction effects are negligible.  The measurements of dielectric properties resulting from dipolar orientational polarisation of the water molecules inside the material are directly correlated with moisture content.  However, microwaves will be affected by temperature as well as density of the material.

There are several sensor technologies or sensor types that can be used with microwave technology to measure online moisture content in animal feed, but the most common sensor type is the planar sensor, or cavity resonator.  This is a cylindrical cup placed on the outside of a silo or chute.

The installation is fairly easy.  This sensor can be mounted on a hopper or a chute.

The disadvantages of this design is that the measurement area is unknown.  The radiation of microwaves into the material is not defined, but rather depends on the material and the density of it.  Therefore this method had 3 unknowns :

  1. the moisture content,
  2. the density and
  3. the size of the area being measured.

It is often estimated that the measurement area is a few square centimetres.   These sensors need to be cleaned regularly in case there is a dirt settlement on the sensor surface, as the dirt will influence the moisture measurement of the material, because the proportion of the dirt will be significant to the total measurement area.

A New Solution in Moisture Sensing Devices

There is a new design of  microwave moisture sensors on the market now, that use planar antennas.  There are two plates separated by a specific distance.  A Transmitter is in one plate and a receiver in another. This device is mounted on a silo or a hopper and the product passes between these two specifically designed plates as it is sensed for moisture content.  This means the measurement area is known.Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 7.50.07 am

The amount of material measured is a cross section of the volume of material between the two plates, which is considerably more than what current planar sensors do.  Effects of dust, dirt or buildup on the sensor are therefore negligible.

As with the planar sensors, this new design is installed in a hopper or a chute.  The requirement for this sensor to work well is that the two sensor plates need to be fully covered with material.

Tested and Proven

This new design has been thoroughly tested in feed mills.  Typical accuracies of 0.4% were achieved during development and evaluation of these sensors.Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 5.52.06 pm

Graph 1.  Comparison of moisture content by Tovalia sensor and the moisture balance method.  In total 71 samples were analysed from 39 different recipes.  The Tovalia sensor used a single calibration for all measurements.

Fore more information contact Olafur Jonsson or Hennie Pieterse at olafur@tovalia.com or hennie@hpdezign.com