In production, processing and packaging of butter, the processing equipment is regularly cleaned, and remaining butter residues are washed out with the pre-tempered water to ensure reliable hygienic production.

From this mixture, high-purity butter oil can be separated as a valuable raw material. An important instrument for its automated, economical, and high-quality refinement is the ITM-51 Turbidity Sensor with a measuring range perfectly adapted to this application.

In addition, sensors for flow rate, point level and temperature that match perfectly the specific medium support process control for maximum system efficiency and reliability.


The water-butter oil mixture from the plant rinsing process is pumped into a stacking tank in which natural phase separation already takes place. In a separator the butter oil phase should then be concentrated to a refinement degree of 99.5%.

However, visual control during phase separation did not allow sufficient accuracy for the final product. Continuous sampling offered better quality, but this required a lot of manpower and proved to be very cost intensive.

Finally, automated phase separation based on high-precision turbidity measurement of the butter oil mixture with the ITM-51 turbidity sensor proved to be the most efficient method for ensuring consistently high and verifiable production quality in practical operation.

Anderson-Negele Solution: ITM-51 Turbidity Sensor

The ITM-51 turbidity sensor uses the backscattered light method, which detect the reflection of particles in the medium. With only one sensor head, it can be integrated very easily and front-flush into the pipe system using a weld-on socket or adapter.

For precise separator control, the ITM-51 was programmed individually in the application itself. For this purpose, samples were taken in a test run, analyzed in the laboratory, and compared with the values displayed in the sensor. In the exemplary practical case, a range of 0-50%TU was preset for a target maximum value of 0.5% water content in the butter oil mixture.

The high process reliability in the separation of the phases ensures, on the one hand, a constant quality of the butter oil. On the other hand, the wastewater management is considerably simplified since the residual water is only contaminated to the minimum.

Turbidity ITM-51 Advantages:

  • Compact, Robust, cost-saving, and cost-effective.
  • Glass-fee sapphire optics.
  • High accuracy +/- 2% of measured value.
  • Process temperature up to 130 ̊C, CIP cleaning up to 140  ̊C / 120min.
  • Front flush design, therefore, pig cleaning possible.


Raymond Karsten
Instek Control
Tel. +27 12 998 6326

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