Back in 2016 Spinlock started working with a major global Snack producer to design and build a TD-NMR based inline spectrometer. The Objective: to be able to measure fast and accurately the dry-matter content of potatoes as they were loaded or transitioning through the potato chip production line.
Even though Spinlock had vast experience on fast moving samples through our Halbach-based NMRs, we had not previously worked on building a food-grade inline unit that would operate live and integrated into a food production process.
As part of this project, Spinlock built 2 prototypes, the PS 100 and the PS 102, both completely washdown-proof and integrated into the production line. These prototypes were capable of determining potato size, measuring sample dry-matter, and reducing sugars. Additionally, they were able to perform these measurements with and without checking each sample’s weight.
In addition, a minimum 4-inch bore was required to accommodate all possible sample sizes. This presented a challenge in terms of ensuring proper sample centering on the magnet’s sweet spot, as well as achieving an optimal filling factor and signal-to-noise ratio.
The PS 100 and PS 102 development projects are great examples of Spinlock’s R&D endeavors directed towards creating a custom design. The final prototypes incorporated the possibility of measuring up to 5,000 samples per hour, non-stop, controlling a VFD, a PLC and keeping Magnet and Electronics heated and refrigerated, respectively.
Even though technical details of the machine remain confidential, this is another great example of a joint collaboration between Spinlock and a third party to create an Inline Industrial Magnetic Resonance unit, capable of supplying critical information to the production line and quality control teams, making it another live realization of moving Magnetic Resonance Technology from the Laboratory to the Production Line.