Real time colour

The Neltec ColourQ automatic real-time colorimeter can constantly check the quality of white, yellow, brown or raw sugar, providing a unique combination of benefits:

  • Raising sugar quality
  • Increasing capacity
  • Lowering production costs
  • The Neltec ColourQ automatic colorimeter has been specifically developed to monitor sugar quality and enable you to respond immediately to process variations in pans and centrifugals, eliminating the need for wide safety margins, while preventing sugar outside specifications from reaching the drier or silo.

    What is sugar colour?
    • ICUMSA approves two kinds of “sugar colour” measurement.
    • One, called Colour Type, is based on the visible brightness of the sugar, i.e. the light reflected from it. It can be either measured by an instrument or evaluated by the human eye.
    • The other is Colour in Solution. To measure this, sugar crystals are dissolved and the colour of the resulting solution is determined by measuring its absorption using a spectrophotometer.
    • Results from the two methods are very weakly correlated generally.
    Colour in solution - without solution!

    The Neltec ColourQ is unique, because it is the only instrument that can measure and give the same results as laboratory measurements of colour in solution – without dissolving the sugar, by reflection, and in real-time.
    Its accuracy is excellent, relative to lab measurements of the same sugar using ICUMSA methods GS1/3-7 (2011), GS2/3-9 (2005), GS2/3-10 (2011) or GS9/1/2/3-8 (2011).

    An ideal tool for process control

    Neltec ColourQ 2100 measurements can be easily applied to process control and centrifugal optimisation. For example, using this convenient instrument you can control the washing to avoid unnecessarily melting good sugar in your centrifugals.

    The colour profile of the sugar discharged by the centrifugals can tell you immediately when outputs from crystallizers, centrifugals or dryers are out of specification, pinpointing corrective actions needed, in real-time, and thus optimizing sugar quality, while minimizing water and steam consumption.

    Measurements after the centrifugals

    Avoid waste from operating with large safety margins for the maximum colour limit.
    Run confidently closer to the limit.
    Avoid bad sugar or massecuite reaching the drier.
    Avoid out-of-specification sugar reaching the silos.

    Early detection of high-colour sugar allows rapid troubleshooting and eases problem management.

    With the colour measurements provided by ColourQ you will notice much higher variations in the sugar colour than expected. This is because centrifugals’ performance vary, so you may see significant differences between centrifugals, between discharges and within discharges from each centrifugal.

    You can trim settings of each centrifugal to optimise its performance. Using the ColourQ you can see immediately how changes in the filling level, cleaning the screen and plough adjustments affect the colour of the sugar leaving a centrifugal. So you can readily adjust the washing and filling levels of the centrifugals to match the quality of the massecuite, and tailor the general level of wash water to avoid unnecessarily melting good sugar. Well-trimmed centrifugals produce lower colour sugar with the same washing, or the same colour sugar with less washing.
    Reducing of unnecessary washing will increase your throughput.

    Measurement of sugar leaving the mill/factory/refinery

    Improve your customer confidence and loyalty by continuously measuring all the sugar delivered in every shipment. Measure every kg of your shipped sugar to ensure its colour is within specifications.
    Protect yourself from shipping sugar that does not meet customers’ specifications.
    Readily mix sugar of different qualities from different silos to meet different customers’ specifications.
    The ColourQ can be conveniently installed on scrolls, belts and grasshopper conveyors.

    Stable calibration

    There is no need for frequent calibrations. Once an instrument has been commissioned and calibrated the calibration remains stable for many years.

    The auto calibration unit ensure stability of the measurements

    Regular (hourly) auto-calibration are required to compensate for possible drift in the system, due (for instance) to slow accumulation
    of dust or splashes on the lens, or large variations in ambient temperature between cleanings.
    The hourly auto-calibration prevents the instrument from displaying wrong values for hours. If a large deviation occurs between two auto-calibrations the instrument will stop taking measurements and give a warning that manual intervention is needed.

    High accuracy

    The accuracy of the instrument´s measurements can be guaranteed for refined sugar. Compared to lab results the
    ColourQ doesn´t add any significant error. The accuracy of the colour measurement allows the process to be run in the
    most efficient and economical way to reach the quality targets with no need for a large safety margin.


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