January 30, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Refractometers: How to Choose the Right One for Your Business

Refractometers are a vital tool in many industries, including food and beverage production, pharmaceuticals, and research and development. They are used to measure the concentration of a solution, such as the sugar content in fruit juice or the purity of a chemical compound. However, with so many different types of refractometers available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your business. In this article, we will explain the different types of refractometers, their applications, and how to choose the best one for your needs.

Types of Refractometers: 
  • Abbe refractometer: This is the most common type of refractometer and is used to measure the refractive index of a liquid. It is often used in the food and beverage industry to measure the sugar content of fruit juice, honey, and other liquids.
  • Digital refractometer: A digital refractometer uses electronic sensors to measure the refractive index of a liquid. It is more accurate and easier to use than an Abbe refractometer, and can also measure the specific gravity of a liquid.
  • Handheld refractometer: A handheld refractometer is a portable device that is easy to use and can be taken to different locations. It is often used in the field for measuring the sugar content of the fruit or the concentration of a chemical solution.
  • Inline refractometer: An inline refractometer is installed directly into a process line, allowing for continuous monitoring of the concentration of a liquid. It is commonly use.
Applications of refractometers:
  • Food and beverage production: Refractometers are used to measure the sugar content of fruit juice, honey, and other liquids. This helps to ensure the quality and consistency of the final product.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Refractometers are used to measure the purity of a chemical compound, which is crucial in the production of pharmaceuticals.
  • Research and development: Refractometers are used in scientific research and development to measure the refractive index of liquids and gases.
How to choose the right refractometer for your business:
  • Consider the type of liquid you will be measuring: Different refractometers are designed to measure specific types of liquids. For example, a handheld refractometer may not be suitable for measuring the sugar content of a thick liquid like honey.
  • Consider the accuracy and precision required: If high accuracy and precision are required, a digital refractometer may be the best option.
  • Consider the ease of use: If the refractometer will be used by many different people, it is important to choose one that is easy to use and has clear instructions.
  • Consider the cost: Refractometers vary in price, so it is important to choose one that is within your budget.
Conclusion:

Refractometers are a versatile and essential tool in many industries. By understanding the different types of refractometers and their applications, you can choose the right one for your business. When choosing a refractometer, consider the type of liquid you will be measuring, the accuracy and precision required, the ease of use, and the cost. Dl-tec.com offers a wide range of refractometers for different applications, visit our website for more information.

If these refractometers could bring benefit to you, feel free to contact our sales team who will be happy to assist you in helping you find the right data logger for your use.

DL Technology

+65 6592 5006


January 28, 2023

Understanding Data Loggers: How They Can Improve Your Business Operations

Data loggers are devices that are used to record and store data over time. They are commonly used in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and environmental monitoring. In this article, we will explore the different types of data loggers available, their uses, and how they can improve your business operations.

Types of Data Loggers: 

There are several types of data loggers available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. Some of the most common types include temperature data loggers, humidity data loggers, and pressure data loggers.

Uses of Data Loggers:

Data loggers can be used in a variety of industries to track and monitor a wide range of data. For example, in the manufacturing industry, data loggers can be used to monitor temperature, humidity, and pressure levels in order to ensure that products are manufactured to the highest quality standards. In the transportation industry, data loggers can be used to monitor the location, speed, and fuel consumption of vehicles.

How They Can Improve Business Operations:

Data loggers can provide businesses with valuable insights into their operations. By tracking and monitoring data over time, businesses can identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. This can lead to increased efficiency and cost savings, as well as improved product quality and customer satisfaction.

Conclusion:

Data loggers are powerful tools that can be used to track and monitor data in a wide range of industries. They can provide businesses with valuable insights into their operations and can help improve efficiency, cost savings, and product quality. If you are looking to improve your business operations, consider investing in a data logger today.

If these data loggers could bring benefit to you, look no further than our range of wireless and USB data loggers. Feel free to contact our sales team who will be happy to assist you in helping you find the right data logger for your use.

DL Technology

+65 6592 5006


January 17, 2023

How do USB Data Logger work?

Data logging is one of the most important tasks of any industry. USB Data Logger is used to monitor and record important parameters such as temperature, pressure, and humidity. This information can then be used to control production and to ensure safety standards are met. Lascar Electronics is one of the leading companies in the data logging industry, and their EL-USB Data Loggers provide an effective and easy-to-use solution for many industrial needs.

The Lascar EL-USB Data Loggers are a series of data loggers with a range of features. They are designed to be powered from a USB port and can be used with a variety of software packages. They are suitable for a wide range of applications, from industrial use to research and development. The EL-USB Data Loggers offer a range of features, such as built-in temperature, pressure, and humidity sensors, a large memory capacity, and a long battery life.

The EL-USB Data Loggers are designed to be easy to use. They feature a simple user interface and an intuitive setup wizard to make the process of setup and operation quick and easy. All the data collected is stored in the loggers and can be accessed from a computer or from the internet.

If these data loggers could bring benefit to you, look no further than our range of wireless and USB data loggers. Feel free to contact our sales team who will be happy to assist you in helping you find the right data logger for your use.

DL Technology

+65 6592 5006


September 1, 2022

EL-WiFi: Monitoring Homemade Wine

Wireless Data Loggers used to monitor temperature during winemaking

Changing weather conditions can cause problems for fruit producers and home-brewers of beers, lagers, and wine. Thus, Temperature Monitoring for Wine is important in Winemaking.

When starting a brew day to make wine, several aspects need to be considered, however, with the slightest change potentially ruining a brew, temperature control is crucial to the brewing process. External temperature extremes can cause problems during fermentation, this is where temperature monitoring is vital, Lascar’s cost-effective and reliable EL-WiFi-TC temperature data logger with an external probe solves these problems.

The Challenge

Peter Barrett, from the South East of England, started brewing beer and lager as a hobby back in the 1970s. A keen home-brewer, Peter has expanded his brewing capabilities by making wine from the fruit in his garden.

“I guess brewing from kits is the easiest as everything is supplied except sugar and water. However, I like trying new things all the time and we had a bumper crop of Blackberries this year, so that’s what I’m brewing next.”

The best time to brew is during the winter months as there is fewer spoilage bacteria and wild yeast to contend with, however, yeast can exhibit stress problems without sufficient temperature control during fermentation. For a home-brewer, this can impede activation, especially when temperatures get down below 70°F, the wine yeast will start to go dormant, known as a stuck fermentation. For most wine fermentations to succeed, the temperature range needs to be between 70° – 75°F.

Temperature Monitoring for Wine

During warmer weather, the biggest problem is the off flavours from esters and fusel alco

hols that the yeast produces. The yeast can start consuming but run out of nutrients before finishing the sugar, giving an incomplete fermentation. Yeast can also become too sensitive to alcohol toxicity and can die off before the usual tolerance is met. Similarly, yeast can die off from heat stress, resulting in under-pitching and off flavours. If the fermentation liquid rises over 75°F, then the wine yeast can start to produce off-flavours and aromas, which can create a wine with an impure taste. If the fermentation becomes overly heated, this can encourage bacterial growth and the production of unwanted enzymes in the wine, making it taste off, fruity or solvent, which is irreversible and therefore must be controlled.

The Solution

Peter’s original thermometer required constant checking, so he searched for an easier and more reliable method of temperature monitoring.

A separate thermowell with a temperature probe is recommended to measure the fermenting mix/liquid. A thermowell is a cylindrical fitting used to protect temperature sensors installed in industrial processes. This acts as a barrier between the liquid inside, keeping this separate from the outside air and any contamination that could spoil the brew.

In appearance, a thermowell consists of a tube closed at one end and mounted in the process stream. The thermometer probe is inserted in the open end of the tube, which is usually in the open air outside the process piping or vessel and any thermal insulation. Thermodynamically, the process fluid transfers heat to the thermowell wall, which in turn, transfers heat to the sensor. This is much more accurate than Peter’s previous gauge.

“Giving you confidence that the temperature is not drifting away from the ideal fermenting temperature.”

This WiFi-enabled data logger from EasyLog is easy to set up and remotely and continuously monitors Peter’s brew using a temperature probe, measuring temperatures between 0 to 200°C (32 to 392°F), automatically uploading data to the EasyLog Cloud.

With access to his data at any time in the EasyLog Cloud, Peter can monitor his device from anywhere using a PC, laptop, or mobile phone. He can also change his data logger settings remotely, setting up and receiving email alerts of alarm conditions, and can assign multiple user privileges.

The EL-WIFI Data Logger will store data internally if it loses a WiFi connection and automatically uploads it to the Cloud once reconnected so data is never lost.

Temperature Monitoring for WineThe Benefits

Once Peter had received the EL-WiFi-TC Temperature Data Logger and probe, he could simply manage and download the data in a report form as and when he required it.

Peter is now reassured that he can brew all year round with a monitor advising if the temperature of the mix during fermentation is getting too hot or too cold. He also receives notifications from his data logger to advise if any action is required so the brew will neither be lost nor tainted in any way.

“The EL-WiFi-TC is just what I need. Different brews, beer, lager, cider, and wine can have different optimal fermentation temperatures and with this logger, you can easily set the maximum /minimum temperature alarms on your phone via the EasyLog App.”


August 27, 2022

EL-USB Data Loggers Monitoring Bees Temperature

Monitoring bee health with EasyLog USB logger

Joergen Nielsen from Silkeborg in Denmark began keeping bees in his garden in 2016 when he took up an old hobby from when he lived on a farm in the 80s. He had been contacted by a beekeeping friend, whose husband had developed an allergy reaction towards bee stings, and she had made the obvious choice of letting go of her bees (not her husband!) – and so they landed in Joergen’s backyard. He currently has three hives, which are used in his honey production venture, Alderslyst Honning. This is where temperature data logging comes in.

Last year, Joergen had the unfortunate experience of a hive dying due to cold weather. To prevent this from happening again, he wanted a way to monitor the temperature in the hive, so that he knew the bees were in good shape. During the winter, monitoring the temperature would show whether the bees were alive or not. Furthermore, the monitoring can reveal when the queen starts to lay eggs in the springtime, as the temperature will rise by two degrees.

temperature data Logging
temperature data Logging

Joergen used the Lascar Electronics EL-USB-TP-LCD for temperature monitoring. This is a USB temperature data logger that has a thermistor probe on a 1m cable. The logger was placed outside the hive, inside a plastic tub to give weather protection, and the probe was placed inside the hive. Joergen found the logger easy to configure via the PC software, saying the software was self-explanatory and that you couldn’t do anything wrong with it. The same applied when it came to getting the logging results, he found the graph came up automatically and he liked being able to access the raw data for further studies. He set the logger to take hive temperature readings each hour, which could then be downloaded to his PC for analysis. From the data recorded, he was able to produce temperature graphs showing the temperature drop and subsequent rise as the bees went into and out of hibernation.

Joergen has future plans to use the IoT so he can access a web page to easily monitor the weight and temperature of each of his hives. This will provide valuable information about the bees’ “vigorous” work during the year. For example when the queen starts to lay eggs in the spring – this means the beekeeper also needs to pay attention to the bee farm and whether they have sufficient food. Furthermore, the weight gives valuable information about when to increase the space available to the queen and her bees, and when to harvest honey. In the autumn the weight will also inform the beekeeper about the amount of food in the hive so he can be sure that it is enough for the family to survive the winter.

“The product is straightforward, very easy to use, setting up and get readings out. Lascar has been quick in support and very forthcoming.” Joergen Nielsen.


August 23, 2022

WiFi: Advanced Manufacturing Centre

Temperature and humidity monitoring in a robot-controlled factory

The Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Hong Kong has just opened as part of an initiative from Hong Kong Science and Technology Corporation to push forward smart manufacturing in the territory.

The center has been designed to help companies of different scales to embark on technological, innovation, and high-efficiency production within the application of advanced manufacturing and testing processes.

Temperature and Humidity Monitoring
Temperature and Humidity Monitoring

The center will provide comprehensive services for logistics, warehousing, prototyping, low-volume assembly, and cleanroom-enabled space. Industries range from medical health, and hospital devices, and equipment to robo-electronics and smart power devices for smart city applications, optical equipment, sensor fabrication, biomedical engineering devices, implants, and equipment.

The newly completed center required temperature and humidity control to protect against damage to items stored in the warehouse. High temperatures and humidity can quickly damage products stored in the warehouse destroying them and potentially costing companies thousands to replace them in the process. To ensure that conditions don’t get to a critical point, a remote monitoring system was required.

Lascar Electronics provided 30 EL-WIFI-TH devices to the center, all of which are connected to one EasyLog Cloud account so staff can remotely view all their device statuses in one place.

Thanks to the EasyLog Cloud, staff at the center can easily set their own high and low alarms, receive instant notifications when these are breached, and therefore make changes to the environment before it’s too late.


August 14, 2022

WiFi: Hong Kong Palace Museum

Temperature, humidity, and air quality levels solution

With its impending grand opening, the Hong Kong Palace Museum needed a comprehensive Data Logger for Museum to continually monitor its vast 30,000-square-foot museum. And with over 900 works of art due to be displayed in various exhibitions, a range of temperature and humidity monitors were needed.

Monitoring the temperature and humidity is essential for the long-term preservation of historical artifacts and other sensitive items in the museum. Unstable levels of relative humidity can cause hygroscopic materials to swell in high humidity and contract in low humidity, which can be catastrophic to these old artifacts. The swelling and contraction of the materials cause stress on the connecting fibers, weakening them over time and causing embrittlement. To prevent damage, conditions should be closely monitored.

Data Logger for Museum

Staff can also monitor the environment for their visitors with air quality monitors. Air quality monitors allow them to determine if conditions are suitable for visitors. Asthma, irritated eyes, nose and throat, coughing, and a range of other health issues can be caused by pollutants found within indoor environments. Pollutants known as VOCs can come from paints, lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning products, furnishings, glues, and alcohols which add to an already extensive list of VOCs found indoors.

Lascar provided 250 wireless devices including EL-WIFI-TH+ High-accuracy, WiFi temperature & humidity data logger, EL-WIFI-TH WiFi temperature and humidity data logger, EL-MOTE-TH WiFi temperature and humidity data logger EL-USB-2-LCD Temperature and relative humidity USB data logger with display, and EL-WEM Air quality monitor. All of which are connected to one Cloud account.

The EasyLog Cloud allows museum staff to easily view all device statuses in one place. Here they can identify if any devices are in an alert and can instantly make changes to the conditions before it’s too late.

The Hong Kong Palace Museum is now able to monitor the temperature, humidity, and air quality around the clock, as well as reduce staff resources spent taking readings.


August 12, 2022

WiFi: Chef’s Magic Ingredient

Temperature and humidity solution with Royal Oak Catering

During our summer BBQ at our local watering hole The Royal Oak in the picturesque New Forest we got to talk to the Head Chef about our range of EL-WiFi temperature and humidity solution. Within minutes the management was convinced and within days they’d purchased and installed our Temperature and Humidity sensors (EL-WIFI-TP and EL-WIFI-TH) in the dry store, refrigeration and freezer areas.

All food businesses need to comply with HACCP food safety regulations. One key element of this is proof of due diligence, so it’s essential to have an accurate system to monitor your handling, preparation, and food storage temperatures/

Temperature and Humidity Solution

Pub Manager Richard Bird explained that recording temperatures manually means there’s a risk of human error and that due to the pressures of the job, temperatures aren’t taken as regularly as they would be in an ideal world. Richard realized that setting up the EL-WiFi sensors in all the food-related areas of the premises would enable him to meet all the HACCP regulations as well as provide him with useful data and peace of mind that the job had been done.

Of course, it is also important that food is kept at the right temperatures en route from the pub to the members’ homes. Our low-cost cold chain loggers are placed in containers that have LED alarms to warn the driver if the temperature exceeds the thresholds. A custom low and high alarm was created for this purpose ensuring that the food is still hot when it arrives at its destination. Both solutions ensure regulations of the HACCP are met giving everyone peace of mind and satisfied customers!


August 4, 2022

WiFi: Ensuring food quality with EL-WIFI

Food Safety Monitoring Using Wireless EasyLog Data Loggers

When members of the Home Cinema Club (HCC) have their feet up watching a movie and tucking into some home-cooked food delivered to their door, they probably don’t appreciate what goes on behind the scenes to ensure their hot and cold food is safe to consume. The secret is ensuring food quality with EL-WIFI.

The Regal Cinema in Fordingbridge and The Royal Oak pub in North Gowley got together to give members a home experience with movies streamed to their homes and the pub cooking and delivering to their doorstep.Food Quality using EL-WIFI-TH

So how does Lascar play a vital role in this service? The fridge and freezers in the pub’s kitchen house Lascar’s data loggers frequently monitor the temperature and because these operate through the WiFi network the temperature can easily be checked remotely from a mobile phone. If there was a disaster, such as a power cut or fault (which did happen in the past), the loggers will send an email alert. The food would be saved meaning the business does not lose on the cost of replacing it and the members of the HCC would not go without it!

Of course, it is also important that food is kept at the right temperatures en route from the pub to the members’ homes. Our low-cost cold chain loggers are placed in containers that have LED alarms to warn the driver if the temperature exceeds the thresholds. A custom low and high alarm was created for this purpose ensuring that the food is still hot when it arrives at its destination. Both solutions ensure regulations of the HACCP are met giving everyone peace of mind and satisfied customers!


July 27, 2022

Using the Testo Saveris 2 in Food Stores to monitor conditions

Testo Saveris 2 in food stores is a common site in the food industry. In his often-quoted book, Out of the Crisis, about quality improvement as a competitive advantage, Edward Deming details 14 principles of quality management. While they are all necessary for a complete quality management mindset, #3 is acutely relevant to changes happening with food quality and food safety today. The third principle states: “Cease dependency on inspections”. This speaks to the heart of what forward-thinking firms around the globe are engaging in eHACCP, digital quality control, and automated food safety. Food service organizations, restaurants, food retailers, convenience stores and everyone in-between currently relies on a multitude of layers to INSPECT QUALITY into their organizations.

Examples of this include corporate quality directors writing and distributing quarterly updated paper checklists, regional managers visually inspecting sites for up-to-date checklists every day, and on-site managers reviewing and physically signing employee check sheets at the end of shifts. In most instances, all of these inspections do little to provide visibility or assurance that policies and procedures are being properly executed daily. So, companies hire third-party inspection services to assess compliance and review documents regularly (monthly or quarterly) to further inspect the quality. Some forward-thinking firms are asking themselves: “Is there a better way? Can we lower the number of inspections, lower costs and improve quality and food safety?”

One regional food retail operation sought to improve quality, lower costs, and reduce inspection efforts by digitizing and electronically distributing their food

quality inspection manuals. This multi-unit company is centrally controlled through the HQ offices. New food safety books are written, reviewed, approved, printed, and distributed from the corporate office. The cost to print and distribute these manuals annually exceeds $40,000. Additionally, hundreds of undocumented management hours are spent ensuring the updated lists are in use across all of the units. This management by inspection is estimated to cost approximately $25,000 annually. It has also been recorded by the third-party inspection firm that most facilities have incomplete inspection reports and pencil-whipped documents across the board. Should an incident occur, the cost to the brand is estimated at no less than one million dollars per potential incident. However, because management understands that all risk cannot be eliminated through the introduction of one system, this brand risk was pushed down to $200,0000 total for purposes of a return-on-investment (ROI) analysis. The amount of 20% of the at-risk dollars was determined to be a reasonable expectation given the scope of the testo Saveris Food Stores system capabilities.

 

The Project Objective

To implement hardware and software that would eliminate paper, be centrally controlled by the organization, locally adaptable for varying equipment types/menus, eliminate checklists that are not relevant to the site, and be 100% up-to-date every day, everywhere without effort. The system must also be user-driven so that the corporation can easily change and update checklists as needed. Additionally, checklists must have the option to be “seasonal in nature,” meaning they can have timed start and end dates.

During the project scope phase, six (6) different workstations were identified. These were the bakery, deli, soup/salad/wing bar, specialty meat/seafood counter, dairy area, and meat grinding station. For the purpose of a proof of concept during the pilot phase, 2 work stations were chosen in 2 different store locations: the deli & the soup/salad/wing bar. The company’s existing checklists for both work stations were programmed into the testo Saveris Food Stores software system and stationary wireless temperature data loggers were installed in strategic locations to continuously collect data. Two shifts of line staff were trained and provided with Bluetooth-enabled multifunctional thermometers and a rugged purpose-built tablet.

The client wanted to test the flexibility of the system and gauge how their employees reacted to change. It was decided that, over the course of a 90-day trial, checklists were changed at the corporate level. In the control store, communication about these changes followed the normal path. Employees were informed via standard corporate emails and postings on employee bulletin boards about the change. At the test store, employees were not informed of the changes to checklists. The difference in communication at the store level was decided to test how well employees adapt to changes in expectations communicated electronically through the testo Saveris Food Stores system as opposed to the traditional method of informing and inspecting quality in the process.

Findings from the 90-day pilot confirmed the key drivers for the project. Printed checklist costs could be eliminated, which did not surprise the management team. Additionally, the changes to the checklist were automatically followed at both locations regardless of management’s engagement with the line employees. The surprises in the pilot study came from unexpected areas of importance to the organization.

 

Improvements

In one location, significant improvements were made in the soup/salad/wing bar area. After only 2-weeks of engagement with the system, it was clear that temperatures for foods going into the salad bar at one location were consistently being found outside of minimum expectations. Quality assurance, location management, and Testo started to investigate the situation. The store manager was certain that the new Testo equipment was either gathering data incorrectly or malfunctioning due to improper installment. All hands were called into the location to address the problem and do a field validation of the temperature probe. Testo team then verified that all the equipment was functioning correctly and the quality assurance manager conducted a thorough process analysis of the preparation and production process. During this review, it was identified that the salad bar re-chilling process was not being followed correctly. Salad bar items were not being properly re-chilled to below 40°F prior to being taken out of temperature control and placed on the salad bar. This was allowing several Temperature Control for Safety (TCS ) items to rise slightly (to 43°F) during the salad bar set-up. Training ensued, the handling process was adjusted, and temperatures normalized at the salad bar.

Anecdotally, the manager for both locations found that the overall cleanliness at the Deli counter seemed to improve. During an interview at the end of the pilot study the deli managers were asked, why did they think the managers noticed an improvement in the overall cleanliness and appearance of the deli counter area? The response was clear. Numerous temperature checks were eliminated due to embedded sensors in the deli case and employees had more time to straighten shelves and keep the product appearance at its peak. When asked further to quantify the amount of time saved due to automated temperature checks and automated alarms, employees felt that 30-60 minutes per shift was saved by avoiding numerous hand-recorded temperature checks.

In a round-table discussion with the users at the end of the trial period, an employee pointed out that she thought the system would have created an incredible benefit 6-months prior. At that time, the door was left open in a small walk-in refrigerator behind the deli counter. It went unnoticed and the temperature inside the refrigerator rose above expectations. The deli staff (3 people) spent an hour checking product temperatures by hand. She estimated about $2,000 of meats were lost due to this issue. With open door and temperature alarms sent via email, the system would have found the problem and alerted staff before any food loss.

testo saveris 2 in food stores

 

ROI Evaluation

Each retail location has 6 departments. The department heads review and sign the daily checklist for their department. This is done for 2 shifts per day. The cost for this operation alone can be completely eliminated through the use of the comprehensive, electronic checklists visually available at the store, regional, and corporate levels. Based on 89 locations, the savings to eliminate this effort alone pay for the entire system and are calculated to be $584,000.

  • 5 minutes to check each list
  • 6 lists to check
  • 2 shifts per store
  • 60 minutes of labor or 1 hour = 365 Hr/store/Year
  • 89 stores x 365 = 32,485Hr/Year Total Saved
  • Average Manager pay = $18/Hr
  • Total savings = $584,730

All printing is eliminated, creating an additional $40,000 in annual savings. The company also estimated that its managerial inspections for up-to-date documents could be eliminated, saving another $25,000.


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