Case Study: Rotronic RMS with robust HygroClip probes meet biocontrol challenges at Bioline
Products & Services | Rotronic AG
Measuring and monitoring specialist Rotronic has successfully applied its sophisticated Rotronic Monitoring System (RMS) with associated data loggers and HygroClip probes to one of the most demanding environmental monitoring challenges in biocontrol.
The RMS installation helps UK-based Bioline Agrosciences optimize its production of invertebrate biocontrol organisms software with ideal growth conditions, enhanced batch control and more responsive monitoring.
Bioline Agrosciences produces a wide range of invertebrate biocontrol organisms, ranging from ladybirds to parasitic wasps that are used for non-pesticide control of insect pests such as aphids, caterpillars, spider mite and whitefly that can impact a wide variety of crops.
Bioline grow and package these live organisms in innovative ways like sachets that ensure they are released controllably to do their work.
These invertebrates need ideal conditions to grow. Most Bioline pest control products must be developed, produced and stabilized at just the right stage of their life cycle, with close control of temperature and humidity in Bioline growth chambers key to optimizing production.
Following successful production, the growth chambers must be sterilized to prevent cross contamination. The simplest way to achieve this is heat treatment—raising the chamber temperature for a fixed period.
Bioline found that they were lacking reliable monitoring information on the environmental conditions, making batch control and diagnostics problematic. They also needed to ensure that chambers were successfully sterilized at high temperature prior to the next production run, requiring tedious and time consuming manual checks.
A complex site with many workers meant that the monitoring system had to be simple, easy to use and reliable.
Finally there were hardware challenges, with the dust, high humidity, wide temperature swings, cleaning fluids and sanitizers and rogue invertebrates associated with biocontrol sites all placing strains on probes and loggers.
Robust hardware for challenging applications
The Rotronic HygroClip probe combines a thin film humidity sensor, latest digital electronics, robust housing along with stringent manufacturing and factory calibration processes, all products of Rotronic’s more than 55 years’ experience in developing solutions for industrial environmental measurements.
The latest range of HC2A-S and HCD-S probes feature a new sensor, improved filter design, updated electronics and a new housing that is fully potted. The design’s robustness has been confirmed in a series of long-term testing in a wide range of applications both internally and in service with customers.
These are supported by HL-NT range data loggers, used in both fixed point (wall mounted) and handheld roaming variants.
Like most RMS projects, the project lead at Bioline needed confidence not only in the hardware and software but also the complete delivery of the solution and ongoing support. The system if used correctly would impact many staff and would be relied upon as an immutable record for the conditions during production, storage and sterilization.
By working closely with the customer and supplying a range of installation and IT services beyond the simple hardware and software ensured the project ran smoothly and quickly. Ongoing support and training was never far away.
RMS software is suitable for both in-house or cloud hosting, with the former preferred in this case. However, Bioline IT quickly ensured the locally installed and managed RMS website was made accessible from the internet so that key maintenance staff could review live alerts without having to visit the site out of hours.
RMS features benefits
The key elements of the Bioline solution, the RMS software platform, HygroClip probes and HL-NT data loggers all provided crucial features and benefits for a biocontrol application.
Rotronic Monitoring System (RMS)
- On premise or cloud software solution
- Support for Wired and Wireless data loggers
- No local end user software required just a web-browser
- Full historic record and summary reporting
- High accuracy and high frequency ambient temperature and humidity monitoring
HygroLog HL-NT Logger >>>
HL-NT loggers will be replaced from 2020 by a dedicated RMS RMS-LOG-D-L logger range that includes an adaptive color display. Both solutions offer:
- Robust PoE data logging with battery backup
- Large local display
- Secure onboard memory
- Full compatibility with RMS
- Local alarm buzzer