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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Industrial Processes > Automatic process monitoring and control in the leather industry
Graphic element Automatic process monitoring and control in the leather industry
     
 
A new process uses radio-telemetry and advanced software to monitor and control the leather tanning process, increasing quality while saving time and reducing costs and waste.
 

In the leather industry, the vast majority of existing processing vessels are simply wooden drums operating as closed systems. This has traditionally meant that conditions could only be measured by stopping the process and opening the vessel, wasting time as well as chemicals and increasing the risk of mistakes. The lack of consistency in process conditions meant a similar lack in resulting product quality.

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated pH and temperature measurement and control system, capable of monitoring conditions within a process vessel, using radio-telemetry to transmit readings from the drum to a receiver station. The new system, which includes newly designed software, automatically adds a range of appropriate chemicals and adjusts temperature when needed. The technology has now been tested under industrial conditions in several European locations, demonstrating savings in processing time and chemical and dye usage. Waste treatment and disposal costs are also reduced.

The system is simple enough to be used by most tanneries, the majority of which are SMEs in Europe, and it will aid the fight against cheap imports. EC funding proved a great facilitator in getting the project off the ground, say partners, pulling the consortia members together and stimulating interest among tanners throughout Europe.

Cordis RCN: 23134
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