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Sofraser 50th anniversary

Discovering "maison feuillette"

Sofraser celebrated its 50 years at the beginning of June 2022. Alongside with others company of Ana Bell Group, Sofraser Maintenance (50 years) and Anael (20 years), also celebrating. Sofraser’s distributors from across the world attended this event that marks one of Sofraser’s (major) milestone. Some of them even made the trip to our factory.

The 2nd of June, Sofraser invited its partners from all around the globe for an on-site seminar and an international live webinar, with our brand new products launch, a hands up moment as long as a reward ceremony, some magic and quality time between Sofraser’s team and its distributors who could join physically the event.

The award ceremony
Sofraser's webinar

The exchanges of experience between the attendees were rich and abundant, leading to multiple topics of discussion. Sofraser, world pioneer in process viscometry not only celebrated the company and its products but also the partnerships made along the way.

Diner at the restaurant

The 3rd of June was also a day of celebration. With the theme of Circular Metamorphosis, it was a day to show Sofraser’s establishment in the territory and its CSR actions. To mark the day, local artists painted Sofraser’s wall with a tree and worlds associated with Sustainable Development Goals gathered during a word café.

The word café

Dear Sofraser partner, thank you.
Dear Sofraser team, happy birthday.

The circular metamorphosis tree

Viscosity control in yoghurt manufacturing

What is a yogurt?

Yoghurt is the result of milk fermentation by two lactic thermophilic bacteria. The main goal of these bacteria is to reduce milk pH in order to form a gel and provide acidulate taste and savour to the gel. Fermentation leads to milk solidification usually called “white mass”. It can be consumed in this firm state or after brewing providing a creamy or liquid consistency.

Culture is done in tanks and agitation is required to have good homogeneity of the mix milk/ferments. At this step, the process will differ for firm or stirred yoghurt productions. To obtain firm yoghurt, the white mass is immediately filled in pots and fermentation happens directly into the pots.

In yoghurt tasting, consistency and texture are of utmost importance, for which viscosity is the most relevant correlated parameter. In fact, consistency, texture and concentration indicate a resistance to motion and flow.

The production cycle of a yogurt

During yoghurt production cycle, some recipes are instable and/or fragile due to their complexity. Moreover, the time is crucial: it is important to minimize the time between preparation phase and packaging phase, because this is when whey pockets are created.

At the end of fermentation, the tank contains yoghurt but may also contain pockets of whey. These pockets of whey should not enter in the stirring/mixing step and absolutely not in the pot.

Possible consequences of excessive whey in final yoghurt packaging are diluted yoghurts or whey instead of yoghurts which can lead to unsatisfied customers. The inline viscometer, correlated to texture and concentration values, helps to remove whey from normal process of yoghurt manufacturing.

Whey has a lower viscosity than yoghurt and will be detected by the MIVI and automatically evacuated from the normal processing line. Beside of this use, the MIVI sensor can also be used as the most sensitive consistency or dry extract meter on the market. It provides a vibrating measurement detecting any variation in the state of the material. By default, the MIVI is calibrated in viscosity units.

The MIVI is repeatable and reliable, designed for hygienic environment thanks to its design certified by EHEDG, is not influenced by flow rate variations thanks to its measurement at high shear rate in 2nd Newtonian stage. As the MIVI is easy to install and to use, robust and has no drift, it doesn’t require any maintenance.

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2022 is Sofraser’s 50th anniversary. And that calls for a celebration.

50 years of sofraser paul beaudoin
Paul Beaudoin

Sofraser (Société Française de Services) was founded in 1972, when Paul Beaudoin, former Hutchinson maintenance manager, created the company.

Sofraser, inventor of the first tuning-type process viscometer (vibration at its resonance frequency), designs, manufactures and markets measuring equipment that allows its customers to control their production in order to minimize material consumption and waste. Companies that use our viscometer save money, time and raw materials while improving their environmental impact.

This world pioneer in process viscometry, has as main objective to provide the latest high-performance innovations and improve production methods.

For 50 years now, Sofraser has been helping its clients to get better and greener productions with the large range of viscometers offered.

Sofraser produces eco designed viscometers, that are recyclable, low-consumption and long-lasting. For the company, more than 65% of supplies are #local. Supplier evaluation criteria take into account remoteness and CSR commitments.

50 years later, Sofraser is now a part of Ana Bell Group together with Sofraser Maintenance and Anael. Ana Bell Group, is a community for pooling resources and skills, founded in 2008 by Dr Luc K. Bellière, based on the values of sharing and commitment that fosters cooperation in the service of the global performance of companies and experiments with innovative ways of organizing.

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50th anniversary of SOFRASER

In this year 2022, Sofraser celebrates its 50th anniversary. Inventor of the first resonant vibrating viscometer, our company designs, manufactures and markets measuring equipment enabling our customers to control their production in order to minimize material consumption and avoid rejects.

Our sensors operate continuously 24/7 for decades, without maintenance, at our customers’ sites, demonstrating their robustness and reliability and our viscometers are guaranteed for 7 years.

Founded in 1972, Sofraser is a pioneer in process viscosity monitoring and is today a world leader in industrial viscometers.

This 50th anniversary is an opportunity to highlight our commitment to CSR and our circular approach, implemented since 2000.

Award for the Loiret Trophy

Sofraser, a member of Ana Bell Group, is proud to have been awarded two departmental and national prizes, including the Loiret trophy, in the social commitment category.

This prize is awarded to a company that promotes inclusion, quality of life at work, implements an energy, environmental or CSR transition plan, adopts a company travel plan and carries out concrete actions towards a strong societal commitment.

This award recognizes 20 years of community service by the Ana Bell Group and its members, including its environmental commitments.

This award is given to the whole group:

SOFRASER, a pioneer in process viscosity measurement, designs, manufactures and markets measurement equipment enabling its customers to control their production in order to minimize material consumption and waste.

SOFRASER MAINTENANCE, maintenance for energy efficiency and cleaning of industrial installations allows its customers to remove insulating deposits in the creation and heat exchange installations, reducing fuel consumption, polluting emissions and extending the life of the installations.

ANAEL, distributor of online measurement and analysis instruments, allowing industries to control their production in order to minimize materials consumed and waste and to continuously monitor the regulatory and environmental compliance of their releases.

Electric board coating process

Viscosity measurement in electronic board coating process

The solvent dosage of a coating solution in electronic boards requires precise adjustment in order to achieve uniformity of coating application; reflected by a constant viscosity. An inhomogeneous coating, either too thick or too thin, can be the source of serious problems. A company’s reputation is at stake if too many customer complaints are related to the poor quality of the finished product. Consequently, costs increase due to inefficient production and raw material losses.

In this way, the installation of a MIVI process viscometer in the circulation loop of the coating process allows the right amount of solvent to be injected into the base resin at the right time during the entire production process.

The MIVI viscometer works continuously, instantly detecting and correcting any viscosity variation.

Use of the MIVI viscometer
Viscosity measurement in electronic board coating process

The printed circuit boards are immersed in a resin-based coating that solidifies at room temperature. The uniformity of the coating reaches 100% quality thanks to the inline viscosity measurement; which also allows a reduction of resin and solvent consumption. Our MIVI inline viscometer allows the achievement of a constant coating viscosity. It increases process repeatability, coating homogeneity and uniformity, and generates material and time savings.

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Very high viscosity fuels

Control of very high viscosity fuels

The non-homogeneity of very high viscosity fuels is the first factor to be corrected to ensure stable combustion processes. Very high viscosity fuel cannot be burned without a viscometer because of the high disparity of the product. Viscosity control before injection is essential and requires heating of the fuel.

control of very high viscosity fuels
Control of very high viscosity fuels

The main problem with burning very high viscosity fuel is its inhomogeneity creating poor injection. This results in low quality combustion, over consumption, smoke emissions, frequent maintenance operations and unacceptable downtime in the plants. In order to achieve uniform atomization, the installation of a MIVI sensor and its associated electronics allows to reach a good viscosity of the fuel with very high viscosity thanks to the heating. It also allows to maintain the stability of the combustion process.

MIVI viscometer can be calibrated up to viscosity ranges of 1,000,000 cP. The installation of a MIVI sensor on an industrial steam injection burner allows up to 100% fossil fuel savings, using only very high viscosity fuel such as animal fuel. The return on investment after installation is immediate. MIVI process viscometer not only reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, but also standardizes the inhomogeneities of high viscosity fuels by allowing the control of their viscosity at a specific value.

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How is the viscometer used as a reference in enzyme monitoring?

Definition of the enzyme :

Almost all biomolecules capable of catalyzing chemical reactions in cells are enzymes. Their main function is to decrease the activation energy of a chemical reaction. This increases the reaction speed of a preparation.

Today, in addition to natural enzymes, many synthetic versions are created in the laboratory. This improves their activity, develop new properties, in order to adapt them to the industrial sector and to produce; among others, natural cleaning products that are increasingly effective.

To measure the activity of the cellulase solution an efficient technique is needed to control the manufacturing process and ensure the final quality. The technique called DNSA method, based on the reduction of the viscosity of a CMC solution in contact with the enzyme is one of the most efficient, but requires a viscometer whose performance is up to the challenge.

The solution goes through Sofraser Needle, the inventor of the vibrating type at resonant frequency MIVI viscometer. For this type of project, the small size of the needle, the active part of the viscometer, as well as its high sensitivity offers an original and automated solution.

Since the early 1990s, the MIVI sensor has been integrated into multiple product developments. Allowing the filing of half a dozen patents in which the Sofraser viscometer is used as a reference for the measurement of enzymatic power.

They say about us:

“The analysis method with the MIVI sensor is the most efficient. The accuracy of the enzymatic activity perfectly matches our need, the sample volume is minimal and the operators appreciate the ease of cleaning the needle.” – Enzyme laboratory researcher, in Denmark

See also our case study on a biotech industry.

Want to learn more about our MIVI Hygienic? Download its detailed fact sheet on our MIVI page.

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How sensitive viscometers bring excellence in cosmetic mixing ?

In the cosmetic industry, consistency, density, malleability and fluidity are elements that constitute viscosity.

In cosmetic samples, the challenge for the leaders in skin care products is to combine high product quality with an optimized use of resources and time.

The material of cosmetic products :

Whether face creams, shower gels, make-up removers or various cleansers, which cover a wide range of viscosities. Cosmetic production sites mix ingredients in industrial tanks; production cycles last up to six hours and include several operations at critical viscosities. In addition to determining the exact viscosity at critical steps, monitoring the viscosity evolution and its root causes is crucial.

The MIVI Viscometer is designed to quickly determine the viscosity at high shear rate, both in process monitoring and in a development laboratory. The MIVI is easy to use and can be used to measure the viscosity of all types of liquid and viscous samples in the course of daily laboratory activities.

EHEDG certified in January 2021, SOFRASER’s MIVI is the only viscosity sensor to be compliant with the principles and rules of hygiene control, from the choice of materials to the design, installation and maintenance of the equipment. Thanks to this know-how towards sensitive products in a hygienic environment, Sofraser’s MIVI is the most suitable instrument with its wide choice of electronic interface allowing correlations (such as consistency, concentration…), installed in-line but other installation options on tanks are available.

With MIVI, continuous and instantaneous viscosity monitoring in each mixing tank improves the non-conformance rate by 30%. Identifying critical viscosity operations and the causes of viscosity changes also improves ingredient production management and reduces overall process time.

The inline viscometer therefore allows for optimization and automation of the mixing process. For the operators, the display of the instant viscosity is a satisfaction and has a positive and far-reaching effect.

They say about us:

“The impact on our production is huge. Since we have been using the MIVI viscometer on our production lines the processor reacts directly to bad viscosity values. In addition to this, the volume of blocked product is reduced, the idle time of the tank is reduced and the loss of ingredients is now insignificant. We were able to banish all dead zones and avoid any cross contamination. Sofraser’s Solution is perfectly suited to our mixing process.” – Quality manager of a skin care production

Read our case study about a cosmetics industry.

Want to know more about our MIVI Hygienic? Download its detailed data sheet on our MIVI page.

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How versatile viscometers optimize encapsulation processes?

In the pharmaceutical industry, the perfection of encapsulated products requires total control. Several processing steps including encapsulation, which consists of enclosing a substance in a stable envelope called a capsule.

The encapsulation of these capsules is to protect the substance from interactions with the external environment; or to transport the substance to the place where it will be released to act.

Today, there are two types of capsules: the hard-shell capsule and the soft-shell capsule. They both consist of a gelling agent (gelatin), an animal protein or polysaccharides and derivatives.

The quality of the final product depends on the upstream production of the gelling agents. Through the processing of materials of natural origin; the manufacturing of the shells and their sealing after filling with the active ingredient.

Viscosity is a key specification of the gelling agent. That will be involved in the manufacturing of the empty capsules through the dipping process and in a later step in their sealing after filling with the active ingredient.

The solution provided by SOFRASER:

The resonant frequency vibrating type MIVI viscometer, invented by Sofraser; is known for its great versatility which allows the MIVI viscometer to be used for difficult or sophisticated transformation processes; including hygienic processes. In addition to its contribution to upstream gelatin production, the sensitive and reliable measurement allows perfect monitoring and control of viscosity during capsule manufacturing and sealing.

The MIVI Viscometer is successfully used by gelatin producers whose concern is quality, safety and compliance with the final product specifications. Capsule manufacturers take advantage of the viscosity control to ensure the best performance of the dipping process in the gelatin bath. Finally, MIVI is used in the pharmaceutical industry to control the viscosity of the sealing agent during the application step and to guarantee the safety of the final consumers. Moreover, thanks to its instantaneous and continuous measurement, MIVI ensures the traceability of the manufacturing conditions.

Discover also our case study on a pharmaceutical industry.

You want to know more about our MIVI Hygienic? Download its detailed sheet on our MIVI page.

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