Friday, 13 December 2019

Crystobserver®  High Definition Video pan microscope
with powerful verification and comparison tools




At the sugar boiling stage, on-line crystal growth measurement is performed using a pan microscope coupled to a high resolution digital camera mounted in front of a sight glass on the pan wall. A controlled and adaptive powerful LED light source illuminates the crystals moving inside the pan behind the sight glass in front of the microscope and its rugged camera. 

Very sharp images of the crystals are continuously sent to a computer in control room where our dedicated ITECA software applies specific algorithms to each image and calculates, among other parameters, the Coefficient of Variation (CV) and the Mean Aperture (MA) of the crystals  in REAL TIME. 

Adjustable thresholds on different variables are used to detect and trigger alarms on non conformities. 

Direct communication I/O (4-20 mA or Ethernet, Fieldbus) must be set up between the microscope and the plant PLC.

The statistical data (CV, MA, number of fines, etc…) provide the operator with the information necessary to ensure that the graining is focused, on schedule and moving toward the goal: a cost effective production of homogeneous crystals with the requested size.

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Example : Evolution of the crystals over 70 minutes.

Features :

  • Real time statistical calculation : MA, CV, number of fines, detectable size from 4 µm
  • Controlled and adaptive powerful LED light source = the ultimate in image quality ; suitable to A,B,C type of pans
  • High Definition camera
  • Recorded and stored videos for total traceability
  • Out of spec alarms, fully configurable
  • Complete video + 15 key points (values and images) checked at different stages: syrup quality, seeding and crystal growth
  • Comparisons between strikes or pans: compliance verification for achieving qualitative targets
  • Easy remote assistance and affordable maintenance via the Internet




The pan HD video microscope play an important role at different stages of the process, especially when it is well located onto the pan :
  • before seeding, it checks the syrup quality and potentially detects contaminants or super-coarse crystals that will limit the production of high quality crystals
  • at the seeding stage, it counts and measures the crystals to make sure they have entered the pan with the correct size at the right time





  • during the graining phase, the CV and the MA are monitored to check normal crystal crop. Any non conformity (air bubbles, bad agitation, false crystals, etc.) will trigger alarms.





Every single data is registered for future analysis and complete traceability.
On batch pans, 3 different strikes can be compared between each other or to a standard strike to make sure that the pan operation remains stable and within predefined limits, ensuring stable and good quality massecuite production. The images and the data are compared  over the same time axis,  starting at their own respective seeding point.
The  information make even more sense when compared to the pan operation flow sheet as any change in the process is tracked and its impact measured on the crystal growth.


 Watch us on ITECA Color&Vision channel


Technical specifications:

Dimensions and weight : 300 mm x 600 mm, 25 Kg
Voltage : 115/230 VAC 50/60 Hz, power consumption : 1.5kW
Communications : Analog 4-20 mA, Ethernet or optional Fieldbus
Light source : adpative and controlled LED through an optic fiber
Material : stainless steel 316L
Spraying water : 5 Bars, food quality
Fused sight glass : Hardened Borosilicate disc DIN 7080





June 5-6, 2019, Curitiba, Parana (Brazil) :

SEMTEC 6º Seminário Técnico da Indústria do Cimento e Cal


November 8-9, 2019, Antalya (Turkey):
TCMB Turkish Cement Manufacturer’s Association


3-6 May 2020, Vancouver (Canada) :

CIM Convention.



October 18-22, 2020, Cape Town (South Africa)

IMPC 2020(International Mineral Processing Congress).