Application: Milk fat monitoring

Accurate monitoring for milk fat concentration can significantly speed up production, reduce fat losses and provide a more consistent product thanks to a more repeatable process. Quadbeam’s multi-beam suspended solids sensors offer these advantages thanks to their unrivalled accuracy.

Batch standardising or blending using uncontrolled or manually controlled valves for fat concentration can lead to higher than necessary use of milk fat, and therefore wastes valuable product. Inline suspended solids sensors can help considerably, but not all sensors are the same. Single-beam sensors use inferior technology and don’t offer the accuracy needed for reliable repeatability.

Quadbeam sensors use multi-beam light and a ratio-metric algorithm to self-compensate for common sources of measurement error, bringing precision to process control. As part of a standardising system, using our sensors in your line for continuous fat concentration measurement can improve performance substantially.

For example, trusted manufacturers of standardising equipment, Bask Control Systems and Foodautomate, report accuracy as good as +/- 0.02% milk fat when using our S20-3HY sensor.

How to use the Quadbeam sensor


Install the sensor directly into the product line using a 2-inch or 3-inch tri-clamp fitting.


Connect the sensor to the MXD73 or MXD75 transmitter and simply calibrate against the solids to be measured.


The transmitter provides a 4-20mA output for each sensor for connection into the plant control system.

A sensor to suit you

The range of Quadbeam sensors suits different applications, conditions, concentrations, and products.

Use the S10-2HY or S20-3HY sensor for milk fat monitoring.

S10-2HY Sensor

S20-3HY Sensor

(the measuring range will vary according to media and particle characteristics)

Find the right sensor

Why you can rely on Quadbeam sensors

The range of Quadbeam sensors suits different applications, conditions, concentrations, and products. The most commonly used sensors for loss monitoring are the S20 and S40, in either the tri-clamp (hygienic) or immersion styles.

Listening to nature’s voice


Quadbeam sensors are incredibly accurate because they’re multi-beam, so they can eliminate measurement error that single-beam sensors can’t cope with. Two LEDs fire near-infrared (NIR) light at two detectors to generate multiple light intensity measurements that represent the suspended solids concentration. These measurements are combined into a ratio-metric algorithm that self-compensates for common sources of measurement error like contamination or component ageing.

Listening to nature’s voice

One-piece body

Quadbeam sensors are also tough because they’re made from a one-piece polymer body, with no glass lenses that could leak or break.

Listening to nature’s voice

Simple to use

Quadbeam sensors are simple to calibrate on-site, so they give results that are directly relevant and meaningful to the site. There are easy calibration instructions here, or contact us for assistance. They’re also easy to use. They produce a 4-20 mA output for transmitters, and can be used with Quadbeam’s MXD73 or MXD75 multi-channel transmitter.

Find out more


Quadbeam’s highly accurate multi-beam sensor enables continuous control and in-line blending and standardisation. Coupled with a Quadbeam sensor transmitting concentration data to the plant control system, blending can be set as required and adjusted in real-time to achieve the exact milk fat levels required.

This improves product consistency and prevents product being produced out of specification. It also reduces the need for operator intervention. Both of these help to get more product into the packaging and out to market.

The data below is from a US-based fluid milk plant that installed Quadbeam sensors. Once they had accurate and continuous readings they were able to identify spikes in milk fat concentration and investigate the equipment and processes causing them to identify improvements. This in turn reduces losses and improves production uptime.

Butterfat status

For help or to find out more

If you want to discuss your installation or have another question, or just want to find out more, contact us. You can also see our full product range here, and access data sheets, manuals, and technical information.

Download PDF