Modern NIR online and lab helps tobacco processor become more efficient

Monte Paz is the leading company in the Uruguayan cigarette market, and an exporter of blended tobacco to companies around the world. The company runs its own threshing operations in the town of Rivera, processing locally grown tobacco, which is then sent to its Montevideo site with primary and secondary processing. Monte Paz blends Uruguayan tobacco with globally sourced tobacco to create a wide range of final blends.

The company is a long-time user of NIR gauges for online measurement of moisture at multiple steps in the process. In 2015 Monte Paz recognized it needed to modernize its old filter-technology gauges, to be able to take product quality to the next level and improve operational efficiency. As a first step they invested in a Perten DA 7440 full spectrum gauge for the primary, to monitor blended tobacco quality. This was previously done with a filter-technology instrument, which required unique calibrations for each blend, and couldn't measure nicotine accurately.Installed right after the flavoring drum the DA 7440 measures moisture, nicotine, reducing sugars and temperature. "Measurements are highly accurate for all parameters and no recalibration is required between blends" says Mr. Tabare Perez, R&D engineer at Monte Paz. "The gauge is very robust, easy to maintain and easy to use".

The very positive experiences from the DA 7440 gauge made Monte Paz keen to continue to invest in the modern technology. To be able to perform additional analysis in the R&D lab they invested in a DA 7250 benchtop NIR from Perten, which uses the same technology as the DA 7440 online gauge. To improve quality control throughout their complete production process they replaced two filter-technology gauges in their GLT operations with Perten DA 7440.