The new Brabender® MetaBridge® software solution not only links the instruments and their measurement results, but also their users: internally within the company, across all sites, but optionally also suppliers and customers. The Brabender® Farinograph®-TS and the Moisture Tester MT-CA are now fitted with this new, intelligent network solution as standard. But there’s more: all instruments of the later generations, which have a USB port, can be fitted and therefore connected with the MetaBridge® controller. All members of staff with the appropriate access rights can log in via a browser, and access every connected Brabender® device.
The really intelligent thing about the MetaBridge® software is its web-based, and therefore site and platform-independent, user architecture. Multiple users can log in at the same time, so they can always communicate and comment on their data wherever they are in the world, using a PC/Mac, tablet or smartphone. This not only simplifies operational processes in the laboratory (or simultaneously in several!): the capability to directly track measurement processes is an important step towards online monitoring of processes – a dream come true for anyone involved in quality assurance. But the MetaBridge® software’s network capability is not compulsory. Every device can operate totally independently, or alternatively, be integrated into its own network, without direct access to the company network.
The Brabender® MetaBridge® is web-based, and enables location and platform-independent monitoring of measurements – whether in the laboratory, the home office or when you’re out and about.
More than just a new interface
This means that the MetaBridge® is more than just a new interactive interface; rather, it makes laboratory work and results compatible. Multiple colleagues can simultaneously carry out, track or manage measurements – all using standard operating systems spanning Android and Apple via Blackberry and Linux to various Windows applications from Microsoft. The web-based software means that no local installation is required, which in turn enables equipment to be connected without problems occurring. And when it comes to security, this means that it has three plus points:
Password-protected login protects against unauthorised access;
The administrator mode enables you to individually customise access rights;
The Linux-based software architecture makes the system more secure on the web.
The MetaBridge® was developed by Brabender® itself, especially for Brabender® equipment, meaning that it is superbly geared to this equipment’s functions and measurement profiles. Thanks to adaptations for the widest variety of output devices, users benefit from consistent, company-specific, configurable performance. Multiple users can access the data at the same time, for example to track a current farinogram on various different end devices. This multi-access feature saves time, thanks to the continuous exchange of information between team members involved, but also when it comes to decision making on the part of those responsible for quality management. To this end, the MetaBridge® solution has four important bonuses:
Info about updates of the instrument software is received automatically;
- It is possible to receive feedback on measurement results directly from Brabender® ;
- In the event of a fault, the Brabender® service technicians can quickly help via remote access, removing the need for a site visit;
Within the device network, there are no charges for additional user licences.
In order that measurements can be carried out not only quickly, but also without errors, the MetaBridge® offers system internal quality assurance, featuring several features for the prevention of errors. So, for example, the measurement range is set according to the specified instrument configuration; taring is automatic, and for farinograms, increments, timings and threshold values are already integrated. But of course, they can also be customised on a product by product basis.
The MetaBridge® ‘bridge builders’ have also built in further intelligent communication opportunities, which enable connection to existing laboratory management systems, and in particular optimise customer communication of measurement results. It goes without saying that Brabender® applications can call up the widest range of international benchmarks and display them effectively. But custom parameters enable you to even integrate data from other types of equipment and to combine it into joint ‘printouts’. So, for example, various pieces of quality assurance data relating to flour products undergoing testing can be collated according to the customer’s specifications upon request and sent as an email or PDF with a letterhead in the company’s corporate design. What’s more, as a further sweetener, Brabender® can set up a data export interface in existing databases that run under Microsoft Access or Excel (for example).
A new level of user-friendliness
The new software’s user interface boasts a contemporary tiled design. Behind the tiles there are a multitude of operator-friendly applications and possible network options. This includes responsive web design. The intelligent software automatically adapts to each monitor resolution or screen size, meaning that it is also ideal for end devices. What’s more, MetaBridge® can optionally be operated via the touch screen, with the focus on intuitive user prompting and being able to quickly learn how to use it. But of course, it also works with a mouse or via classic keyboard operation.
The Brabender® MetaBridge® can run anywhere, on the end device type of your
choice. The user interface flexibly and automatically adjusts to the terminal’s screen width.
The MetaBridge® records measurements and assists with the analysis and assessment of measurement results, for instance by integrating reference curves and directly comparing various values. This opens up the opportunity to prepare quality variants in a Farinograph® on a ‘trial’ basis using menu commands. This goes a long way towards preventing operating errors by less experienced team members. This applies to independent devices at their respective laboratory workstations as well as – when linked via MetaBridge® – to multiple devices, including at decentralised workstations, i. e. in home offices. So, for example, all a company’s measurement results can be saved and managed centrally, so that every authorised user has access to all the measurement data and documentation required for a defined equipment environment – at all times, and wherever he or she is. This simplifies the exchange of information between users. Additionally, a comment function on the graphical chart display enables the assessment or evaluation of measurement results to be discussed online.
Farinograph®-TS plus MetaBridge®: Flour quality testing in a new dimension
Today, reliable and reproducible testing of the processing characteristics and quality of flour products is a basic requirement in the milling and baking industry, in order to ensure continuously optimised flour quality for various baked or pasta products. The Brabender® Farinograph® has proved itself ideal for this task over the course of decades, making it the world’s most-used piece of equipment for determining the properties of wheat flour and rye flour.
The farinogram shows the quality characteristics of the flour being tested in a rheologically realistic test for the dough phase. In the fitted temperature controlled measuring mixer, the flour/water sample is mixed, and the mixing resistance is measured as torque, according to the viscosity of the dough. This enables water absorption, dough development time, stability, fermentation tolerance and the degree of softening to be reliably depicted. The MetaBridge® records these measurements vividly, enabling monitoring, analysis and documentation of the measurement data – on the equipment itself, or, if required, on external monitors for others to see.
As well as the standard analysis, the software offers countless possibilities for designing your own custom tests with the TS generation of the Farinograph®, such as for example:
- Shorter test length and/or higher mixing intensity via adjustable rotational speed (2–200 rpm);
- Variable mixing intensity and energy input into the dough for applications in research and development;
- Programming of more complex rotational speed profiles, e. g. premixing at lower rotational speeds, mixing at higher rotational speeds, or the definition of pause times for longer dough-making processes;
Analysis of charts with atypical farinogram profiles, such as with wholemeal and/or rye flours or with the observation of enzyme effects.
In conjunction with the Brabender® MetaBridge® software, the new Brabender® Farinograph®-TS enables the flexible and easy yet standards-compliant qualification of flour.
Moisture Tester MT-CA plus MetaBridge®: interactive precision
The MT-CA electronically determines a sample’s moisture, according to the principle of the drying chamber with moving air. The drying oven method has been established as a reference method, which removes the need for special calibration for different samples. This moisture tester enables you to measure up to 10 samples at the same time: quickly, reproducibly and super-exactly, to a degree of 0.1% water content precision.
And also for this equipment, the MetaBridge® optimises the measurement, analysis and administration functions: live monitoring, automatic saving of measurement data, interactive validation of the inputs and creation of a detailed test report.
Thanks to the new web-based MetaBridge® software, the Brabender® MT-CA enables location and platform-independent monitoring of moisture measurement.
Grounded competence and professional dialogue via MetaBridge®
The software’s many features, along with the combination of instruments in networked interplay, increases its depth of rheological competence and experience. The model-like simulation of parameters makes it possible to test alternative processing procedures, such as for example the effect and observation – live on screen – of recipe additions to dough development during kneading. This makes professional dialogue between partners in the value creation chain much easier when it comes to making decisions on complex qual
ity requirements, as well as providing documented data that can be used for certifications or audits.
This is how the Brabender® MetaBridge® leads the way to a new dimension of quality assurance.