analysers, data management, integration, support
At Focal-Point Technology we are able to select process-proven and renowned products from international manufacturers. We are also very conscious that different processes have different requirements and priorities. Delivering value for money without compromising on function is one of our fundamental drivers.
Some notes about analysers...
Extractive, in-situ, hot-wet, cold-dry, data presentation
The main purpose of an analyser installation is to provide a representative measurement for the active process, so that Operators can make an informed judgement and take effective action.
Analysers can be broadly categorised as either In-Situ or Extractive types.
Here the sensing element of the analyser has a direct contact with the process medium and the analyser body is positioned directly on the process structure. The sensing element can be positioned directly in the process flow, or the process duct forms part or all of the measurement path. The main benefit for the operator is potentially rapid response to fluctuating changes in the process - also with cross-process measurement paths, and average response accross the path will be measured, reducing the uncertainty caused by uneven distribution.
In-situ analysers are generally referred to as "hot-wet" systems - the measured gas includes any process moisture and the measurement is made at the process gas temperature. This may mean for environmental reporting that corrections to these measurements are required in order to convert into a standard format.
In all cases, the conditions of the process and ambient mounting locations must be considered to optimise the instruments' long-term availability and reliability. Negative impact from factors like process and ambient temperatures, corrosivity, abrasion, moisture may need to be minimised.
Here the sensing element is situated remotely from the process and a sample is removed from a chosen location and delivered to the analyser location by means of a sampling system. The main benfits for the operator are being able to access analysers more easily by utilising a location in a more convenient location.
Extractive analysers can be both "hot-wet" systems, and "cold-dry" systems. Depending on the analyser specification, the extracted gas may need to be "conditioned" prior to entering the analyser. This conditioning process may involve a number of steps in order to reduce moisture, temperature, particlates or interfering gas species as may be required by the analyser specification.
The sampling and conditioning system will inevitably change the condition of the gas that exists within the live process. Knowledge of the process gas physical and chemical properties, as well as the target acceptable analyser uncertainty, allows the design of an appropriate sampling and conditioning system which can be maintained and minimise changes to the gas sample that could negatively impact on the uncertainty of the analyser system.
It is therefore vitally important to consider each of the components of any sampling and conditioning system. These components can consist of gas sample probes, sample lines, gas coolers, filters, pumps, sensors, flow meters, strippers and separators. The specification of each component can also be variable depending on the process gas composition, volume required and response time required for the overall system. This can make the integrity of the sampling and conditioning system equally as important as the analyser for long-term reliable operation.
As the purpose of analyser systems is to generate data about the process, then some thought should be given to how, where and when the measured data is presented.
In general, for proces optimisation a rapid response time is preferable. The data is used to take some kind of action, leading to a process adjustment. This action may be a manual step, actuated by a plant operative - clear, available, localised and meaningful data is required to take the action in the required timescale. Or, the action may be carried out automatically, in which case the data needs to be transmitted to a plant location where the data can be converted into a logical response - transmission protocol, speed, accuracy may be more important than a local display.
For environmental reporting, operators and authorities are generally interested in time-averaged reporting of data (eg, hourly, daily, monthly, annual averages). The measured data will accumulate over time, and will need to be stored with integrity for time averaging calculations and historical trend analysis.
In many cases, all of the above are relevant and compehensive data management may need to be considered.
It is the aim of Focal-Point Technology to be able to discuss relevant customer needs, and to provide a solution to analysis and data management which is appropriate - meeting the immediate needs, anticipating future reuqirements, and providing value for money.