Features and benefits
All Insitec installations are tailored to the unique requirements of the application. They range from simple at-line, manually-fed systems to fully automated, validated on-line solutions for continuous monitoring and multivariate control. Malvern works in partnership with its customers, providing expertise, hardware and software, where and when it’s needed. This ensures cost- effective, successful project implementation and a positive return on investment.
Factors for success
The success of process analysis depends on detailed consideration of three critical components:
- The process interface.
- Sample measurement.
- Data presentation and use.
The process interface
Insitec systems are items of process equipment and operate within the plant environment. Getting the interface between the instrument and the plant right is essential for long-term, trouble-free operation.
Malvern Panalytical has proven technology for almost every conceivable dry process application. From two-stage auger extraction systems for flow rates of around 100 tph and above, to static samplers, simple eductors and flutes for much lower flow rates. Proven strategies ensure that representative samples are automatically and consistently delivered to the measurement zone, in an appropriately dispersed state and at a suitable concentration for analysis.
Insitec at-line systems run alongside the process and have a manual interface. For automated continuous operation the Insitec is installed in the process line or on an associated sampling loop.
Measurement in an appropriately dispersed state ensures access to relevant data whether it is agglomerates or primary particle size that is of interest.
A dedicated Insitec may be necessary for each measurement point or it may be possible to monitor multiple lines or process steps with a single sensor. This depends on the measurement frequency required.
Well-designed on-line process interfaces:
- Deliver sample that is representative of the bulk.
- Run reliably with minimal maintenance without disrupting the process.
- Recycle analyzed material to minimize waste.
Insitec systems use the technique of laser diffraction to rapidly measure particle size. When applied to dry systems, complete particle size distributions are measured in less than one second, giving instantaneous monitoring. Even processes with fast dynamics can be tracked effectively.
Insitec systems directly measure the process stream. In some processes particle loading or concentration may vary during routine operation. This presents a challenge for many particle measurement systems and can have a detrimental effect on reported particle size. However the patented multiple scattering algorithms associated with all Insitec systems ensure that reported changes in particle size are always reliable and real. These algorithms mathematically correct for the concentration-dependent effect of the source light interacting with not one, but several, particles before reaching the detectors. Measurements are therefore robustly independent of sample concentration.
Insitec produces reliable, timely and complete data, reporting full particle size distributions. These data provide a secure foundation for better process control whether that control is manual or automated.
Data presentation and use
Insitec systems are integrated within the process plant. Typically they are operated from a centralized control room and the measurement results drive routine decision making. Powerful software packages make integration and data interpretation straightforward.
Malvern Link II software provides the functionality required to integrate an Insitec within the existing control system and to automate process control. It allows operation of the analyzer from either a dedicated PC or from existing control mimics. Importantly Malvern Link II is not confined only to Insitec integration. This software also eases integration with other instrument types, simplifying multivariate control.
RTSizer software presents the measurement data in a clear and accessible way. Results reporting can be tailored to industry and customer norms to improve information flow. Insitec data are used to:
- Improve process understanding.
- Deliver instant upset detection.
- Support comprehensive process optimization.
- Automate process control.
Because complete particle size distributions are reported, monitoring and control can be based on whichever size fraction is of interest: the fines, the 3 to 30 micron fraction, the amount of material over 200 microns, for example. Insitec data drive optimized manual control strategies and enable the full automation of process control, delivering substantial economic returns.