Are analyzer vendors ignoring new standards?

A Product Roundup of process analyzers finds vendors avoiding mentioning NeSSI or PAT compatibility like the plague. What’s keeping them from adopting the new standards, we wonder?

Rich MerrittBy Rich Merritt, Senior Technical Editor


AS WE noted last year, the newest standards in the process analyzer world are the New Sampling/Sensor Initiative (NeSSI) and Process Analytical Technology (PAT). The NeSSI/ANSI/ISA76-99.02 (2002) standard defines modular sampling systems, while the PAT initiative recommends procedures for improving food and drug manufacturing by measuring materials and processes.

Last year, we lamented that, except for one product in the roundup that followed, manufacturers seem to be avoiding these standards and recommendations like the plague. This year, not a single new product mentioned NeSSI or PAT compatibility. As always, that doesn’t mean the products don’t support the standards. However, one would think the vendors would say so if they did.

It’s interesting to note that market researchers are backing away from predicting market numbers. In their presentation to the 51st Analysis Division Symposium in Anaheim, PAI Partners (e-mail to waffled considerably. They reported that NeSSI is experiencing "increasing numbers of successful field installations," there is an "expanding list of NeSSI-compatible components, and "progress is periodically reported at OPAC, Pittcon, ISA AD, ISApo and IFPAC" conferences. But it offered no numbers, which is an unusual position for a market research company.

Similarly, when discussing PAT, PAI waffled again on the market numbers, but added, "Virtually all major pharmaceutical and biotech firms have dedicated staff focused on PAT." Their survey of PAT end users indicates that 100% use PAT for in-process testing for process control, and 70% use it for improving or upgrading existing processes. So, somebody is using the technology, even if vendors are laying back.

PAI, with whom CONTROL columnist Terry McMahon is a partner, is probably the most knowledgeable market research company when it comes to process analyzers. If it declines to make market predictions, it probably means analyzer vendors are leery of the technology.

Overall, PAI says the worldwide process analyzer enterprise (total spending by end-users and their engineering contractors on analyzers, sample systems, integration services, operation and maintenance) is about $5 billion now, and is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2008. Electrochemical analyzers comprise about 31% of the analyzer segment of the enterprise total, with the remainder of this segment more or less evenly divided among chromatographs, photometers, oxygen, liquid and "other." The chemical processing industry is the biggest user, buying 69% of the analyzers.

Product Roundup:
Process Analyzers

Scaly Sensor
CaGuard detects scale build-up on heating elements, which insulates them, causing them to overheat and eventually fail. As scale builds up on its sensor, this controller continuously analyzes the temperature output signal. Using feedback diagnostics, the sensor works with the controller to alert the operator when cleaning cycles are necessary, or when an element may be experiencing an over-temperature situation. More info at Chromalox; 800/443-2640;

Elemental Analysis
ICAP 6000 Series compact ICP emission spectrometers are suitable for general and elemental analysis in the environmental, petrochemical, metal, food and beverage, geo-chemical and cement industries. A distributed purge system offers reduced gas consumption and improved performance for elements such as arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), selenium (Se) and tellurium (Te). More info at Thermo Electron; 800-532-4752;

Double Sheet Detectors
These 18-mm diameter, ultrasonic, thru-beam sensors identify misfeeds for a wide variety of media, including paper, cardboard, thin plastic and foil, where such distinctions are required to protect machinery and/or avoid waste. The detectors are IP67 protected,  and detect zero, one or two sheets of material with weights from 10 g/m2 to 2000 g/m2. The detection threshold is adjustable to the material thickness for each application. Pepperl+Fuchs; 330/486-0001;

RH Transmitter
Series RH two-wire transmitter measures humidity or humidity and temperature. The polymer capacitance sensor is not affected by condensation, fog, high humidity or contaminants. The humidity/temperature version provides dual 4-20 mA output signals with an accuracy of 2% RH and 0.9 °F at 72 °F. An outside air model also is available. Dwyer Instruments; 800/872-9141;

Ultrasonic Leak Detector
UltraPro AG500 ultrasonic leak detector and electronic stethoscope has an Automatic Gain Control that filters the signal to provide the best signal-to-noise ratio, suppressing background noise and pinpointing leaks. This eliminates the need for adjustment knobs and filter switches. Monarch Instrument; 800/999-3390;
Total Chlorine Analysis System
Model TCL System includes a sample-conditioning system, analyzer and sensor, and measures total chlorine in water, including seawater. It reduces cost of ownership over the company’s previous models by employing readily available, low-cost reagents, and reducing the frequency of reagent replacement by as much as eight times. More info at Rosemount Analytical; 714/ 957-8880;

Portable Vibration Meter
PVM 100 handheld meter measures equipment vibration in terms of acceleration, velocity, and displacement. To use, attach the accelerometer, press one button to select acceleration, velocity or displacement, and hold it down to freeze the metric or English output on the digital display. To further pinpoint a noise source, plug headphones into the top-mounted jack. More info at Wilcoxon Research; 301/216 3039;

On-line H2S Analyzer
H2S-220 fiber optics diode array UV spectrophotometer performs online H2S monitoring. The diode array corrects for species that have interfering absorbencies, and can measure very low and very high levels of H2S with the same analyzer. The unit measures 1,024 discrete frequencies between 190 nm and 800 nm with a 1.0 nm resolution. Output signals include 4-20mA and Modbus TCP/IP. Applied Analytics; 888/461-0080;

Safe H2S Gas Sensor
TS Series hydrogen sulfide gas detectors can be used in general purpose, intrinsically safe, or explosion-proof areas to sense H2S over a range of 0 to 100 ppm in temperatures from -40 to +50 °C. Models are available with 4-20 mA output, dual-redundant Modbus communications, self-calibration, fault codes for troubleshooting, and a built-in LCD indicator that provides local status, fault and calibration data. More info at General Monitors; 949/581-4464;

Photoionization Detector
2020ProPlus photoionization detection instrument is suitable for TVOC survey applications, including OSHA compliance, confined space pre-entry, emergency response, site characterization, fugitive emissions and law enforcement. It has a dynamic range of 10,000 ppm with 0.1 ppm precision to 100 ppm, and 1 ppm precision up to 10,000 ppm. More info at Photovac; 781/290-0777;

Gas Monitor
Gas-Max Monitor is available in toxic, LEL and dual-monitor configurations. The dual configuration allows both a toxic sensor and an LEL sensor to be incorporated into the same unit, thus reducing space, simplifying installation, and decreasing installation costs. A real-time clock/calendar allows logging events such as alarms and calibrations. More info at Global Detection Systems; 409/927-2980;

Gel Analysis
Gelatin Bloom Strength Test system includes a LFRA texture analyzer, two baths, and one refrigeration unit. Load capacities are 100 g to 4,500 g. Standard probes, fittings and accessories are available for standard applications. Industrial applications include pharmaceuticals, personal care products, rubber, wax, sponges, soaps, paints, caulking and adhesives. Brookfield Engineering Laboratories; 800/628-8139;

Transmitter Has Foundation Fieldbus
Model Xmt liquid analytical transmitter with Foundation fieldbus has hazardous area intrinsic safety approvals from FM, CSA and ATEX. An agency-approved Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO) also is available. It works with the company’s sensors for measuring pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, chlorine and ozone. More info at Emerson Process Management; 512/ 832-3162;

Acid Gas Feed Analyzers
PIR3502 process multi-wave photometer monitors acid gas feed streams in refinery sulfur recovery plants, such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, total hydrocarbons and water vapor. The photometer’s fast response time enables feedforward control of the main airflow valve to the combustion furnace. More info at
ABB; 304/647-1761;
Stream Selector Improves Analysis
SSV series stream selector system delivers a representative sample from multiple sample streams to one analyzer. These modular assemblies are ANSI/ISA 76.00.02 compatible, and accommodate multiple process streams in a limited space. Each stream is controlled by a double-block and bleed (DBB) module to eliminate cross contamination, and maintain sample integrity. More info at Swagelok;  440/349-5934;

FTIR Gas Analyzers
FTIR gas analyzers provide real-time, multi-component, extractive, gas-phase analysis for process optimization/control and specialty gas QC applications. The hermetically sealed industrial spectrometer has externally mounted, corrosion-resistant gas cells. Cell path lengths range from 1 cm to 20 m. Thermal isolation from the spectrometer allows operation from ambient to 240 C, allowing moist sample streams to be analyzed without condensation. Midac; 714/546-4322;

Single-gas Detector
Altair detector can monitor carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide or oxygen. Carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide versions can operate for more than two years. Its alarm system has two bright LEDs, a piercing audible alarm, and a vibrating alarm to ensure that no alarm condition goes unnoticed. The unit automatically records the last 25 alarm events. MSA; 724/776-8721;

Portable Combustion Monitor
GreenLine 8000 portable flue gas analyzer can measure O2, CO, NO, NO2, SO2, CxHy, H2S, CO2, CO, and CxHy.  It complies with EPA and California Low-NOx requirements. E Instruments; 215/750-1212;

ORP, pH, Conductivity Transmitter
Packaged in a NEMA 4X, (IP66) polycarbonate enclosure, PHUCN600 controller can be programmed for pH, ORP or conductivity metering, and that selection can be changed at any time. A menu accessed via the interior LCD display allows calibration, adjustments, and troubleshooting. It has a large LED display with bar graph on the outside front panel. Omega Engineering; 203/359-7815;

Dual Analyzer
UDA2182 monitors and controls single or dual variables, including pH, ORP, conductivity/resistance, concentration or dissolved oxygen in any combination.  It has NEMA 4X packaging, making the analyzer impervious to moisture, dust or hose-down conditions. Applications include steam generation, water quality, wastewater influent and effluent monitoring, pure water preparation, and neutralization. More info at Honeywell; 215/41-3798;

Dew Tell
Series DMT340 Drycap  dewpoint transmitters cover industrial dewpoint measurements down to -60 °C with accuracy of 2 °C. They have a large numeric, graphic display with a multilingual user interface. The sensor withstands condensation, while auto-calibration detects online measurement inaccuracies, and automatically corrects dry-end drift in the calibration curve. Vaisala; 888/824-7252;

Viscosity Controller
Viscosity control systems detect changes in viscosity based upon temperature in fluids ranging from hypodermic needle coatings at 0.5 CPS to silicone caulk at 1 million CPS. A variety of inline and in-tank sensor options are available. Systems can range from one station to up to 10 stations, and all controllers offer manual or automatic control. Prices vary depending on how many stations are required. Norcross; 617/969-7020;

Mass Flow Controller
Max-Trak Model 180 is NEMA 6 (IP67) compliant, making it suitable for applications where frequent wash-down or hose-down is required, such as chemical processing, pharmaceutical, biotech, food and beverage. A fully enclosed valve minimizes leak-in paths. It measures and controls gas mass flow rates from 0 to 400 slpm with accuracy of 1% full scale and repeatability of 0.2% full scale. More info at Sierra Instruments; 800/866-0200;

Oxygen Analyzer
Model AV550 O2mation multi-channel averaging oxygen analyzer has an intuitive, color, touchscreen, and process diagnostic tools for power boiler oxygen trim applications. Yokogawa; 800/258-2552;

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