Symbion Systems, Inc. announced the availability of its updated Technical Note, SN-504. This Technical Note is based on a paper by Drs. W. M. Doyle and M. A. Power delivered at the 55'th ISA (International Society for Automation) Analysis Division Symposium. It describes a process analytical technology (PAT) software approach designed to accelerate the development and deployment of PAT installations. It functions by standardizing the interactions with diverse analytical instruments, sampling systems, chemometric (multivariate analysis) programs, and enterprise data systems and by integrating all of the functionality required for chemical process monitoring at the analyzer level. In addition to the required control and data analysis functions, the system provides local displays in various formats, including statistical process control information and real-time trend plots, as well as database storage, alarms, and remote communications. The package can be implemented on a standard PC or integrated into a dedicated process analytical "appliance" for locked-down deployment.
The result of analytical integration at the analyzer (or process) level is to create an "Autonomous Process Analyzer System" which can be developed, validated, and deployed independently of all other systems. When properly locked-down, it becomes, in effect, a series of dedicated smart sensors. Its primary function is to output predictions of process variables measured at predetermined locations within a chemical process. In addition, raw data can be stored locally and transferred to the plant network as required.
In addition to describing the overall approach to analytical integration, the Technical Note describes two specific implementations. The first involves a complex sampling system, which is integrated with an FTIR analyzer to provide a stand-alone measurement system operating 24/7. The second system involves the multiplexing of thirteen near-infrared probes to provide a fully integrated chemical production facility.