As detailed in our June 2007 cover story, process control automation professionals want to use online analyzer measurements for real-time monitoring and control. They see online analyzer measurement as superior to offline lab analysis because it requires less manpower, is safer and often more accurate.
But one end user after another said that analyzer purchases and implementations were being postponed or cancelled because of high up-front costs, excessive maintenance and difficulty with integration into existing process automation systems.
The excessive up-front cost issue is addressed by the analyzer’s capability to monitor up to six process streams simultaneously. “In multi-stream operation, the analyzer can measure up to six independent flows, so a single six-stream analyzer can be used in place of six single-stream units,” says Blake Doney, ABB’s U.S. vice-president of analytical and flow instrumentation.
“Multiple streams can also be prioritized if desired. For example, the typical setup for a three-stream unit would be to measure in the order of 1,2,3,1,2,3. If stream 1 is a more critical stream, the monitor can be programmed to measure in the order 1,2,1,3,1,2,1,3,” adds Doney.
Another leading end-user concern with analyzers is the excessive required maintenance, both in terms of cost and time. “The analyzer uses one-fourth the reagents of units from other manufacturers, greatly reducing annual maintenance costs,” relates Doney.
“With the analyzer’s reduced demand for reagents, the yearly operating costs will be thousands of dollars less than with our older unit or with competitive units on the market,” claims Doney. The analyzer also provides user programmable continuous or sampled measurements, allowing a further reduction in reagent consumption in applications where silica concentrations are relatively constant.
Many analyzers require frequent hands-on attention from instrument techs, but not so the new ABB instrument. “Our new analyzer features twice as many diagnostic messages as other units including low-level reagent sensors, making it much easier to identify potential problems remotely,” says Doney.
An automatic cleaning function can clean the whole wet section periodically, preventing problems with drift due to fouled tubes. “Remote monitoring and automatic cleaning allow the analyzer to operate for three months or more without manual intervention. Required annual maintenance to the pump tubing and capstan can be done in just two to three minutes, compared to 45 minutes required on some competing units,” observes Doney.
A third concern expressed by our readers is difficulty integrating analyzers into existing process automation systems, with non-standard interfaces being the chief culprit. ABB addresses this issue by providing the instrument with Ethernet communications via a standard RJ45 connector using the industry-standard protocols TCP/IP, FTP and HTTP.
The instrument is delivered with built-in web server capability. End users configure web pages and then connect the instrument to the Internet. Remote monitoring, configuration selection and data access can then be performed via any web browser.
ABB also claims ease of local operation as another key benefit “The instrument employs the new ABB Universal HMI with front-mounted push buttons that provide advanced, yet simple to navigate device interaction.
Operation and commissioning is straightforward with menus presenting options for setting and fine-tuning parameters. Added support is provided by an extensive context sensitive on-line help system,” explains Doney.
The instrument has a choice of data display formats including chart, bar graph, and digital indicator views.
Historical logs provide operators with access to alarm, totalizer and audit trail data. Process data and historical logs are securely archived to a removable SD memory card with capacity of up to 2 GB.
For more information and to download specifications, contact ABB at www.abb.com/instrumentation or at 215/674-6580.