Particulate monitors selling like hot cakes.

03/12/2016

Palas, the German manufacturer of particulate monitoring instruments, is expanding production to cope with demand for its fine particulate monitor, the Fidas® 200. In the following article Jim Mills explains why Air Monitors, the British distributor, is being kept busy by the demand for this exciting new technology.

fidas_200PM monitoring – the ultimate goal
We monitor PM because of its acute health effects. It irritates our eyes and lungs, and some of the finer particles were more recently shown to be able to move directly from the nasal cavity to the brain. Monitoring is therefore essential, but there are almost as many monitoring methods as there are types of PM, so it is vitally important to monitor what matters. If you are measuring dust from a construction site, the PM is relatively large in diameter and heavy, but if you are monitoring PM from diesel emissions in a city, the smallest particles with much less mass but high particle numbers, are of greater interest. Monitoring a single size fraction provides an incomplete picture of particulate contamination and risks ignoring the PM of most interest, particularly if the ignored fractions are the finer particles that travel deepest into the lungs. The ideal PM monitor would therefore reliably and accurately monitor all important PM fractions, with high data capture rates and low service requirements… hence the heavy demand for the Fidas 200.

Fidas® 200
The Fidas 200 is a fine dust ambient air quality monitoring device, developed specifically for regulatory purposes; providing continuous and simultaneous measurement of PM1, PM2.5, PM4, PM10, TSP (PMtot), as well as particle number concentration and particle size distribution between 180nm and 18µm (further non-certified size ranges are also available on request).

Employing a well-established measurement technology – optical light scattering of single particles – the Fidas 200 is equipped with a high intensity LED light source, which is extremely stable, delivering a long lifetime, with minimal service requirements. An optical aerosol spectrometer determines the particle size using Lorenz‐Mie scattered light analysis of single particles. These particles move through an optical measurement volume that is homogeneously illuminated with white light, and each particle generates a scattered light impulse that is detected at an angle of 85° to 95° degrees. The particle number measurement is based on the number of scattered light impulses, and the level of the scattered light impulse is a measure of the particle diameter.

The Fidas 200 operates with a volume flow of approx. 0.3m3/h and is equipped with a Sigma‐2 sampling head, which enables representative measurements even under strong wind conditions. The sampling system includes a drying system that prevents measurement inaccuracies caused by condensation from high humidity, which means that it will continue to function correctly in misty or foggy conditions but without the loss of semi-volatile fractions of the PM. It is also equipped with a filter holder for the insertion of a plane filter (47 or 50 mm in diameter) which enables subsequent chemical analysis of the aerosol.

Different versions of the Fidas 200 allow for stand-alone outdoors installation or for installation inside a measurement cabinet or air quality monitoring station.

Performance
The Fidas 200 is the only ambient continuous PM monitor in the UK to have passed TÜV and MCERTS. The MCERTS certificate (Sira MC16290/01) confirms that the Fidas 200 complies with the MCERTS Performance Standards for Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Systems, and with MCERTS for UK Particulate Matter. The instrument has type-approval to the Standards EN 12341 (PM10), EN 14907 (PM2.5) and is certified to the Standards EN 15267-1 and -2.

Importantly, the FIDAS 200 has half the uncertainty of many of its rivals and one third of the required uncertainty (25%).

Typical data capture rates exceed 99%. This has been achieved by a design approach that is focused on reliability. For example, two pumps operate in parallel, providing redundancy protection, and the instrument continuously monitors status and calibration.

Monitoring frequency has an adjustable time resolution ranging from 1 second up to 24 hours. However, high frequency data provides almost real-time access to readings when deployed with a remote web-enabled Envirologger. This enables the detection of short-term spikes, providing much greater insight into the causes of PM pollution.

The Fidas instruments have been proven in many countries as well as Britain; Air Monitors has been supplying Fidas PM monitors for around three years and there are now over 30 monitors in operation Britain alone.

Costs
One of the major financial considerations for Fidas 200 is its extremely low operating cost; the requirement for consumables is almost nil (no filter required) and its power consumption is around one fifth of its nearest rival. Calibration can be checked and adjusted, if necessary, quickly and easily in the field with a simple monodisperse powder test.

The purchase cost of a single Fidas 200 is a little more than some ambient PM monitors, but it is less expensive than others. However, for most instruments, a requirement to monitor two fractions, say PM2.5 and PM10, would necessitate two instruments and therefore double the cost. With budgets under pressure, Fidas therefore provides an opportunity to obtain better data for less cost.

In summary, the Fidas 200 offers better performance than all of its rivals; usually at significantly lower capital cost and always with dramatically lower operational costs. Consequently, it is no surprise that these instruments are selling like hot cakes.

@airmonitors #PAuto @_Enviro_News


Non contact measurement in concrete plant

24/02/2010

Following a request from a manufacturer of concrete products,  Applied Measurements has developed a user-friendly, low-cost device to rapidly and accurately measure tension in pre-stressed wire and cable.

Applied Measurements Limited offers a comprehensive selection of transducers based on strain gauge technology.  Our product range includes sensors to measure load, pressure, torque and displacement.  In addition, a custom transducer design service and strain gauge bonding facilities are also available.

To support the transducer range, a variety of analogue and digital instrumentation is available including high resolution, high speed and RS232/485 equipped signal conditioners and indicators, as well as portable battery powered indicators with integral data-logging, enabling us to offer complete systems with calibration traceable to UKAS standards.

In addition to our comprehensive range of ‘standard’ transducers, we also have the capability to design, develop and manufacture custom devices to meet specific needs.  Our expertise is based on bonded strain gauge technology, which is carried across our complete line of transducers.  Our involvement in your project can be at any stage, from development and design, through prototypes, testing and into full production.

The Challenge:
To rapidly and accurately measure the tension within pre-stressed steel wire or cable using a repeatable process that will serve to increase the confidence of the end product.  To manufacturers of concrete products, the ability to make these measurements using a simple process that removes operator uncertainty from the measurement is paramount.  This was the challenge set to Applied Measurements, by Bison Concrete.

Bison is one of Britain’s leading producers of structural, pre-cast concrete products. Consistent, quality control is vital to maintain the company’s position at the forefront of the sector.  The company is particularly renowned for pre-stressed elements, including hollow-core floors, solid composite floors and beams.

This development was prompted by a customer asking for a non-contact method for determining the tension in reinforcing cables and bars for pre-stressed concrete beams.  Peter Lewis, the managing director of Applied Measurements investigated the dynamics of the measurement and discovered that a vibrating steel wire or bar would have on an externally applied transverse magnetic field.

After significant development the ‘Digiforce’ was born and the patented device has now been supplied to many other concrete manufacturers’ including RMC, Concrete, Tarmac, Spiroll Precast, Coltman Precast, Milbank in Britain, Burns in the USA and Impact in Australia – and other blue chip construction companies all who share the need to make rapid and accurate tension measurements on-site.

The Solution:
The equipment used for this tensioning process must be tested on a regular basis, but current methods are cumbersome and time-consuming and accuracy is in part dependent on the skill of the operator.  The Digiforce developed by Applied Measurements has enabled Bison to achieve rapid, repeatable, non-contact tension measurement using cutting-edge technology.

Integral to the durability and structural performance of these products is the correct tensioning of the pre-stressing steel tendons. There are approximately 30 tendons in the average 1200mm-wide hollow-core floor slab, which may be up to 160m in length.  By striking the wire or cable under tension and observing their fundamental natural frequency of vibration, it has proved possible to develop a battery powered hand held instrument capable of accurately determining the tensile forces applied to them.

Although simple in theory, the low frequencies – Hz to a few tens of Hz and complex sound spectra have up to now, prevented their accurate analysis on-site.  The Digiforce addresses this issue via the integral mathematical software, to process only those frequencies of interest that contributes to the measurement.  This means that the user no longer has to refer to look-up charts or return to the office to run complex calculations pertinent to that piece of equipment or installation.

Operation:
The instrument is first programmed with the length of the wire or cable whose tension is to be measured.  Also inputted is its weight per unit length. The magnetic sensor at the end of the instrument is then placed adjacent to the part to be measured. The measurement process is triggered and the part is struck lightly with the mallet supplied. After a few moments, the tension appears on the LCD display on the instrument.

Tensions in stainless steel or other non-ferromagnetic wires can be measured by attaching clips (also supplied) made of ferromagnetic materials, provided that their masses are insignificant compared to that of the cable to be measured.

The vibrations being analysed are complex and the fundamental frequencies that the method uses are in the range 3Hz to 70Hz and not the metallic note heard by the ear.  The tension is determined from the formula, T = 4 x length2 x Hz2 x weight per unit length.  Because of the very low frequencies, tuned circuit filter methods are not an option. Instead, the device makes an initial 20 measurements of each oscillation and discards these. The next five measurements from 10 oscillations are then used to establish a tolerance band to establish which measurements are reasonable to contribute to the calculation and which should be rejected as spurious. Subsequent measurements are then made and those that fall within the tolerance band are used to calculate the final measurement value.

Because the principal business of Applied Measurements is in designing and manufacturing precision load cells and force sensors, the measurements are traceable back to NPL calibration standards.

The Digiforce boasts an on-board data-logging facility for collecting results and an RS232 port / USB converter for later downloads to a host PC, driver software, aluminium striker, rugged carrying case and full instructions.  Additionally the device is supplied with a 3-year warranty.

Following the success of the Digiforce in pre-stressed concrete, other applications are now being realised.  One such success story is Stage Technologies in London, who use the product to monitor the loading on cables used to support various stage elements.


European automation award

28/01/2010

Emerging Company Award in the Automation and Control System Services in the EMEA market.

The 2009 Frost and Sullivan Emerging Company Award has been presented to Adroit Technologies for its distinct competence in catering to exact customer requirements in the EMEA (European, Middle East Africa) automation and control system services (ACSS) market. Having created a unique identity in the Southern African market, the company is now emerging as a strong participant in the European ACSS market. Adroit develops SCADA and HMI software for major process and discrete industries and has a diverse product offering specific to end-user requirements. The company’s aim to focus varied market segments and expand its customer base globally has forced it to take a leap, which has started yielding profitable results.

Joint Venture a Way to New Market Penetration

Being a small participant in the EMEA market has given Adroit the advantage and
opportunity of working closely with its customers. Started as a software producer for the SCADA/HMI and Reporting products the company is now focused on offering its VIZNET Information Portal product. Recognised by Microsoft, VIZNET is a software platform that answers the age old challenge of collaboration and content delivery of data, information and knowledge through a single Smart Client User Interface. The real-time mine operations management portal built by partner Polysphere was also based on the VIZNET product.

Product Features and Benefits

Distinctive advantage of VIZNET Information Portal introduced by Adroit in 2008 helps in retrieving the real-time data and combines it with the MIS, MES and ERP information. It presents these data in the reporting structure through a single-user interface. The wizard driven and visual configuration makes development and maintenance of any application quite simple. The security model, built on Microsoft’s active directory offers clients peace of mind when using the smart client connectivity over the internet.

Chart 1.1

Chart 1.1 provides EMEA Automation and Control System Services Market: Key Factors Contributing to Adroit’s Growth (EMEA), 2009

Diversified Focus

Award Description

The Frost & Sullivan Award for Emerging Company is presented each year to the company that has emerged as a significant participant within its industry. This company is perceived to have exhibited outstanding management, superior market growth, exceptional customer service and the ability to combine technology and successful strategic initiatives. This company has the exceptional know-how to take advantage of market changes through the execution of innovative strategies within the existing competitive landscape.

Research Methodology

In order to select the Award recipient, analysts quantify several market factors for each market participant according to predetermined criteria, paying close attention to their combined operations efforts. This process includes interviews with market
participants, customers, and suppliers, along with extensive secondary and technology research. The companies’ efforts are then analyzed based on the number of new customers, new segments, and commitment to business expansion coupled with market growth.

Measurement Criteria

In addition to the methodology described above, there are specific criteria used to determine final competitor rankings in this industry. The recipient of this Award has excelled based on one or more of the following criteria:

• Proof of success executing a restructuring strategy
• New market penetration (geographic, product, etc.)
• Marketing, promotion, and visibility of the company
• Degree of strategy innovation
• Technological innovation and leadership
• Increased name recognition
• Revenue and market share growth

The company is introducing the advanced alarm management product and a version 3 of VIZNET in May 2009. Knowing the fact that innovation is the key factor to compete in the dynamic market, Adroit invests close to 30 percent of its revenues in the research and development (R&D) activity annually. This has helped the company to survive even in the toughest period of economic slow down to have 30 percent growth in 2008 compared to the previous year. Adroit achieved this with a strategic approach where it focused on end users who were working on single-vendor approach. Adroit catered to these companies with its maximum benefits and at reduced cost.

Utilities and Energy Management – Need of the Hour
Adroit is a clear market leader in Southern African delivery in the latter half of 2008, Adroit added additional features to its maximum demand agent product which assists large companies in energy management. This product calculates the predicted maximum demand in any one metered period allowing demand side management to be carried out. This has helped the customers to limit the usage of power and electricity which had been the need of the hour. As reduced energy and fuel consumption can bring significant cost saving in the industry environment, Adroit is taking relentless efforts towards achieving this.

Their major end-user segments   are the water and the mining industries, some of the energy efficiency projects in which they participated in recent years were DBS Mines, PPC cements and Johannesburg Water plants.

Customer Testimony: “Girlock currently has an international SCADA product running at our other plants, but we are so impressed with the Adroit system, that we are considering switching all our SCADA software to Adroit,” says Andre Ziemski, Senior Project and Development Manager for Girlock

Wider Market Reach
With global expansion plans and clear focus on the target customers Adroit emanates its products with utmost efficacy. Participation in various industrial tradeshows, conferences and road shows has provided more visibility to the company. Some of the recent trade shows in which Adroit participated are CEBIT in March 2009, The Durban Control Road Show in March 2009 and SCADA & INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION CONFERENCE in March 2009. In the process of educating its customers, they  frequent training programmes to the new, existing and advanced users of Adroit’s products. These courses last for 4-5 days on regular basis and customers can gain maximum knowledge out of these programmes, which would equip them to have a thorough understanding of Adroit’s products.

Adroit’s Corporate Social Responsibility
Having understood the need for expertise in the automation field, the company has started training the engineering students for a competitive future. Adroit’s corporate governance policy equips the students to gain expertise in the automation field and also provides qualified workforce to the company. Various other activities such as providing sponsorship for sports persons are also a part of the activity, which Adroit carries out for the public welfare.

Market Expansion
Adroit has installed close to 13,000 SCADA/HMI systems within EMEA and in the international market across different end-user segments such mining and water and wastewater after having understood the customer requirement completely. Adroit is concentrating more towards intelligent devices which aims at distributed process control and multifunctional communication protocols, providing customer friendly environment in the plants.

Geographic Penetration
The company works with reliable distributors who are also value-added resellers and systems integrators. This has provided Adroit more scope to clearly penetrate geographies such as Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Canada, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, South Korea and Malaysia with its capable partners in these geographies respectively. Adroit’s wider customer base extends to the following end users such as pulp and paper, food and beverages, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, cement and many others. Its serves more than 5000 clients and holds a strong presence in the South African market and is emerging as an efficient participant in the European automation market, handling most of the state-owned water and utilities projects. Apart from the process industries, the company is increasing its customer base in the telecommunication and the building management segments. It is also planning for global expansion by 2010 by partnering with the major automation companies.

Conclusion:
Adroit’s key strength lies in understanding the exact customer demand and catering to it without any deviation. Being an emerging participant in the EMEA market, the company has created clear visibility for its products. In the dynamic automation market, Adroit is witnessing a stable growth as a result of multiple partnerships and value-enhanced offering. The strategic focus towards market expansion and diversified end-user segments is making Adroit an emerging participant in the automation and control system services market. These factors make Adroit Technologies the deserving recipient for the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Emerging Company Award in the Automation and Control System Services in the EMEA market.