Rocky Mountain Measurement News
New Gas Chromatograph Technology Improves Ease of Use
By Joy LePree |
In addition to these smarter systems, providers of gas chromatographs are working on ease of use and simplified maintenance, says Bonnie Crossland, product marketing manager for gas chromatographs with Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount Analytical (Irvine, Calif.; www.emersonprocess.com). “Gas chromatographs have never been viewed as an easy-to-use instrument,” she says. “So we are starting to work on ease-of-use with features like interactive and intuitive touchscreens and we now offer advanced diagnostics so the machine itself provides feedback and suggests preventative maintenance to correct problems before measurement errors occur.”
For example Emerson’s MON2020 gas chromatograph software makes configuration, maintenance, monitoring and control of a gas chromatograph easier with intuitive, Windows-based pulldown menus and fill-in-the-blank tables. The software collects and organizes the analyzed data from the company’s 700XA (Figure 4) and 1500XA gas chromatographs and gives management, operators, engineers and maintenance personnel access to critical data, such as current and archived chromatograms, alarm history, event logs and maintenance logs. It also allows users to check original calibration against last calibration and to perform operations checks and modifications simultaneously.
“It allows users to get really specific and improve efficiency because they can get faster, more accurate results and adjust the process as needed based on the data, which results in more efficiency and less waste,” says Crossland. “It helps you make more of what you want to make and less of what you don’t and, because it is so intuitive and user friendly, you can accomplish this with fewer skilled experts.”
Providers of gas chromatographs also realized the maintenance process, too, needed simplification, so they are beginning to offer modular systems. Removal and replacement of a module can be performed in minutes, lowering operation and maintenance of the gas chromatograph. The module can then be repaired at the user’s convenience in their maintenance shop or returned for refurbishment.
Experts agree that it is more than likely that the improvements to gas chromatographs and other analyzers make upgrading a facility’s current technology worthwhile in terms of faster results, reduced maintenance time and costs, as well as improved process and product quality. “If processors haven’t looked at the newer technologies in the last five years and considered an upgrade, they should certainly give it a look,” says Crossland. ■