On-line PGNA technology’s ability to measure all the elements of interest in the customer’s process during production can translate into greatly improved quality control as well as greater profitability through such things as extension of quarry or seam life, extended life of refractories, conservation of expensive additives, and significant reduction in energy costs. Given all of these benefits it behooves the owner of a PGNA analyzer to take all the steps necessary to ensure optimum performance. The key steps can be summarized in five (5) areas of focus.
- Belt loading. As with any instrument, performance is best when the signal is strong and the noise is weak. Best results are achieved with about 100 kg/m belt loading (results can be very good with as low as 60 kg/m with a VFD (variable frequency drive) insuring constant belt loading. If the belt loading varies frequently between full load down to starvation the performance is compromised. The objective is a material bed depth that is constant with a loading of at least 60kg/m, with 100kg/m preferable.
- Layering of material. If the application presents layered materials on the belt for analysis results can be excellent except in those cases where a wet material such as clay is in a layer that either varies in thickness or location. This can cause a degradation in performance.
- Belt composition. A belt with chlorine content or steel cords can also potentially cause a degradation in performance. Even a degraded performance can still add significant value to an operation. Revised performance expectations are evaluated on a case by case basis.
- The best use of an analyzer is realized once the instrument is properly calibrated to the customer’s quality parameters and ranges. This can be done with standards made from the customer’s materials or with synthetic standards made in the factory. Ongoing dynamic calibration is achieved most easily if the customer has an integral automatic sampler of some kind from which ongoing dynamic data can be accessed.
- Broadband access. Periodic updates to the customer’s dynamic calibration as well as routine ongoing remote maintenance is achieved seamlessly if the customer can provide broadband access to the analyzer from SABIA’s offices.
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