Smarter technology for pH sensors reduce maintenance costs, downtime

Monitoring pH is critical in virtually every manufacturing plant, regardless of industry or process, but maintaining effective pH measurement can be challenging and complex. Problems with pH sensors can range from difficulties with field calibration to cracked glass to reference clogging, and these issues can result in expensive maintenance requirements or even process downtime.

The current issue of Plant Engineering features an article by our own Linda Meyers, senior product manager, Emerson Process Management, Rosemount Analytical, on new smart technologies for pH sensors that can communicate the health and status of sensors to control systems, reducing costs and preventing downtime.

Below is an excerpt from the piece, and you can CLICK here to read the entire article.

Ask plant operators about their most time-consuming and burdensome tasks, and chances are they will mention the field calibration of pH sensors. In addition, pH sensors are often isolated from the central plant information systems, which makes them maintenance nightmares and creates potential risks of downtime.

Fortunately, while pH technology is classic, the continuous improvements to pH systems are helping to overcome some of these operational problems for plant engineers. One of these improvements is making pH sensors “smart” — smart enough to hold calibration and other data and to communicate that information to central control systems. The result is lower cost of operation, substantially reduced maintenance requirements, and reduced downtime in a wide range of applications.

The calibration nightmare
Traditionally, the only way to calibrate a pH sensor was to carry all of the calibration equipment into the field. New technologies now embed memory in pH sensors, which allows them to hold calibration information. This means a sensor can be calibrated in a controlled environment such as a lab or maintenance shop. The information is then held in the sensor memory as the sensor is taken into the field and installed. Pre-calibrated sensors can even be stored on shelves and then taken into the field to replace a sensor requiring calibration or maintenance. No more bottles and beakers in the snow, plus no downtime.

Smart diagnostics
Because the new sensor technologies store data in the sensor, they also solve another important pH measurement problem — unpredictable failure.

The information stored in the sensor that can be used to predict accuracy and sensor life include:

  • Slope trends, which normally decrease over time
  • Glass impedance trends, which normally increase over time
  • Reference offset trends, which normally shift slowly over time
  • Reference impedance trends, which normally shift slowly over time.

Read the full article by CLICKING here.

For more information on Rosemount Analytical SMART pH technology, CLICK here.

And CLICK here for a video on SMART pH Sensors and Instruments for Plug and Play Use.

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