August 20, 2014

A Day in the Life of an Analytical Support Rep – What Instrument Best Replaces an Older Model? It Depends.

By Randy Young and Pete Anson

My day started with a big cup of coffee in hand and an eye on my email. I was reading through them and prioritizing accordingly. Then, one email caught my eye. It was from Jaime in the Netherlands. He worked for a water bottling company and was looking to RAI_Image_RandyYoung_140802_optimizedupdate their current Rosemount Analytical equipment (4-wire analyzer1055-01-11-26) with one of our newer models. He read about it while browsing through one of our technical blogs at

I started by asking him questions regarding their current setup: the model number of the analyzer and the sensor; his power requirements; as well as the type and number of measurements. Upon receiving his fast reply, I immediately began working on it. I didn’t have much personal experience with his equipment since it was one of the older models, but I have the best resources. After a quick discussion with the product manager, Pete Anson, I determined the features and options of the model Jaime had been using and discovered that the most direct replacement for Jaime’s old model is the improved 1056 four-wire analyzer. But that raised some questions Jaime hadn’t known to ask.

You see, while the 1056 is extremely high performance for a “general use” instrument, there could be circumstances under which the higher-end 56 advanced dual-input analyzer might be the best and most cost-effective option. The reason is that the 56 offers capabilities that might reduce costs for the customer in other areas of the plant. By rethinking the way some essential functions are performed, plant managers like Jaime can turn their liquid analyzer into a sophisticated plant machine.

56Many plants require the use of a data or event logger and/or a data historian to provide an audit trail for fulfillment of regulatory requirements or to meet internal reporting policies. I asked Jaime and discovered that his plant does require reporting. A standalone data logger can cost from $200 to $1,000, plus installation. The 56 analyzer, however, has a built-in data logger that can capture measurement data from both the process and the instrument – a dozen or more live values – from two channels every 30 seconds for 30 days. Jaime was pretty excited about this capability when I described it since he would get the reporting at no additional cost.

He also liked the idea of the two input channels. I explained to him that the channels can not only record more than one liquid parameter such as pH and conductivity or ozone, but also flow which has to be reported regularly. Using the 56 for this function can save the cost of additional analyzers. Since his outfall points are often on the periphery of the plant, I explained to Jaime that he would be able to use the 56 with wireless to transmit flow data from those points, saving him a ton of personnel and maintenance time.

I even dangled the possibility of using the 56 as a control device in certain functions. While the 56 has the traditional water treatment functions and control, which include on/off control, on/off control with delay (to allow time for mixing), and an interval time for sensor cleaning, there is a lot more control capability in the 56.  It can not only do standard PID and TPC (Duty Cycle) control on one or all of its 4 analog outputs and relays, but can also power and receive the signal of any two-wire transmitter, input its measurement and apply PID or TPC control to the measurement, which can be pressure, temperature or whatever. The 56 can be a single station controller.

After our email discussion, Jaime considered the many high-end features of the 1056 versus the potential savings the 56 could represent both now and in the future. Wisely, I think in his case, he opted for the 56 since it gave him a huge jump in flexibility over his older Emerson analyzer.

A great solution-oriented conversation. Consider it solved. Okay, who’s next? Booyah!

August 5, 2014

Chemical Plant in Thailand Improves Regulatory Compliance with Wireless On-line pH Analysis

By Piyawan Canyouk


A chemical processing plant in Thailand faced challenges in meeting stringent environmental regulations due to infrastructure limitations in its pH monitoring system.

Thailand Blog picThe chemical processing plant was using grab samples for pH measurement because the distance between pH monitoring points made it difficult to install online analyzers since it would require laying cables across a broad distance, and in some cases, even digging underground or placing it in cable conduits in high locations. However, the use of grab samples for pH analysis did not provide real-time measurement, so the plant risked being out of compliance with government regulations.

The plant would send pre-treated wastewater to the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) in a batch volume to confirm the pH values met governmental regulations for compliance. However, there is a possibility for the sample collected to be nonhomogenous, as sometimes the incoming wastewater that enters the basin is not really mixed well with the existing water in the basin.  This nonhomogenous sample will taint the analysis and render it inaccurate.

Also, while the sample is being analyzed in the lab, the wastewater in the plant is continuing to enter the basin. This wastewater flowing into the basin could change the pH of the wastewater. The plant operator, not realizing this change of pH, could then discharge the wastewater based on the initial grab sample result.

As a consequence, the manufacturer was in danger of facing government penalties and fines for having pH values outside of the acceptable range for compliance. In fact, the government fine could be as much as five times the standard treatment cost charged by the IEAT. The plant needed to implement on-line, continuous pH measurement to improve monitoring, prevent discharging IMG_0742 (2)water downstream that did not meet regulatory requirements, and ensure government compliance to avoid expensive fines, but running cables to install on-line analyzers was cost-prohibitive and complex. To overcome these issues, the plant needed to install a wireless on-line pH analysis solution.

The chemical manufacturer approached Emerson Process Management, Rosemount Analytical to install wireless on-line pH monitoring for the water outlet to the IEAT to replace batch sampling with continuous measurement. The plant selected the 6081pH transmitter, pH sensor panels, and Smart wireless THUM™ adapters as a complete solution for wireless, on-line pH measurement in the water outlet. The wireless IMG_0738implementation did not require any new cabling or power system set-up, avoiding extensive construction, digging underground, and complex placement in high locations. The new system helps ensure regulatory compliance, reduces lab analysis requirements, and provides real-time, continuous monitoring for better pH control and reporting. If the pH in the water outlet registers too high, the plant can immediately stop the process and make adjustments to address any issues in real-time, helping ensure compliance, avoid government penalties, and protect the environment. In fact, the wireless solution was so cost-effective that the chemical processing plant saved more than 50 percent by implementing wireless over what the cost would have been if the plant had installed cable wiring.

How has improving monitoring helped ensure compliance with environmental requirements and regulations for your plant? Would installing a wireless solution help you overcome any plant challenges you’re currently facing?