Since introducing a consultancy service in 2007 that enables clients to examine the implications of implementing real-time process control, Malvern Instruments has seen uptake grow each year. By July, demand in 2010 was already more than double that for the whole of 2009.
The five-day consultancy is run by a process expert from Malvern at the client's own site using the Insitec Voyager system, a mobile on-line particle size analyzer. The key objectives are to establish the suitability of laser diffraction particle size analysis for the specific application and to quantify the potential benefits of installing a permanent online system.
"Clients tell us that there is no substitute for the hands-on experience that the consultancy process provides," said Rob Norris, Business Manager for Process systems at Malvern Instruments. "This approach, with its upfront engineering, not only streamlines later commissioning, process qualification and validation, it also supports project justification and minimises unknowns. Consequently it is proving to be a very cost-effective way for companies to demonstrate how continuous real-time particle sizing can benefit their plant operations."
An on-site trial, delivering data over several days, provides new insight into the process and the opportunity to investigate the potential of automated control. At the same time it allows practical issues to be addressed including: ease of installation and use; operational reliability; representative sampling; and comparison of measurements with historical data. The teams involved can also achieve greater understanding of unique process-specific issues, investigate the impact of key variables on plant performance and evaluate options for improved process control. Expert support throughout maximizes the benefits and productivity of the trial.