Michell Instruments is best-known for its moisture sensing instruments and analyzers, however they also offer a range of oxygen analyzers. AZoM talks to Jason Byrne, Product Manager for the Oxygen range at Michell Instruments, to find out more.
When and why did Michell decide to introduce a range of oxygen analyzers?
Oxygen is complementary measurement parameter to moisture. Our sales engineers found they were being asked whether Michell could provide instrumentation for measuring oxygen, so we introduced the range to meet the demand from existing customers in 2008.
Michell’s oxygen range has been around for five years now - have there been any new developments since its introduction?
There have been plenty of developments and improvements in the range since it was first introduced. For example, we are now on our second generation of Thermo-Paramagnetic Analyzers (the XTP601).
Can you explain what benefits the second generation analyzers offer over the original version?
Certainly – the most important change is the use of the latest manufacturing techniques in designing and building the XTP601 – these were just not available when we launched the first model.
One of the benefits of this is that we are able to build the analyzers faster and more efficiently – and these cost-savings are passed to the customers. Basically, they are getting a superior analyzer at a highly competitive price.
The interface on the new analyzer allows it to be operated within hazardous areas – other models need to have the process shut down to have parameters checked or changed.
The XTP601 also carries global certification for use in hazardous areas, whereas the previous model had certification that was recognised only in Europe.
Another key improvement has been to reduce the number of elastomeric seals in the gas path to just one.
Could you explain the significance of this reduction in the number of elastomeric seals?
Having just one elastomeric seal makes it easier to produce a gas-tight analyzer. And this enables it to measure oxygen levels in a wider variety of background gases or environments, such as gases with small molecules – Helium and Hydrogen.
We can also change this seal to Ekraz, for example, to measure oxygen in gases which contain solvent traces.
What other oxygen analyzers are offered in your range? Could you tell us something about them?
As well as Thermo-paramagnetic sensors, we offer three analyzers that use a zirconia sensor: one for detecting trace oxygen in inert gases, and two combustion control analyzers, the XZR200 and XZR500.
A typical application for the trace oxygen analyzers would be controlling levels of oxygen in N2, CO2, Ar and He production.
The combustion analyzers are designed to have a long lifespan in highly aggressive environments as they need to cope with high levels of heat as well as chemical released during combustion.
The Michell Oxygen range has developed and grown over the last five years. What plans are there for future developments?
I can’t give you any details as yet, but we are working on expanding the range during 2014. We are exploring new technologies that will enable us to offer measurements and analysis of gases other than oxygen.
About Jason Byrne
Jason Byrne started in the gas analysis industry in 1995. Working primarily with Paramagnetic & Zirconia sensors & analysers for oxygen, as well as Infra-red technologies for other gases.
Over his career he has gained experience with other products utilising LASER, Thermal Conductivity, Plasma Emission Detectors, Flame Ionisation Detectors and Gas Chromatography principles.
In Feb 2011 Jason moved to Michell Instruments to become the Product Manager for Oxygen (and related) products.
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