Insights from industry

Measuring Samples Directly with the Fastest Infrared Moisture Analyzer

In this interview, Ian Olmsted, Product Manager for CEM Process Control talks to AZoM about their new infrared moisture analyzer the SMART Q.

Please tell us about the new SMART Q infrared moisture analyzer.

The SMART Q is the newest addition to CEM’s SMART-series moisture analyzers. It is designed to be the fastest infrared moisture analyser on the market. Many of the engineering and design elements that have made the SMART 6 so successful have been incorporated into the SMART Q.  It was designed for customers who want speed, but whose application does not require the microwave features offered with the SMART 6.

How does the SMART Q compare to other moisture analyzers? What sets it apart from others on the market?

The main difference between the SMART Q and all other infrared moisture analyzers is accuracy and speed. Other infrared moisture balances, even the most advanced units, lack the features that come standard on the SMART Q, such as direct sample temperature control and active cavity ventilation.

Altogether, the unique technology used in the SMART Q translates to an extremely rapid test with reference-level accuracy and precision.

Please tell us about the features of the SMART Q.

The SMART Q measures the temperature of the sample directly and adjusts power to maintain the desired temperature throughout the test. Other moisture analyzers simply monitor the air temperature of the sample cavity, which is not as precise and lends itself to longer test times and leads to overheating.

We also use a sealed cavity design with active ventilation, so vapors are quickly and safely pulled away from the sample and routed out of the lab.  Other analyzers on the market use an open-cavity design with no ventilation, so high-moisture samples tend to re-condense and do not dry completely.

For industries where the samples being measured are hazardous, such as petrochemicals or pharmaceuticals, the SMART Q can be safely operated anywhere at-line or in the lab, whereas other  units need to be placed in a dedicated fume hood.

Image Credit:Shutterstock/ChristianDraghici

What applications will see the benefit of the of the direct sample temperature monitoring? How?

Direct sample temperature monitoring is really beneficial for samples that tend to overheat or burn. This technology allows the SMART Q to get the sample to temperature quickly and stay there.  That’s important when a rapid test is desired.

At the beginning of the test, we can use full power to rapidly bring the sample up to temperature, then back off the power to maintain the drying temperature while the sample dries to constant weight. During the middle of a test, direct sample temperature monitoring prevents sample scorching or degradation.

For example, certain polymer types need to be dried at a temperature that is very close to their degradation temperature and without active temperature monitoring there is no way to ensure the desired drying temperature is not exceeded.

Which industries will see the benefit from the SMART Q? How?

At CEM, we have seen great results for a wide variety of industries, such as pharmaceutical, powdered dairy, plastics and snack foods. However, the SMART Q provides benefits to any industry that needs direct moisture analysis for products in the range of 0-15% moisture.

For samples above 15% moisture, the SMART Q works well but the SMART 6 will provide even faster results. No matter what our customers’ process and products are, if they need moisture analysis, we have a solution that will save them both time and money.

ImageCredit:Shutterstock/AfricaStudio

What does the SMART Q mean for the future of infrared moisture analyzers?

The SMART Q brings some truly disruptive technology to the moisture analysis market.  Until now, the infrared moisture market has provided a fairly standard product, consisting of a simple infrared lamp, a balance, a thermometer, and maybe a touch-screen.

Most customers treat other infrared moisture analyzers as a disposable product that needs to be replaced every few years. Our SMART-series moisture analyzers use an extremely rugged case design and analytical-grade components with customers routinely getting 20+ years of service life.

Where can our readers go to find out more?

We have a lot of great information on our website:

http://cem.com/moisture-solids-analysis

http://cem.com/smart-q

About Ian Olmsted

Ian Olmsted is the product manager for CEM’s process control division.  With over 10 years of experience developing analytical instrumentation, he is passionate about creating new products to give his customers a competitive edge.  In his spare time, Ian enjoys travelling and restoring classic cars.

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Mychealla Rice

Written by

Mychealla Rice

Mychealla graduated from Northumbria University in Newcastle with a 2:1 in Journalism with English Literature. Mychealla is a keen traveller, spending time in Australia, Thailand and Italy. Mychealla plans to see more of Europe in the future. Mychealla’s interests include photography and music. In her spare time, she likes to go shopping and visit family and friends back in Ireland.

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