PFTNA Process Control for the Cement and Mining Industry – CNA Cross-Belt Analyzers

The Panalytical CNA, featuring Sodern Neutron technology, is the next generation of the world’s most advanced on-line elemental analyzer, based on PFTNA, pulsed fast and thermal neutron activation, technology. The instrument is available in two configurations – the CNA Pentos “through the analyzer” configuration and the CNA3 , where the belt passes over the analyzer.

CNA Pentos - fifth generation of the traditional CNA and used primarily in the cement and related industries with modest size belts (< 2 meter), well controlled particle size, and the potential for layered material.. It is a closed analyzer that encloses the conveyor belt with the neutron source below the belt and detector above the belt.

CNA3 - designed for minerals applications that feature wide conveyor belts with deep loads and large material size. It is an open analyzer that is installed below the belt with both the neutron source and the detectors below. The CNA3 is available for iron, copper, nickel and coal.

Both configurations provide benefits by their ability to measure the bulk of the material passing on the belt and report the composition, typically two minute averages, in real time.

While the specific benefits are industry specific, in general the information from the CNA provides:

  • Mine Feedback – real time results to guide mining operations
  • Sorting – to provide information to separate material based on composition
  • Mixing – blend mine or stockpile streams to meet product specifications
  • Process feed forward – enable process controls to anticipate material changes
  • Process feedback – provide real time trends to monitor process quality and stability

Key Features

The key features of Panalytical CNA are:

  • On-off electric neutron source – safe and flexible operation
  • Automated radiation protection system (ARPS)
  • Modular design for minimum downtime during installation
  • Built-in direct link diagnostics program, ensuring optimum operation and uptime
  • Constant neutron flux eliminates expensive and inconvenient periodic on-site calibration


There are Panalytical CNA models dedicated to specific industries. These include:

  • CNA Pentos-Cement – Stockpile and Raw Mix Control
  • CNA Nickel and CNA3 Nickel – Stockpile and Process Control
  • CNA3 Iron – Mining and Stockpile Feedback
  • CNA3 Copper – Feed sorting and mixing
  • CNA3 Coal – Information for Managing Mining, Preparation, Stockpile, and End Use of Thermal and Metallurgical Coals

PFTNA Process Control for the Cement and Mining Industry CNA Cross-Belt Analyzers

CNA3 Configuration - the belt passes over the analyzer
CNA Configuration - the belt passes through the analyzer

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