Posts Tagged ‘process control’

FEECO International Partners with Microtrac to Bring Enhanced Particle Characterization to it’s Customers

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by Microtrac

FEECO International Partners with Microtrac to Bring Enhanced Particle Characterization to it’s Customers

FEECO International, Inc. and Microtrac have formed a strategic partnership to improve granulation outcomes across North America by integrating patented 3D size and shape instrumentation into production processes.

Bringing Material Characterization into the 21st Century

FEECO and Microtrac recognized the value in a partnership due to the complementary nature of their expertise; FEECO in granulation and particle size enlargement, and Microtrac in particle characterization.

Recent advances in instrumentation, namely the use of on-line Dynamic Image Analysis (DIA), have made particle characterization faster, more accurate, and safer than ever.

Microtrac’s DIA characterizes particles in motion by digitizing photos of each particle and storing them in an image file. The images are then used to calculate 3D size and shape parameters based on the known size and location of the pixels in each image. Proprietary to Microtrac, is the ability to measure each particle’s length, width, and thickness, providing precise 3D analysis capability compared to 2D DIA’s.

FEECO will offer the Microtrac technology alongside their granulation systems and equipment, as well as during process and product development in their material testing facility, The Innovation Center.

The use of the Microtrac technology in a granulation operation offers the following advantages:

  • Enables operators to identify process swings in real time and take immediate corrective action through integration at various production stages.
  • Provides for increased revenue due to the consistent production of higher quality, on spec material.
  • Reduces external operators interfacing with the production process, allowing them to focus on higher priority tasks rather than manually sieving.
  • Diminishes incidents and accidents in the field by having real time results delivered directly to the control room.
  • Ensures optimal loads on equipment, providing energy savings and minimizing unplanned plant shutdowns due to maintenance.
  • Offers faster startup times after plant shut downs.
  • Allows for better control of granulation, less fluctuation during the process, and optimized recycles, ultimately delivering improved yields.

“The partnership with Microtrac seemed like a natural progression for both of us, and will translate to tremendous value for our customers looking to optimize their plant operations, as well as those in the process development stages of their project” states Dan Madigan, FEECO President. “We are thrilled about the potential growth opportunities that lie ahead as a result.”

“We are seeing high demand for our on-line systems and a partnership with FEECO will help both companies deliver superior value to their current installed based as well as new customers,” said Paul Cannon, Microtrac’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “Integrating our on-line technology with FEECO’s solutions will enable customers to proactively respond to process variations faster than before, which translates to significant financial benefits and operational improvements.”

Both companies have an outstanding reputation in their field, and know that a partnership will only strengthen their capabilities.

For organizations interested in seeing if online particle analysis is right for you, click here to learn more, or speak with a technical specialist directly.

About FEECO

FEECO International, Inc. was founded in 1951 as an engineering and equipment manufacturer. Today, with over 65 years of experience, FEECO’s expertise has been sought by everyone from startups to Fortune 100 companies.

FEECO is recognized globally as an expert in providing industry leading process design, engineering, and manufacturing to a variety of industries including:  fertilizer and agriculture, mining and minerals, power / utility, paper, chemical processing, and more.

FEECO offers material testing, process design, and custom equipment and complete systems for agglomeration/granulation, thermal processing, and material handling. To learn more visit FEECO.com.

Improve the granulation process with Online 3D Dynamic Image Analysis

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 by Microtrac

Improve the granulation process with Online 3D Dynamic Image Analysis

Learn how Yara, arguably the largest fertilizer producer in the world, improves their granulation process with the PartAn3D PRO, Microtrac’s online dynamic image analyzer. Not only does Yara manufacture higher quality products, they also gain significant financial benefits as well.

Featured in the launch issue of World Fertilizer, this customer success story covers the following topics:

  • Description of the NPK production process
  • What is Dynamic Image Analysis and why use it online
  • Advantages to updating “the old way” of material characterization
  • Achieving key KPI’s (key performance indicators)
  • Delivering more revenue, while lowering operational cost

Download the article here.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of online 3D dynamic image analysis, Microtrac invites you to send samples for a complimentary feasibility test. Click here to speak to a technical specialist today.

Process Control Particle Analyzer Debuts At Phosphates 2016

Posted on: March 14th, 2016 by Microtrac

Process Control Particle Analyzer Debuts At Phosphates 2016

Sort of…

All of our process control particle analyzers are custom built specifically for the production environment they are being installed in. Each system includes a mainframe particle size and shape analyzer and a tailored sample extraction system. Because of the custom nature of our solutions, it makes it very difficult for us to conduct live demos of the system at various industry conferences.

Until now…

Making its debut at Phosphates 2016, is our demo process control particle analyzer, the PartAn3D PRO. The PartAn3D PRO is ideal for measuring granular material from 15 microns to 35 millimeters and enables users to identify in real-time when their process begins to swing.

With fertilizer being one of our strongest applications, Phosphates 2016 is the perfect platform for debuting our demo system because the event brings together producers from all over the world to network and learn about the latest technological advances. This year’s conference is held at the Marriot Rive Gauche, in Paris, France from March 13 – 15.

What sets the PartAn3D PRO apart from other process control analyzers is the patented 3D measurement (length, width, and thickness), which delivers superior accuracy compared to one and two-dimensional measurements.

By utilizing a high-speed, high-resolution camera and proprietary software that tracks each particle from multiple orientations, the PartAn3D PRO measures 36 size and morphological parameters of your material, delivering unsurpassed analysis capability.

Rather than manually extracting a sample, transporting the material to a lab for analysis, and waiting hours or even days for the results, the PartAn3D PRO improves efficiency by automatically performing the grunt work and measurement. The real value of an online measurement enables users to identify variations in their process and take immediate corrective action. This proactive approach improves yields, decreases wasted material, and creates higher quality products, which can lead to significant financial gains for the organization.

If you are attending Phosphates 2016 and want to learn more about the value of online measurements, check out our presentation at the technical session on March 15 at 8:15am. You can also swing by our exhibit to discuss the ROI of an online system with one of our technical experts.

Can’t make it to Phosphates 2016? No problem, click here to speak to our knowledgeable staff.

Not even Jonas stopped Microtrac from attending IFPAC 2016

Posted on: February 2nd, 2016 by Microtrac

Not even Jonas stopped Microtrac from attending IFPAC 2016

Super storm Jonas definitely left his mark on the East Coast two weeks ago (As I type this, it seems like Jonas is melting as fast as it arrived). The storm altered plans, and gave many people a case of cabin fever. However, as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on. Thanks to the long hours put in by snow removal crews, the 30th International Forum on Process Analytical Chemistry convention was held as scheduled. Commonly referred to as IFPAC, the event brought together the brightest minds from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to discuss the latest trends in process optimization. IFPAC was held at the Crystal Gateway Marriot in Arlington, VA from 1/25 to 1/27.

Even with a shortened exhibition schedule, Microtrac shared it’s process optimization expertise with the attendees who made the trip to Arlington. Located at booth 106, Microtrac displayed the following process optimization solutions.

PartAn3D PRO – Ideal for measuring size and morphology of granular material from 15 microns to 35 millimeters. The PartAn3D PRO captures length, width, and thickness of each particle, delivering an accurate 3D measurement. By capturing all three dimensions, over 30 morphological parameters can be displayed, providing the user with the ability to understand their material like never before.

PartAn3D Maxi PRO – The bigger brother of the PartAn3D PRO, the Maxi PRO measures granular material from 280 microns to 127 millimeters. The PartAn3D Maxi PRO also provides over 30 morphological parameters for comprehensive analysis capability.

PartAn SI PRO – Extracting the right amount of suspension from your process at the optimal time, the PartAn SI PRO is ideal for monitoring agglomeration of materials ranging in size from 5 to 1500 microns.

The PartAn PRO Advantage.

Whether you are producing granular material or suspensions, by measuring in real-time users can identify process deviations when they occur, enabling immediate corrective action to take place. This proactive approach improves yields, reduces wasted material, and creates higher quality products.

Click here to speak with a technical specialist today to see how the PartAn PRO can improve your bottom line.

IFCA learned the basics of granular fertilizer production optimization at booth 609

Posted on: January 21st, 2016 by Microtrac

IFCA learned the basics of granular fertilizer production optimization at booth 609

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the 50th annual Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association Convention. Held from 1/19 to 1/21 at the Peoria Civic Center, this convention brought together agriculture professionals from all over the state of Illinois.

IMG_2294

Demonstrated at booth 609, Microtrac educated the attendees about the advantages of using automated 3D dynamic image analysis to control the manufacturing of granular fertilizer.

By using a high-speed, high-resolution camera and an automated sampling system, manufactures are able to measure size and morphology in real time, which enables production personnel to take immediate corrective action when deviations occur. This approach improves production efficiency, reduces recycled material, and increases your bottom line.

Click the links below to learn about Microtrac’s online particle analyzers.

PartAn 3D PRO – Dry analyzer covering from 15 microns to 35 millimeters.

PartAn 3D Maxi PRO – Dry analyzer for coarse materials

PartAn SI PRO – Suspension analyzer for materials ranging from 5-1500 microns.

Not ready for online yet? We also offer at line instrumentation. Click the links below to learn about our lab systems.

PartAn 3D

PartAn 3D Maxi

See you at our next show!

Wet or dry, nano or coarse, we have a particle measurement solution for your Pharmaceutical API – AAPS 2015

Posted on: October 26th, 2015 by Microtrac

Wet or dry, nano or coarse, we have a particle measurement solution for your Pharmaceutical API – AAPS 2015

Are you working in the cutting edge world of nano-particle drug delivery systems? How about manufacturing aerosolized medicine that is used in metered-dose inhalers?

Chances are if you answered, yes, you will most likely be in Orlando, Florida this week for the 2015 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition. Commonly referred to as AAPS, this event brings together the best and brightest minds from the Pharmaceutical community to learn about the latest innovations.

For the last four decades, material science professionals have relied on Microtrac’s particle characterization instrumentation to satisfy their analysis needs. One group in particular, the pharmaceutical industry, with a diverse range of products, needs analyzers that deliver fast measurements, precision, and repeatability across a wide material range.

Trends are constantly evolving in the pharmaceutical industry, including new materials. However, one thing remains consistent, Microtrac’s ability to deliver superior analysis capability for materials that range from sub nanometer to several inches.

Located at booth 1480, Microtrac will be showcasing the following particle analyzers at AAPS:

Nano particles – New – Nanotrac Wave II. Ideal for measuring size, zeta potential, and molecular weight of particles ranging from 0.8 to 6500 nanometers, the Wave II delivers superior precision and sensitivity across a wide concentration range. What sets the Wave II apart from other DLS analyzers is the proprietary design elements that create an amplified optical signal. The signal increase is able to clearly detect particles that have low scattering efficiencies and differentiate multi-modal distributions of small and larger particles. We believe in giving customers a choice when it comes to sample introduction. Ask about our variety of sample cell options.

Micron particles – Bluewave – Have a mixture of particles that include nano and micron sized? The Bluewave combines the best of both worlds, blue lasers for sensitivity measuring nano particles and red lasers for accuracy on the larger end. Able to measure particles from 10 nanometers to 2800 microns, the Bluewave also has seamless wet to dry conversion capability. Looking to understand the morphology of your material? Ask how you can visually validate your particles with our integrated Dynamic Image Analyzer.

Coarse particles – Length, width, and thickness. All three dimensions measured in one fast analysis by the PartAn3D. By measuring in 3D, users can understand how morphology affects the quality of their product, monitor deviations, and take immediate corrective action to fix any issues. This proactive approach improves efficiency, reduces wasted materials, and creates higher quality, on spec products. Able to measure from 15 microns to several inches, the PartAn3D is ideal for any free flowing granular material. Ask about our online image analysis capability for real-time measurements.

Can’t make it to Orlando, but want to learn more about our particle characterization solutions? Check out our growing library of on-demand archived webinars by clicking here.

See you in Orlando!

Particle Sphericity Measurements, the Effective Way

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Microtrac

Measuring particle sphericity for the quality control of granular materials (especially fertilizer), a tedious task that involves sieving, eye tests and perhaps optical microscopy.  Although these methods are widely used and accepted, they do present the operator with challenges, not to mention, doesn’t sound like an accurate way to ensure optimal product quality.  Let’s take a closer look at the limitations presented by the manual approach.

Time Consuming

sieving requires loading the material into a stack, waiting for the material to drop, weighing each section, and then manually calculating the results, a process in which most of you would describe as a necessary evil. Even after all that work, sieving only provides you with a particle size distribution; the operator still needs to perform an additional test to measure sphericity.

Sieving requires loading the material into a stack, waiting for the material to drop, weighing each section, and then manually calculating the results, a process in which most of you would describe as a necessary evil. Even after all that work, sieving only provides you with a particle size distribution; the operator still needs to perform an additional test to measure sphericity.

Discrepancies

One man’s round is another person’s irregular.   When you use the “eye test” to determine particle sphericity, variations occur from person to person, which can lead to data inconsistencies that are difficult to rectify, and perhaps leads to arguments between shift managers.

One man’s round is another person’s irregular. When you use the “eye test” to determine particle sphericity, variations occur from person to person, which can lead to data inconsistencies that are difficult to rectify, and perhaps leads to arguments between shift managers.

 

Labor Intensive

Lifting buckets upon buckets of material into a sieve stack during an 8-hour shift taxes the body similar to an intense training session at the gym.  The wear and tear on the body from performing manual labor has lasting effects, well into a person’s retirement.

Lifting buckets upon buckets of material into a sieve stack during an 8-hour shift taxes the body similar to an intense training session at the gym. The wear and tear on the body from performing manual labor has lasting effects, well into a person’s retirement.

Reactive

How many hours pass before enough data is collected from sieving and eye tests to accurately predict a process swing?  Whatever the answer may be typically the error has occurred, forcing the staff to try and make corrections as fast as they can.

How many hours pass before enough data is collected from sieving and eye tests to accurately predict a process swing? Whatever the answer may be typically the error has occurred, forcing the staff to try and make corrections as fast as they can.

Expensive

When you crunch the numbers, the cost of replacing broken sieves quickly adds up.  Not to mention, the amount of off spec product produced before sieves and eye tests detect the error.

When you crunch the numbers, the cost of replacing broken sieves quickly adds up. Not to mention, the amount of off spec product produced before sieves and eye tests detect the error.

On March 12 at 11 am EST, Microtrac would like to introduce you to a faster, accurate, precise, and more cost effective method to measure particle sphericity in real-time.  Join us for a free webinar that explains the benefits of using online dynamic image analysis for characterizing granular material.  The PartAn 3D PRO is the only dynamic image analyzer on the market that can measure particles in all three dimensions in one fast analysis (length, width, and thickness). The PartAn3D PRO is ideal  is ideal for characterizing materials such as fertilizer, proppants, aggregates, pharmaceuticals, and reflective glass beads (to name a few).

The webinar will explain the following advantages of the PartAn 3D PRO.

Ease of Use – The PartAn3D PRO directly integrates into the process loop and an automated delivery device handles the extraction of sample.  Never again will you have to lift heavy buckets of sample into a sieve stack, or manually calculate data.  Simply sit back and let the PartAn do the work.

Accurate – The PartAn3D PRO measures length, width, and thickness in one fast analysis by taking multiple images of the particle as it passes through the sensing zone.  By measuring all three dimensions of the particles, the greater amount of morphology data is generated which provides the PartAn user with a much more accurate analysis compared to conventional methods.  For applications like Fertilizer, ensuring an ideal sphericity is vital to achieving an optimal leach rate.  No instrument on the market can accurately measure sphericity in real-time like the PartAn3D PRO.

Consistent Results – With the PartAn3D PRO, the user can be certain the results of the analysis will be the same, no matter who’s working the shift. The consistent results will be instrumental for identifying areas of improvement to ensure optimal product quality.

Proactive – The PartAn3D PRO is the crystal ball of particle analyzers, users are able to predict process swings in real time and take immediate corrective action. The ability to proactively make adjustments to the process drastically reduces the amount of waste product created.

Cost Savings – The PartAn3D PRO utilizes a non-contact approach to measuring the materials particle size and shape, which does not damage the integrity of the product.  After the analysis, the product “looks as good as new,” thus contributing to the reduction of wasted material production. Unlike a sieve, which frequently breaks, the PartAn3D PRO features a self-cleaning optical chamber, which drastically reduces instrument downtime and associated maintenance cost.  When was the last time a sieve saved you money?

Can’t make the webinar on Thursday?  Don’t worry!  Click below to contact a Microtrac Imaging Specialist regarding the PartAn3D PRO’s capabilities.

Contact Microtrac 

Here is what you missed!

Although this webinar will focus primarily on the fertilizer industry, the following applications can also benefit from measuring sphericity to ensure optimal product quality.

We hope to see you on the 12th!

Control process swings in real time with online dynamic image analysis – Free Webinar

Posted on: November 17th, 2014 by Microtrac

Control process swings in real time with online dynamic image analysis – Free Webinar

Quality control professionals and plant managers, are you interested in the following…

  • Sampling more frequently without working harder?
  • Reducing poor quality product returns?
  • Ensuring top dollar for the product you produce?
  • Increasing production capacity?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you need to join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, November 19th at 11am EST as we discuss the advantages of using Online Image Analysis to monitor and control product quality.

Online Dynamic Image Analysis – provides a robust solution to a problem that plagues quality departments all over the world.

Variations during the production process can lead to negative outcomes that adversely impact the bottom line such as an increase in product returns for poor quality and decreased production output.  Minimizing these occurrences is vital to ensure products remain on spec.  Online Dynamic Image Analysis is an easy to implement quality control process in which a user sets up various morphology parameters, and is notified immediately when the material deviates, enabling quick and decisive action to be taken in order to fix the problem.

MicrotracProcessSwing_New

With over 25 years of online dynamic image analysis experience, Microtrac has a robust line of solutions to meet the demanding needs of the process environment.  See what sets us apart from the competition.

  • Self cleaning mechanism – reduces operator intervention and downtime
  • Explosion proof – rugged enough for the harshest environments
  • Proprietary sample extraction mechanism ensures optimal sampling
  • Ability to integrate with third-party sample systems

Check out our entire Image Analysis Product Line here. 

Here is what you missed! 


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