Versatility in Industrial Gas Analysis and Sample Conditioning Equipment
Kagan Pittman posted on May 06, 2016 |
Nova Analytical Systems explains how to simplify application assessment, maintenance and repair.

Gas analysis is a crucial aspect of manufacturing applications. Failure to accurately analyze gases present in a facility may put efficiency and even the wellbeing of plant personnel at risk.

(Image courtesy of Nova Analytical Systems.)
(Image courtesy of Nova Analytical Systems.)

Analyzing process gases, such as Oxygen (O2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), or Hydrogen (H2), seems to be a straightforward job: detect the gas and respond to the results. However, many process gas applications present difficult challenges due to physical and sampling environments.

These challenges can even complicate applications as seemingly mundane as baking bread in industrial ovens.

Nova Analytical Systems, a manufacturer of industrial gas analyzers and sample conditioning equipment, learned this lesson the hard way. Their customer’s 100-foot-long, industrial-sized ovens produced 25,000 hot dog buns regularly, as well as other bread products.

“A lot of CO2 was being released in this customer’s industrial ovens, as well as some natural gases and other pollutants from the bread itself that seemed to be getting into the equipment and fouling the analysis,” said Grant Freeman, general manager at Nova. “You hear that and think industrial ovens must be a pretty easy application, but it’s actually one of the most challenging we’ve faced in years.”

Freeman’s team at Nova were required to use their heavy duty products to efficiently sample the desired gases without allowing compromises in the integrity of the analyser.

NEMA 4X (N4X) Stainless Steel Cabinet Continuous Gas Analyzer & Purge. (Image courtesy of Nova Analytical Systems.)
NEMA 4X (N4X) Stainless Steel Cabinet Continuous Gas Analyzer & Purge. (Image courtesy of Nova Analytical Systems.)

 “We had to be much more aggressive with how we removed moisture and particulates by using more rugged sensors that could tolerate the environment of the industrial baking ovens,” Freeman said. “We were able to provide a good, stable solution for that customer, but boy, that one was tough.”

Whether a manufacturer is looking to analyse the production of hot dog buns or hot rolled steel, the lessons learned are similar.

“If you took those two applications, it really captures what Nova Analytical Systems does,” Freeman continued. “Gas analysis is very consistent. You tackle a problem in application A and find solutions you can use in application B. It allows our products to be very flexible.”

Environment is Key in Process Gas Analysis

When looking for new gas analysis equipment, the following are some of the most basic factors to consider:

  • What gases are being measured:

Different types of gases require different types of analyzers and configurations to be measured effectively.

  • Are there other elements within the measured gases:

The accuracy of a measurement could be compromised by the presence of unexpected pollutants. Contaminants like moisture and dust may also damage sensors.

  • Where is the analyzer being installed:

Environmental influencers, like barometric pressure or significant temperature fluctuations, can skew readings when not properly accounted for.

An efficiently integrated and adjusted process gas analyzer can obtain accuracy and repeatability ratings of plus or minus one percent.

“We need to know as much as we can about the application,” said David Sheasby, technical sales at Nova. “This way, when we put the solution together, we can make sure the sensors behave in a way that we can anticipate and that is repeatable and viable.”

Gas analyzers and sample conditioning equipment offered by Nova are capable of measuring:

  • CO
  • CO2
  • CH4
  • CI2
  • Dew Point
  • H2
  • He
  • HCI
  • Hydrocarbons
  • LEL Combustibles
  • Multi-Gas Combinations
  • NO
  • NO2
  • NOX
  • NH3
  • O2
  • SF6
  • SO2

Gas Analyzer Maintenance and Repair

When working with some of the more volatile elements listed above, some components in an analyzer may be slowly consumed by corrosive elements in the environment or malfunctions may disrupt a process.

Each analyzer will require unique parts and maintenance requirements depending on their application.

A TGI1061FILTER. (Image courtesy Nova Analytical Systems.)
A TGI1061FILTER. (Image courtesy Nova Analytical Systems.)

For example, high dust applications require more frequent filter inspection. High moisture applications on the other hand, will require more frequent inspection of water collection bowls, liquid block membranes and drain line valves.

Calibration is another issue.

“Our analyzers have fairly open ended programming,” Sheasby explained. “Knowing the program and application, we can set calibration to be done automatically every day to correct for drift. All that needs to be done is to connect the cal gas bottles to the analyzer cal ports.”

Maintenance is simplified to regular checkup dates and monitoring collected data.

“Our 910, 920 and 975 series analyzers have touch screen displays, which carry a lot of information,” Freeman said. “These units have maintenance alert capabilities. Once that alert is sent out, information is presented on the screen on how to troubleshoot if there are any problems and what part number is required for a certain spare part.”

The analyzers simplified design allows for easier repairs and maintenance.

(Image courtesy Nova Analytical Systems.)
(Image courtesy Nova Analytical Systems.)

“We design our equipment so that everything that needs to be changed can be easily accessed,” Sheasby added. “In many cases, what breaks down in this type of equipment are the modules, which are very easy to replace. We recommend that our customers have spare parts and modules prepared.”

Gas analyzers can be sorted by cabinet type or style and intended application to allow for easier location of the correct replacement parts.

Process Gas Analysis with Nova Analytical Systems

Manufacturing applications that require gas analysis are often times of a volatile nature. Manufacturers need to have a thorough understanding of their application when looking to purchase equipment.

(Image courtesy Nova Analytical Systems.)
(Image courtesy Nova Analytical Systems.)

Manufacturers who are less certain about their requirements, should not to hesitate approach providers like Nova when looking to analyze their applications – approaching a partner company early in the process provides more time for planning and discovery of your applications needs.

Sheasby insists that manufacturers be open about their needs and not to be afraid about sharing concerns.

“We have some customers that withhold information from us, thinking it will somehow result in a more economical solution,” he said. “Typically, this only results in an incomplete solution. The smart customers are the ones who are open and who collaborate with us.”

Sheasby adds that early collaboration can also help Nova point out new variables a manufacturer may not have noticed themselves.

When working openly and confidently with a partner like Nova, turnaround times can be as quick as four to eight weeks for standard operations. More customized solutions may take up to 12 weeks, depending on the level of collaboration.

Nova offers a collection of ebook resources for customers who want to stay in the know for topics including How to Choose a Gas Analyzer That is Right for You, and Spare Part Recommendations.

For more information about Nova Analytical systems, their products and services, visit

Choosing A Gas Analyzer  Download our Free eBook

Nova Analytical Systems has sponsored this post. It had no editorial input into this post. All opinions are mine.  –Kagan Pittman

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