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Thread: POWTECH 2004: Hydro Production Partner

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    POWTECH 2004: Hydro Production Partner

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    Online Quality Control of Granulates in the Production

    Today's process technology requires the user to have all the relevant production data available immediately.

    Norsk Hydro developed in 1985 the photo-optical particle analyzer PartAn, which measured in an online mode the particle shape and size, for use in their manufacture of fertilizer granules. The Norsk Hydro engineers developed the PartAn in tandem with the production process technology to ensure that the PartAn would function in a rugged production environmental.

    The goal was to have a Particle Analyzer, which measure Online in a quick and reliable way the particle size and shape. The robust design and the technology employed now offers the operator an Online Particle Analysis System that communicates with all major process control methods. The relevant results are transferred every 3 to 5 minutes up line to the system controller.

    The first PartAn unit was installed in 1986 in a fertilizer production factory in Norway. Since that time there are many PartAn systems working worldwide in many different manufacturing processes and application areas. PartAn can be connected to any type of sampling system to make sure that the material taken is a truly representative sample of the manufacturing process and the process engineer has accurate information about the particle shape and size of the material in process.

    Any changes inside the process can be detected immediately and the operator is now able to control the process in real time, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year. The experience over the past 17 years has shown that the PartAn Particle Size Analysis System has saved a great deal of money and increased production efficiency and product quality. For example, simply having real time data of fines content allows process correction so avoiding up to 40% of down time due to blocking of sieves.


    PartAn Size and Shape Analysis with Auto Sampler

    Currently standard sieve analysis can take up to 20 minutes per sample with the number of procedures involved. It can occupy one or more laboratory technicians on a full time basis to maintain a continues quality control system using standard sieve techniques. With this type of manual system variability of results will also occur between technicians in addition to the high cost of operation.

    Since 1986 the Norsk Hydro PartAn shape and size analysis system has been used as a quality control tool in many and varied applications. The major benefit of this system has been totally user independent results together a reduced analysis time of less than 5 minutes per sample and reduced cost of operation.

    The PartAn system has been subject to further developments during the past years with the introduction of the PartAn 2001L. This latest version of the instrument includes the Auto Sampler Feeder for the laboratory version. The Auto Sampler, which has a world wide patent, was designed to optimize the sample handling to the PartAn. The Auto Sampler is capable of handling up to 26 samples, which are transported automatically for measurement and analysis in the PartAn system with no operator intervention. The loading procedures for the system will take just 10 minutes per 26 samples. The analyzed data can be stored by the on board computer system, printed and networked back to a central data processing server.

    The benefits of the PartAn 2001 with the new Auto Sampler are immediate in their time saving and improved quality of results. To prepare the samples takes just 10 minutes, the analysis time for these samples is less than two hours during this time the data is stored, printed and centrally archived and the PartAn is ready for the next batch of material.

    The results produced are reliable, reproducible and operator independent. All results are fitted to the standard sieve analysis so the results are fully comparable to the historic sieve data. There are also cost savings as exchange of sieves will not be required as is normally the case to guarantee good quality control. The PartAn during its 18 years of in-field use produces no follow-on cost after installation.

    For more information, please visit:
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