Metrohm Process Analytics: Pioneers in Process Analysis

We installed our first online process analyser back in 1978 at Dow Chemical.

Since then we have come a long way and installed more than 10,000 units worldwide.

And since day one, we never shied away from a challenge: We have installed customised process analysers in the desert, on boats, and in dangerous environments, always focusing on understanding the needs of the customers and being close to them.

Read more about our story below.

We love customers who challenge us – Your challenges are our success stories

> An explosion-proof analyser?

> On-site support in the desert?

> Your analyser ... on a boat?

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) with special requirements

Customer

This customer, an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) located in the USA, came to us with an immense challenge which no other vendor could approach: the need to find a manufacturing partner who could combine several specific analytical measurements in a single online process instrument. On top of this, the process analyser needed to work in extremely hazardous environments and conform to explosion-proof (ATEX) requirements. The customer has vast experience in the petrochemical sector with industrial analysis and wanted to be “hands-on” – therefore a true partnership was developed with Metrohm Process Analytics to create a custom solution, which is now sold under the customer’s brand name.

Challenge

A single integrated solution was needed to combine four different analyses within an explosion-proof (ATEX) housing to avoid the time-consuming hot work permits otherwise necessary at the site of any end-user. Previously, these analyses were performed manually and involved exhaustive sampling techniques and laboratory testing, which can introduce bias. Online process monitoring avoids these issues, which are common in the laboratory.

Solution

With this partnership, we offered a single customised solution for process control in place of multiple sensors or process analysers. Metrohm Process Analytics provided a platform with smart programming and result validation, as well as advanced application knowledge to overcome issues with interferences. Development of dynamic sample pretreatment was also necessary for high-temperature hydrocarbon samples.

Conclusion

Metrohm Process Analytics is willing to partner with OEMs with challenging requests and lofty goals. End-users are able to directly benefit from this project resulting from the relationship developed between our customer and Metrohm Process Analytics. The combination of several analyses within a single, explosion-proof online process analyser enables the end-user to reduce chemical treatment, monitor more critical parameters in less time, and run production processes more closely to optimal specifications. Online analysis of these parameters increases employee safety and reduces overall operational costs.

Bromine manufacturer in the desert

Customer

Our customer, located remotely in the desert, is a major producer of bromine, flame retardant chemicals and other brominated products, as well as caustic potash. The manufacture of these chemicals is a highly dangerous operation requiring adherence to extreme safety measures and constant monitoring of key process parameters. Without the proper process data provided in a timely manner, production cannot be controlled, and thus this is a mandatory requirement for their production facility to operate efficiently.

Challenge

Their current process analyser was overdue for repair and in fact was no longer offered on the market. This system is used for process control through chemical adjustment and optimisation in the production of bromine, which is a corrosive and toxic matrix. This process is carried out in a hazardous zone which requires a robust, explosion-proof solution, with short analysis times to provide enough accurate data to monitor any process changes. A support network was needed – not just to provide local service in the middle of the desert, but also to give a series of training (both at Metrohm facilities and on-site at the customer).

Solution

Metrohm Process Analytics developed a special version inline process analyser for this customer, expanding the measurement capabilities far beyond the rest of the offerings available on the market. Requirements for industrial analysis such as robust inline probes to protect against the highly corrosive matrix as well as an explosion-proof (ATEX) housing were also integrated into this challenging process monitoring solution. Local support and training from Metrohm sales organisations were given top priority in this remote location to ensure both proper operation in a dangerous process environment and understanding of the data provided by the inline process analyser.

Conclusion

Our customer can now safely control the production of bromine via inline process monitoring using a turn-key solution developed specially by Metrohm Process Analytics for their challenging needs. Inline measurements taken with a remotely-controlled explosion proof instrument makes the working environment safer for everyone – no handling of chemicals, and quicker (real-time) results in case any production issues arise, which means less downtime. From the customised process analyser to application method development and even on-site training by our experts, we are your partner for any challenge.

Fish delousing process on an active boat

Customer

Our customer, who is a major global player in the chemical industry, has a long-standing relationship with Metrohm Process Analytics and knows who to trust for their challenging non-traditional application requests. In this situation, they needed to find a robust solution to accurately measure a medication which treats fish for lice (delousing agent) in a seawater bath on an actively working boat. Simple.

Challenge

Ensuring correct dosage of the medication as well as monitoring the water quality and waste is essential for compliance with government standards. Fish are introduced to seawater baths containing precise amounts of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) medication for short periods of time for delousing. This removes any attached parasites, which can then be filtered from the water. Underdosing the bath would leave parasites still attached to the fish, resulting in a low quality product or even leading to death of the animal. However, overdosing can cause oxidative stress in the fish, the bleaching of skin/scales, and death as well. Therefore, a quick analysis and response time is needed for accurate treatment.

The fact that this analysis must be carried out on an active boat in remote areas meant that our online process analyser must be rugged enough to withstand everyday usage with unstable footing and rocking, swaying motions. The limited space on board meant that a small footprint was absolutely necessary. Process control in this situation can mean the difference between life and death of the animals.

Solution

A rugged solution, custom-fitted for fast analysis on the ship was proposed to this customer by Metrohm Process Analytics – certainly not a typical industrial application nor location! Furthermore, our team of expert chemists were able to develop an online analysis method now reduced to merely 60 seconds between measurements.  

Conclusion

Currently our customer is able to save more money through several improvements: less medication used due to more accurate dosing, less product loss from inaccurate medication, and overall improved practices owing to the fast analysis times we provide. Our long-standing relationship with this customer allowed us to present a custom-built solution that any other vendor would say no to. From industrial analysis to remote process monitoring, we offer an integrated process solution, not just an analyser.

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We're here for you, around the clock, around the globe

From your first contact with a sales engineer to consultation sessions and emergency services, Metrohm Process Analytics is there for you. Metrohm is present in over 50 countries worldwide and is thus able to provide on-site service and training in the shortest time possible in your local language.

Experience you can trust

More than 10,000 units installed and commissioned worldwide are a testament to our expertise. Our solutions for process control and process monitoring are trusted by leading companies from all industries, e.g.:
  • Petrochemistry
  • Chemicals
  • Semiconductors
  • Food and beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Surface finishing
  • Power / energy
  • Mineral extraction
  • Wastewater treatment

And what is your challenge?

We'd love to help you solve your analytical challenges. Let us know and we'll get in touch.

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