MEPCA speaks to Cambridge Sensotec to find out how developments in gas analysis are supporting innovation in manufacturing and processing industries.
In an industrial context how have the capabilities of gas analysis equipment developed over recent years?
The gas analysis industry has developed dramatically over the years with gas measuring technology now more stable, accurate and reproducible. Monitoring and measuring gas is often a necessity within many industries which reinforces the requirement for gas analysers to be more compact, lightweight and often battery powered. As the technology has advanced, it is now possible to measure a much wider range of toxic and inert gases. This ensures flexibility for gas analyser manufacturers like Cambridge Sensotec to fulfil customer demands and requirements. One of the most significant developments within the industry is that analysers are increasingly more computer driven. Gas analysers have become more technology intelligent acting like a computer providing live time graphing, data logging, closed-loop process control and even remote telemetry. This development allows original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers to have highly bespoke solutions for their specific applications.
How have the developments supported innovations in manufacturing and processing applications?
The developments within gas analysis equipment over the years have enabled better process control and consistency of product for the manufacturer. For example, the solder reflow industry historically used very little or no inert gas atmosphere during circuit board production. As the industry strives for perfection manufacturing increasingly complex and miniature circuit boards, the introduction of inert gas blanketing together with on-line continuous gas analysis has become commonplace. The latest gas analysers are now so intelligent that they control the gas flow directly using multiple sample points and closed-loop PID technology.
Can you give me examples of how your equipment is being used in manufacturing or processing applications?
Cambridge Sensotec’s range of gas analysers is suitable for a broad range of applications such as additive manufacturing, solder reflow, research and development, manufacturing, inert gas blanketing, gloveboxes and the food industry amongst others. Cambridge Sensotec has historically worked with many metal 3D printing and solder reflow companies which has enabled us to expand our knowledge in oxygen analysis. Within Cambridge Sensotec, Dynascan is a brand that has been operating since 2014; its focus is on seal integrity and leak detection within packaging in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industry. Manufacturers use our Rapidox gas analysers and Dynascan leak detection equipment to ensure whatever the sector or product the end product is manufactured safely and to the highest standard to meet customer expectations.
What should specifiers consider when looking for a gas analysis solution for their application?
The type of gas analyser required depends on the specific environment described by the user. Things to consider include the temperature of the gas, whether it is in a hot or cold location, the pressure of gas – whether it is atmospheric, under vacuum or under elevated pressure. Lastly, users should know about the presence of interfering gases, whether flammable gas, VOC’s or unexpected gases such as helium or hydrogen that are within their environment. Specific types of gas analysers exist for all these situations.