Characterisation of the size and shape of dry powders, fibres and granules from 5 µm to over 3,500 µm with process-ready image analysis
The combination of PICTOS & VIBRI unites dosing, dispersion and sensing into a versatile and robust image analysis system that is equally at home in process-related on-line installations and in laboratory environments with automated sample feeding (at-line). Thanks to the use of the integrated RODOS dispersion in the PICTOS system, bulk materials can be reliably dispersed and measured dry. Even cohesive powders, intertwined fibres or agglomerating granules are reliably dispersed. The dynamic image analysis delivers a statistically robust and meaningful characterisation of the size and shape of compact particles from 5 µm to 3,500 µm – or even significantly higher for elongated fibres. Even smallest amounts of oversize and undersize particles or individual particles with special physical properties, such as aggregates, breakage or impurities, can be reliably detected. The high-frequency image analysis close to production supports integrated quality inspection and optimised process control.
The PICTOS system can be used both for fixed, stationary installation or in a mobile frame for use in the pilot plant or at changing measurement locations. An integration into control systems for processes or for automated laboratories is realised with common communication standards such as Modbus®, Profibus® or OPC (Open Platform Communications) with TCP/IP, RS232 or RS485. The control and evaluation software typically receives an ID and a time stamp for a sample from the control system. The system performs the measurement and reports back the measurement results to the control system. If the products are changed, the system calls up a corresponding measurement specification and adjusts the measuring and dispersion parameters fully automatically. In this way, remote controlled or autonomous measurements can be performed even if there are frequent product and grade changes.
Customization to the specific process environment and to the products that are to be measured is achieved in close cooperation with your process engineers and our experienced engineering team. Special designs for regulated environments (GMP) are belong to our portfolio.
- Particle size, particle shape, fibre characterisation
- For dry, fine to coarse grained powders, fibres and granules
- For process-related analyses with suitable sampling and feeding | on-line
- For analyses in laboratories with automated sample feeding | at-line
- Sample amount per analysis < 1 mg to 1,000 g
- 2 high-resolution measuring ranges from 5 µm to over 3,500 µm | M7, M8
- Variable installation for stationary operation or for mobile applications
- Measurement outside the process line under process-related conditions
- Remote control of the measurement procedure via TCP/IP or serial interface
- Transmission of results to the control system via TCP/IP, Modbus®, Profibus®, OPC, RS232, RS485 | TXT or CSV file transfer
- Monitoring of multiple process lines with a single sensor | Multiplex installation
- GMP optional
off-line functionality with manual sample feed
Of course, the PICTOS & VIBRI system can also be used as a manually operated laboratory instrument. The process-design of the sensor is ideal for analyses in batch production or in the pilot plant. As standard, the systems are pre-equipped for potential integration at a later date into an at-line laboratory automation system.
The PICTOS system is operated in a bypass line to the main process stream and is supplied with product samples from the product stream via a sampling system. A multiplex installation, in which multiple sampling points are connected to just one sensor, can also be implemented. The precision vibratory feeder VIBRI can be used as the interface for transferring the process sample; with a uniform, regulated product supply it guarantees the optimum sample concentration in the measuring zone of the PICTOS system. By connecting optional process samplers such as TWISTER, SCREWSAMPLER or a probe, PICTOS can be extended into a fully-fledged on-line measurement system. Alternatively, suitable samplers can be provided by the customer and connected directly to the PICTOS with clamp connections. After measurement, the sample can optionally be returned to the process, disposed of via an extraction system or made available for further analyses via a cyclonic separation.
The at-line version of the robust PICTOS dispersion and sensor unit is suitable for automated laboratory operations. The integration in the central control system and the reporting of results are adapted to the existing communication environment. The system is either mounted stationary to a wall or frame or in a mobile rack. After the automated feeding of the sample into the funnel of the VIBRI dosing system, all of the required dispersion and measurement steps right up to the evaluation and presentation of results are performed autonomously or via remote control. Rapid measurement and cleaning cycles, integrated autofocusing and suction monitoring combine to deliver a low-maintenance system that is always ready to perform measurements.