What Is an Inline Computerized Particle Analyzer? (Definition, Benefits, and Drawbacks)
From the food we consume to the roads that facilitate our daily commute, particle size analysis plays an integral role in our everyday lives. As technology progresses, the demand for automated equipment increases dramatically.
This is where Inline Computerized Particle Analysis System (CPA) comes into play.
With over 140 years of particle size analysis experience, W.S. Tyler takes pride in providing customers with solutions that simplify the tedious manual steps of a reliable particle size analysis.
With that, this article will define what an Inline CPA is, breakdown how they benefit quality control, identify the different options on the market, and analyze the drawbacks associated with them.
What Is an Inline CPA?
An Inline CPA unit is a dynamic image analysis system that is placed in the line of production. It utilizes a matrix camera that is more advanced than the line scan camera of online units as well as edge detection technology to conduct a trend analysis.
Trend analysis is best described as the detection and observation of common traits of a production line. This allows the equipment to identify the different particle sizes as they travel through the production line.
So how is an inline CPA different from an Online CPA?
Well, with an Online CPA unit, you must use a mechanism to extract a representative sample from the production. That sample is then analyzed separately with the results showing the particle size of that specific sample at a slower rate.
How Does an Inline CPA Benefit Quality Control?
As Inline CPA units are placed directly in the line of production, they give quality control operators a significant amount of control in terms of the ability to solve problems quickly to eliminate waste.
To put this into perspective, let’s say you work in the aggregate industry and want to know the aggregate quality that it is producing in real-time. Placing an inline unit at the exit end of the crusher will provide a trend analysis of the size of the material.
With this information, you can determine if the material is constantly getting larger and the crusher needs to be turned up or, on the other hand, the material is constantly getting smaller and the crusher needs to be turned down.
What Solutions Are available?
When it comes to the variety of Inline units available, there are three to choose from: The Haver S 6-1 Inline, the Haver M 7-1 Inline, and the Haver R 8-1 Inline. We will now analyze how they differ.
Haver S 6-1 Inline
The Haver S 6-1 Inline is a fully automated system designed to provide real-time analysis of the size and shape analysis on conveyor belts. What’s unique about this particular unit is its “Plug-n-play” capabilities.
This means that you simply set up the unit in a desired area in your production line and run it. With that, this unit can easily communicate with other systems in your production line through the use of other connection standards, such as GSM, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi.
That said, this unit typically carries a price tag of $86,000.
NOTE: For best results, this unit should be placed at least 5 meters away from the drop spot, as this will ensure all material is settled before being analyzed.
Haver M 7-1 Inline
The Haver M 7-1 is an expandable automated system designed to measure the size, shape, volume, and color of particles on a conveyor belt. The biggest difference between the 6-1 and the 7-1 is that this unit does not work standalone and must be connected to your control center.
This system also uses an integrated industrial-grade camera to send particle size analysis results to the required workstation. Each workstation can control up to 6 cameras and uses Linux.
Now, you can only run information from one camera to another with 100 meters of Ethernet or Cat-6 wiring. If you exceed 100 meters, you either have to implement a repeater switch or fiber optic cabling.
That said, this unit is cheaper than the 6-1 standing at $54,000. However, each additional camera that is needed to implement the 7-1 inline is an additional $16,000.
Haver R 8-1 Inline
Unlike the 6-1 or 7-1, the Haver R 8-1 Inline is simply a standalone matrix camera that is designed to measure the size, shape, and of particles on rail-car vehicles. Its compact design allows it to be implemented with ease and can be accessed remotely.
While it was designed for standalone use, its unique integrated processor allows it to be converted into a solo online particle size analysis tool with ease.
When it comes to price, the Haver R 8-1 Inline typically costs $86,000.
What Are the Drawbacks of Using an Inline Unit?
When compared to an online or lab Dynamic Image Analysis System, one of the biggest drawbacks of using an Inline unit is its size of particles that can be analyzed. Currently, the size range that can be accurately analyzed by an inline unit is 4 to 150 millimeters.
To explain this further, take into consideration that when the material moves along the production line all the finer particles vibrate to the bottom. With the camera analyzing the material from a birds-eye view, it is capturing the larger particles on top and missing the particles that have settled beneath them.
Naturally, this is not ideal for particle size analysis operations that call for the analysis of smaller particles like sand. If your particular process works with these fine materials, an online CPA unit may be a better fit as they can analyze particles as fine as 10 micron.
Automate Your Particle Size Analysis Process
Inline CPA units are specialized dynamic image analyst systems designed to operate directly in your production line. Through the use of a matrix camera, these systems provide a thorough trend analysis that helps to identify common patterns within your production line.
What makes these systems particularly useful are their ability to grant quality control personnel the control needed to quickly solve problems and minimize product waste.
That said, there are three Inline CPA units available on the market today:
- The Haver S 6-1 Inline is a fully automated and “plug and play” system designed to analyze the size and shape of particles on conveyor belts in real-time.
- The Haver M 7-1 is an expandable automated system that was designed to work standalone and must be connected to your control center.
- The Haver R 8-1 Inline is simply a standalone matrix camera that can be converted into a solo online particle size analysis tool with ease.
W.S. Tyler has worked in the Particle Size Analysis industry for over 140 years and is here to help ensure you implement the tools needed to make your operation is running as efficiently as possible.
To learn more about how Dynamic Image Analysis Systems work, review our Computerized Particle Analyzer Product Guide.
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About Ronnie Brown
Ronnie is the Content Writer for W.S. Tyler and has four years of experience as a professional writer. He strives to expand his knowledge on all things particle analysis and woven wire mesh to leverage his exceptional writing and graphic design skills, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for customers.