ICON Technologies was asked by Alcoa to develop a new automated analyser for alumina refinery plant liquors, to replace a previous version that had been developed in-house. The aim for the new analyzer was that it runs “round-the-clock”, unattended, and provide 4 times the sample throughput at half the scale-up cost of the previous system.
The ALIAN system uses a PC-based LabVIEW software interface to integrate the functions of industry standard laboratory equipment (Gilson Auto-Samplers, Mettler, and Metrohm Titrators), with a custom-built titration vessel and pump/switch box. It performs all functions of the analysis from the receiving and scheduling of samples, parallel execution of analyses on up to four auto-titrators, auto-calculation of results, communication of results to the master LIMS system, and internal monitoring of results quality via standard SPC tools. ALIAN supports multiple calculation models, and titration methods are user-scriptable.
The new analyzer met or exceeded all targets. It exceeded its throughput targets, offered more analysis options, and took up half the bench space of the system it replaced at about half the build cost.
NI Week 2000 Finalist: “Best Applications Paper” in the Test and Quality category
NI PC-based DAQ boards, N-DAQ, LabVIEW, Gilson Auto-Sampler, Mettler & Metrohm Titrators
Read the detailed user solution paper