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May 2006
ESSA Australia Ltd/Labfit
Complete (6 systems operational)
Project Description

ICON Technologies supplied the machine control systems that are a component of Labfit’s TGA-1000 and TGA-4000 Thermogravimetric Analysers. Thermogravimetric analysis involves the measurement of weight loss from samples as they pass through a series of progressively higher temperature furnaces. The weight loss at specific temperatures is used to characterise the sample. The iron ore industry is a major market for thermogravimetric analysis, where it is used to determine loss-on-ignition (LOI) from samples of raw ore.

Thermogravimetric analysis is traditionally a slow, labour-intensive, batch process. The TGA-4000 receives manually loaded carousels, and then automates the complete analysis procedure, before returning cooled carousels to a manual unloading station. It is capable of returning around 1000-1300 results per 24 hr working day.

The TGA-4000 machine control system is based on a National Instruments Compact FieldPoint PAC Controller and Network Interface, with a PC-based local operator interface. Samples are transported between the various system stations and furnaces using an industry standard ABB robot. The system includes around 130 digital I/O points, a 16-bit digital interface to the ABB robot, and serial communications to four furnace controllers and ten industrial balances.

Integration Products

NI Compact FieldPoint, LabVIEW, LabVIEW RT, Moxa network switches and device servers