Showing posts with label EMC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EMC. Show all posts

What Are Critical Angle Refractometers?

Critical angle refractometersCritical angle refractometers use the principle of critical angle refractometry by which dissolved solids content is related to the refractive index of the solution. The basic refractometer unit unit consists of a sensing head and control console. The sensing head is mounted on the adapter installed in the process line and the process solution is usually viewed through a transparent window. The surface of the solution, which is in contact with the window, is optically scanned by an octagonal prism.

The refractive index is determined by a beam of light from the prism which repeatedly sweeps at a varying angle at the surface of the solution. At a point in the cycle, as the angle between the incident light beam and the surface decreases, the light beam instead of refracting into the solution is reflected back into the optical system. The point of change from refraction to reflection depends on the refractive index of the solution and is known as the critical angle. The prism scans the beam of light through the critical angle. A photodetector measures the alternating light and dark periods and its electrical output is used to provide a readout of refractive index in the required units (R. I., % concentration, degrees Brix., etc.).

Critical angle refractometers
Optical Path
Diagram - How They Work

Critical angle refractometers use an LED as a light source and utilizes state of the art CCD (charge coupled device) technology to accomplish scanning the reflected light returned from the prism.

Light radiated from the LED passes through the prism surface to be reflected off mirror 1 to the prism-to-process interface. The light reaching this interface intersects the same interface over a series of angles chosen to include critical angle for the process being measured. Light intersecting the interface at an angle greater than critical angle is refracted into the solution. Light intersecting the interface at less than critical angle is reflected up to mirror 2 and out of the prism up to the CCD linear array to be scanned.

A principal advantage of critical angle refractometry is that it measures the index of refraction at the surface of the process solution. Since the light beam does not penetrate into the solution, the instrument can be used for opaque as well as transparent materials.

Electron Machine Corporation Highlighted for Renewable Energy Investment

From the original article titled "Electron Machine Makes Big Investment In Umatilla Future" and reprinted with permission from The North Lake Outpost, Vol. 40, No 4.

With one eye cast to preserving its deep roots in Umatilla, and another to an efficient, competitive future, the Electron Machine Corporation recently embarked on a major upgrade of its facility. The firm, with decades of history in Umatilla manufacturing and distributing products that provide process measurement for the pulp and paper industry, the food and beverage industry, and the chemical industry, recently faced a crossroads.

Solar panel installation
Solar panel installation.

“We are a small firm. We have to be more nimble. We have to think differently to compete in the industries we’re serving,” said C.A. Vossberg, third generation of the Vossberg family who today oversees the firm’s operations.

Electron Machine HQ
Electron Machine HQ
Facing the need to undertake major upgrades on the company’s aging 25,000 square foot building, a large portion of which isn’t fully utilized, there was discussion about where the future should be.

“We don’t have to have a brand new building, but we need reliability,” Vossberg said, reporting of roofing issues that were hampering operations.

“We said, ‘What is best for the long term?”

 Solar panel installation
Solar panel installation.
Eventually, the decision was made to fix the roof, and more. After nine months, during which countless delays brought about by Hurricane Irma made things even worse, the firm is closing in on completion of a project that features a large solar panel farm that is set to generate enough solar power to run the building.

Vossberg said the idea for solar power at the plant isn’t a new one, given the building’s large, flat roof. But technology has improved to the point to make the project more viable.
“The project is sized so that our net energy consumption over the year will be next to zero,” Vossberg said, a big positive when looking to the financial bottom line of operating at its current location.

There is a big cost to installing such a large solar system. However, Electron Machine has applied for a grant through the USDA to help offset the cost.

“They have a rural America program that encourages employees to remain there, and not move into the city,” Vossberg said. “That’s exactly what we are trying to do.”

Solar powered roof
Bird's-eye view of Electron Machine's solar charged roof.
Vossberg has been a proponent of rural job creation, supporting Lake Tech’s new manufacturing training facility in Eustis which is designed to increase employability in the manufacturing field, and can be found attending City of Umatilla functions regarding the Umatilla Municipal Airport. Electron Machine is among the users of the airport, and Vossberg has said it’s existence is an important cog in the wheel that allows his business to continue to function here.

“Being here, it’s who we are,” Vossberg said.

Refractometers for Industry

Industrial process refractometers provide safe, reliable, and accurate process measurement for the pulp and paper industry, the food and beverage industry, and the chemical industry. Electron Machine manufactures the world's most rugged refractometers and has thousands of refractometers controlling processes, improving quality, and saving cost in these industries around the world.

Technical Sales Representatives: The Often Underutilized Asset

Work with your technical sales rep
Work with your technical sales rep.
It will pay off in ways you haven't imagined.
Process refractometers are sold with the support of sales engineers working for the local distributor or representative. By realizing what these specialists have to contribute, and taking advantage of their knowledge and talent, you will save time and money and experience a better project outcome.

Consider these contributions:

Product Knowledge:
Sales engineers, by the nature of their job, are current on new products, their capabilities and their proper application. Unlike information available on the Web, sales engineers get advanced notice of product obsolescence and replacement. Also, because they are exposed to so many different types of applications and situations, sales engineers are a wealth of tacit knowledge that they readily share with their customers.

As a project engineer or leader, you may be treading on fresh ground with a refractometry requirement for your current assignment. You may not have a full grasp on how to handle a particular challenge presented by a project. If this is the case, call in the local technical sales representative - there can be real benefit in connecting to a source with past exposure to your current requirement.

Of course, sales engineers will be biased. Any solutions proposed are likely to be based upon the products sold by the representative. But the best sales people will share the virtues of their products openly and honestly, and even admit when they don’t have the right product. This is where the discussion, consideration and evaluation of several solutions become part of achieving the best project outcome.

Whatever your stake in an upcoming or ongoing project, it's highly recommended you develop a professional, mutually beneficial relationship with a technical sales expert, a problem solver. Look at a relationship with the local sales engineer as symbiotic. Their success, and your success, go hand-in-hand.