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A changing economic landscape in process analytics

6 July 2011 No Comment

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Here in the UK, the Government’s recent decisions to become the first country in the world to impose a carbon floor price and to commit to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions (relative to 1990 figures) by 2025, have met with mixed reviews.

Seen by many as encouragement for the nuclear industry, the decisions are also good news for the burgeoning green technology sector. On the other hand, well-established industries that are by necessity energy-intensive remain less than enthusiastic despite reassurances of protection.

Seismic shifts, continuous evolution

For the processing industries, rising energy costs are a stimulus towards greater manufacturing efficiency. Here, automation is a continuing trend, with automated analysis and control delivering multiple benefits. Reduced manpower requirements, more consistent product, less waste and lower energy consumption are all part of the equation. An automation project is justified against the economic benefit that it delivers – a balance that changes constantly.

Legislative moves are often designed to prompt rapid change, but in other ways the economic landscape evolves more slowly. Despite the ‘breakthrough’ headlines, technology tends to mature gradually; technical risk and entry price fall as solutions become more robust and universally applicable.

So, choosing the best solution for automation calls for regular re-assessment of both the technology available and the potential benefits.

On-line sizing comes of age

On-line particle sizing is now a mature automation technology. Proven over the last decade it has become increasingly accessible, both technically and financially. While turnkey solutions remain available for those who prefer them, in its simplest form on-line sizing is now a sensor-only purchase.

With technical maturity pushing down entry level costs while energy prices and global competition continue to increase, now may be a good time to re-assess the technology. The new economics may surprise you. To find out more please contact us here, or through the other Malvern channels.