I spent last week in Sweden commissioning a multi-zone gas analyser (MZA) for Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco) in Sweden. The system was designed specially for Epiroc using SSi’s standard 3-Gas NDIR sensor. 8 furnaces will be continuously sampled, giving Epiroc’s process and maintenance teams full visibility of their furnace’s CO, CO2, and CH4 values. CO and CO2 are key process indicators which can be used to calculate the furnace’s carbon potential. Using Modbus RS485 communications, the NDIR carbon potential can then be compared to the SSi oxygen sensor instrument’s carbon potential and automatically corrected and alarmed if there is a deviation. CH4 values provide useful maintenance data, since high CH4 values are associated with excess uncracked hydrocarbon resulting from leaks or burner tube issues. XGA Viewer software provides remote charting.
The most critical element of installing these systems is minimising leaks between the furnace and the sensor, even tiny leaks can produce significantly inaccurate readings. This can be a frustrating and time-consuming process when there are long tube lengths involved, but it is ultimately rewarding. On this system, the gas analyser returned a carbon potential value of 1.22% whilst the furnace’s oxygen probe control instrument was reading 1.20%. This level of deviation provides Epiroc with the certainty that their parts are being processed in the correct environment and reassurance that if there is a deviation between the two values, it is caused by a furnace issue and not a sampling issue.
Thanks to Alex of IF TECH (www.furnace.se) and to Per-Magnus of Epiroc for the great support!