Smart Soft Sensors for your Industrial Process
“Enhance research capabilities and provide improved calibration for specimen estimation using SensorInsight.”
Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy is used in a wide range of laboratory and industrial applications to provide estimates of composition. Highly reliable estimates of composition can be obtained for clean liquids such as refinery process streams that are free of contaminants such as emulsified water droplets and fine particulates (Sonbul, 2002). However, the analysis of multiphase materials is complicated by matrix effects. Shaw and Kratochvil reported that, “Specular reflection and the effects of particle size, sample packing and surface irregularities can have a substantial impact on both the overall intensity of reflected radiation and the contrast between base-line and absorbance peaks.” The importance of matrix effects is most clearly demonstrated by the fact the NIR spectroscopy can be used a method for particle size analysis of solid materials (Pasikatan et al, 2001)
To address common issues and provide oil sands operators with a more reliable estimate of the ore properties using the NIR Spectrometry instruments, Pattern Discovery Technologies developed SensorInsight. The software is developed in two parts: NIR Workbench – a software application that enhances research into spectral analysis by providing improved calibration for specimen estimation, and a NIR Device – the commercial application that converts the spectra into calibrated single value readings using the NIR device software for input into a Digital Control System (DCS) and data historian.
NIR – Workbench
The NIR – Workbench allows you to build predictive models using Dean-Stark, Particle Size and NIR data obtained from lab samples. The models built using the workbench can be utilized by the SensorInsight Device Software.
NIR Workbench provides an integrated analytical environment for NIR spectrum analysis and visualization. The purpose of the application is to provide the environment and algorithms that help an analyst to better understand the characteristics of the spectra and their relationships with ore properties, such as bitumen, water, and minerals. To accomplish this, a number of signal processing algorithms, transformations, and visualization techniques are available through a customized graphical user interface for easy operation.
The main functions of this application are:
- to analyze spectra, spectra groups and their differences for in-depth understanding of the characteristics of NIR spectra and their relationships to ore properties
- to transform original spectra into other forms or adjust its values for better understanding and comparison
- to interactively visualize spectra, spectra groups, and other information for better analysis
- to calibrate a prediction model of one or more oil sands properties for the NIR spectrum acquiring device.
NIR Device Software
NIR Device Software is the runtime system which will be installed on site. It interacts with the NIR instrumentation and the DCS. It uses the models created by the workbench to predict in real-time, the bitumen, water, and D50 compositions for the oil sands.
The NIR Runtime Device Software is a Windows service application that runs on an industrial PC located on site. The software provides the necessary calibration needed in order to analyze and interpret the spectra readings from the NIR device and relay these results to the DCS.
The results include a determination of the bitumen content, water content and the D50 particle size associated with the ore. Various other status indicators (available from the NIR device) are also relayed to the DCS. These include information such as temperatures of the instrument panels/components, alarm conditions, as well as an ability to send a belt start/stop indicator to the NIR device for purpose of controlling the lamp.