Case studies

case study 5  

A pharmaceutical development company achieves more effective pre-screening of cells through use of Malvern’s viscometers

Case study 9  

Brüel & Kjær Sound & Vibration’s system helps gas turbine testers to increase test efficiency, significantly shortening test times

Case study 10  

Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s monitoring systems help the second-largest electric utility company in Chile to optimise machine uptime and reliability and reduce maintenance costs

Case study 11  

Red Lion Controls helps to provide a fail-safe communication network for the power generation market

case study 1  

Producer of folded carton board achieves improvements in quality and increased productivity through use of BTG’s coating blades

case study 2  

Oil refiner achieves increase in burn efficiency (and hence substantial cost savings) using Servomex’s gas analysers

case study 3  

Wind turbine operators achieve substantial cost savings through use of B&K Vibro’s remote machine condition monitoring equipment

case study 4  

A manufacturer of consumer goods uses Red Lion’s operator panels to reduce downtime in its parts welding facilities

case study 6  

Gold mining company uses ESG’s microseismic systems and services to ensure safety and production integrity of substantial mining project

case study 7  

A snack food company uses NDC’s near infra-red analysers to ensure consistent quality and achieve reduction in waste

case study 8  

Pulp producer achieves increased yield through use of BTG’s single point KAPPA analyser

  •  

    A pharmaceutical development company achieves more effective pre-screening of cells through use of Malvern’s viscometers

    Background

    The life science sector is undergoing rapid development and is one of Spectris’ key strategic growth markets. In 2012, we established the Bioscience Development Initiative (‘BDI’) within our Materials Analysis segment to focus on how we could best bring our characterisation expertise to specific biopharmaceutical measurement problems. Through partnerships with key customers in industry and academia, our experts within BDI aimed to develop solutions for some of the challenges within biopharmaceutical development and manufacture.

    The challenge

    A major pharmaceutical development company needed to screen candidate therapeutic antibody molecules as early as possible in the development process, using only very small sample volumes. This ensured that only the most promising candidates with acceptable viscosity and particle size profiles progressed to clinical trials for wide-ranging applications such as cancer therapies and the treatment and prevention of viral diseases.

    The solution

    Malvern Instruments’ Viscosizer TD was used to accurately measure the particle size in, and the viscosity of, very small samples. As a result, 15% of the antibody candidates measured failed the new test criteria. The instrument was also able to return the samples intact for further testing, providing additional cost savings to the customer.

    Benefit to customer

    Effective pre-screening resulted in substantial cost savings for the customer through not having to continue with development of non-viable antibody candidates.

  •  

    Brüel & Kjær Sound & Vibration’s system helps gas turbine testers to increase test efficiency, significantly shortening test times

    Background

    Aircraft manufacturers are required to meet strict regulations on noise and emissions whilst at the same time seeking to reduce fuel consumption. French company Snecma, part of international group Safran, which supplies engines to companies such as Boeing and Airbus, has developed a new engine called LEAP. This features some of the industry’s most advanced technology to make it quieter and more fuel efficient, helping the aviation industry meet its environmental protection objectives.

    The challenge

    Snecma has optimised the aerodynamic design of the engine turbine blades, using woven carbon fibre composite fan blades to achieve greater performance. However, the gas turbine is a highly complex machine that needs comprehensive testing and analysis during development in order to optimise its dynamic behaviour. Each test is a major operation which requires detailed planning: test systems must be scalable and capable of handling large amounts of data from parameters such as
    strain, vibration, pressure and speed.

    The solution

    In order to speed up testing and certification of the LEAP engine, which will power the next generation of single-aisle commercial jets, Snecma selected a Brüel & Kjær Sound & Vibration gas turbine testing system. This is based on LAN-XI data acquisition hardware and PULSE Reflex data processing software, which together provide dynamic data recording, real-time monitoring and post-test analysis, with the flexibility and portability that Snecma required.

    Benefit to the customer

    Brüel & Kjær’s system helps gas turbine testers to increase test efficiency and flexibility and improve data integrity. The system can be set up quickly, which significantly shortens test times. Real-time instant feedback is provided through multiple networked monitoring stations to ensure the validity of the test data and eliminate the need for a re-test.

  •  

    Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s monitoring systems help the second-largest electric utility company in Chile to optimise machine uptime and reliability and reduce maintenance costs

    Background

    Hydroelectric power generation is playing an increasingly vital role in global energy production. Many newer hydroelectric power stations are purpose-built for peak load operation and are subject to multiple stops and starts, and the generating units have to be fully operational when needed. Our systems detect vibration which provides an early indication of machine faults in time to avoid catastrophic failures and consequential downtime.

    The project

    Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s monitoring systems are installed in more than 750 hydro turbines around the world. The company was recently awarded a contract by Colbún, the second-largest electric utility company in Chile, for protection and condition monitoring at all six of its cascade hydropower stations on the Aconcagua river basin. Environmental impact has been minimised as no dams needed to be built and the use of hydropower means there is less dependence on coal and natural gas.

    The solution

    Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s monitoring systems will be installed in each of the six hydropower stations and a Compass 6000 condition monitoring platform will be centrally located at the Los Quilos station for remotely monitoring all the machines. The comprehensive service and training Brüel & Kjær Vibro offers was also a key factor in gaining the contract.

    Benefit to the customer

    Remote monitoring of the hydropower station machines will enable Colbún to understand machine conditions by detecting faults before they can cause failure, thus optimising machine uptime and reliability and reducing maintenance costs.

  •  

    Red Lion Controls helps to provide a fail-safe communication network for the power generation market

    Background

    Germany continues to lead the energy revolution by integrating alternative energy sources into its mainstream electrical grid supply. German company Deutsche Energie Funk is a provider of electricity demand and monitoring solutions for the power generation market, connecting decentralised plants and distribution grids to a central control point.

    The challenge

    The company needed to develop a solution to address the demands of collecting real-time data from different power generation sources and providing it to downstream systems such as electrical transportation, storage and substations. These rely on real-time accurate data for efficient power source and electrical grid management. However, wind farms and solar plants are typically remotely located, making monitoring and control more difficult.

    The solution

    Using Red Lion Controls’ Sixnet VersaTRAK remote terminal units, Deutsche Energie Funk is able to reliably collect and store input and output data points from substation equipment located in or near wind farms, solar plants and co-generation facilities. The data is then pushed to radios which securely communicate with the energy supplier rooms so that the appropriate mix of generation methods can be matched with current energy demand.

    Benefit to the customer

    Red Lion Controls’ solution helps to ensure reliable network security and management, providing a fail-safe communication network which enables the smart grid provider to better serve its customers.

  •  

    Producer of folded carton board achieves improvements in quality and increased productivity through use of BTG’s coating blades

    Description of product / application

    BTG’s tungsten carbide coating blades are used in the surface treatment of graphic paper and packaging board applications. They provide more consistent print surface quality and are more durable than competitor blades.

    Benefit to customer

    A large Chinese producer of folded carton board was able to achieve savings of around €1m p.a. across two coated paperboard machines through improvements in surface quality (i.e. fewer scratches and micro-lines) and increased productivity (due to the longer blade-life of BTG’s blades), when compared with blades provided by a competitor.

  •  

    Oil refiner achieves increase in burn efficiency (and hence substantial cost savings) using Servomex’s gas analysers

    Description of product / application

    Servomex's oxygen analysers utilise its non-depleting paramagnetic and infrared sensor technology to deliver stable and reliable measurements of oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in both safe and hazardous areas.

    Benefit to customer

    A large Houston-based oil-refining customer saw a 6% reduction in fuel costs by reducing excess oxygen within the power combustion process (i.e. increasing burn efficiency). The annual savings for a small to medium-sized power plant in a refinery from such burn efficiencies are estimated at in excess of $500,000.

  •  

    Wind turbine operators achieve substantial cost savings through use of B&K Vibro’s remote machine condition monitoring equipment

    Description of product / application

    B&K Vibro's remote machine monitoring equipment is used to give wind energy producers early warnings about developing mechanical problems on wind turbine drive trains.

    Benefit to customer

    Customers experience significant cost savings from being able to take early remedial action, such as “up-tower” repairs (where the repair is undertaken without removing the gearbox from the turbine) instead of “down-tower” repairs (where the gearbox is removed from the turbine). For example, it might cost around $25,000 to replace a generator bearing, compared with around $200,000 to replace an entire generator. Furthermore, early warnings generated by this equipment enable better planning of maintenance activity and efficient execution of repairs.

  •  

    A manufacturer of consumer goods uses Red Lion’s operator panels to reduce downtime in its parts welding facilities

    Description of product / application

    Red Lion’s HMI (human machine interface) operator panels and connectivity products connect, collect and forward critical machine data and alarms to operators and management information systems for further analysis. They enable customers to easily connect, monitor and control processes across a diverse range of industries that include manufacturing, oil and gas and water/wastewater.

    Benefit to customer

    By collecting and reporting on causes of downtime, a parts welding facility of a manufacturer of consumer goods was able to increase its uptime from 85% to 90%, resulting in a daily revenue increase of $90,000 per welding machine.

  •  

    Gold mining company uses ESG’s microseismic systems and services to ensure safety and production integrity of substantial mining project

    Description of product / application

    Data acquisition arrays and other components, together with a digital recorder and in-house developed software form a microseismic system used to identify geological structures and understanding of rock mass behavior for use in the monitoring of mines.

    Benefit to customer

    Newcrest Mining, an Australian mining company, was using a “block-caving” method to extract gold-copper deposits. For reasons of both safety and production rate, Newcrest engaged ESG to install a microseismic system (at a cost of $250,000) in order that it could continually monitor the cave during mining operations. ESG’s system was able to ensure safety and production integrity for a project involving over $100m of development investment.

  •  

    A snack food company uses NDC’s near infra-red analysers to ensure consistent quality and achieve reduction in waste

    Description of product / application

    NDC’s MM710 food analyser and Infralab at-line near infra-red analyser are used for the measurement of moisture and other key product constituents in the food industry.

    Benefit to customer

    A multinational snack foods company used NDC’s analysers for the near infrared measurement of moisture, oil and degree of brownness in savoury snack foods in order to ensure consistent quality and reduce waste by around $12,000 per day.

  •  

    Pulp producer achieves increased yield through use of BTG’s single point KAPPA analyser

    Description of product / application

    BTG’s single point KAPPA analyser is used by pulp producers to measure Kappa to enable the pulp to be used in the production of paper and paperboard. The Kappa number estimates the amount of chemicals required during the bleaching of wood pulp to obtain pulp with a given degree of whiteness.

    Benefit to customer

    A large Asian producer of pulp replaced their existing multi-point unit with BTG’s analyser and, through more rapid and reliable Kappa measurement, were able to modify their production parameters to achieve a 0.7% higher yield, representing an increase in contribution of around $2m p.a. (from an investment of around $70,000).