High accuracy: Yokogawa buys Analytical Specialties, real-time laser analyzers

TruePeak Tunable Diode Laser Spectroscopy (TDLS) Gas Analyzers are available from Yokogowa, widening the company’s offering of analyzer technologies.


TruePeak Tunable Diode Laser Spectroscopy (TDLS) Gas Analyzers are available from Yokogowa, widening the company’s offering of analyzer technologies. Yokogowa Corporation of America liked the highly accurate, real-time TDLS technology enough to purchase all stock of Analytical Specialties Inc. (ASI) , in an April 3, 2008, transaction. Terms were not disclosed; ASI’s 15 employees now work for Yokogawa.

With their hands on the TruePeak Tunable Diode Laser Spectroscopy (TDLS) Gas Analyzer, Yokogawa Corporation of America’s Jon Pecchia (left) and Trevor Knittel look forward to selling analyzers.

Jon Pecchia, general manager, analytical business unit, North America, made the announcement with former ASI founder and president, Trevor Knittel, on April 8, 2008, at a press conference at Yokogawa User Conference & Technology Fair. Knittel, grinning widely, had to check his new business card for his latest affiliation: general manager, laser technology, analytical business unit, Yokogawa Corporation of America. The ASI name goes away, Houston office remains, and the Yokogawa logo now goes on ASI products. And Yokogawa now has a Laser Analytical Division within its U.S. subsidiary as a core unit for the industrial automation environmental and measurement business.
Numbers of ASI analyzers installed are in the triple digits, Knittel said, declining to be more specific. They’re $20,000 to $35,000 each, depending on application and accessories; pricing under Yokogawa is “to be determined,” says Knittel. ASI, founded in 1994, secured the www.analyzer.com URL. (The site offers a tutorial on analyzers and lists its products.)
Pecchia says he expect large market growth for these analyzers because of the accuracy and inline measurement capability. TDLS market will grow to $150 million by 2013 (Yokogawa says it will have the largest share, then, at $30 million), as there’s more demand for energy savings, carbon dioxide reductions, and more optimized combustion. Pecchia says he expects faster growth for TDLS than near-infrared or even process gas chromatograph technologies.

Yokogawa bought Analytical Specialties Inc., manufacturer of the TruePeak analyzer.

“TDLS enables direct high-speed measurement of many important process gases, including combustion byproducts, impurities, and oxygen in many chemical and refining operations” and moisture in natural gas pipelines, Knittel explains. TruePeak TDLS uses a proprietary peak area integration method, enabling higher accuracy and repeatability than other products, he says; it's the “first tunable diode laser analyzer designed specifically for process analysis.” In the device, a laser illuminates gases and analyzes the absorbed wavelength in the spectrum of transmitted light, measuring oxygen, carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and moisture. It takes 5 seconds, compared to minutes or longer for other methods that may use complex sampling methods, not as useful for real-time process adjustments, Knittel adds.
Satoru Kurosu, Yokogawa senior vice president of the Industrial Automation Business headquarters, said in a statement that he expects more acquisitions to “expand our lineup of sensors used in the analytical processes” over the plants lifecycle, addressing the need for energy saving and environmental conservation.
ASI’s most recent product introduction was the Icos Laser Gas Analyzer, which uses mirrors to provide up to thousands of meters of path length for measurement, resulting in ultra-low detection limits for trace level, part per billion/million (ppb-ppm) measurements, including C2H2, CO, CO2, NH3, H2O, H2S, O2 and other gases.

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