The IRmadillo: An Infrared Process Analyser Fit for the Factory Floor
Keit enables better monitoring & control of manufacturing processes by providing real-time chemical analysis with a breakthrough technology – the IRmadillo.
The IRmadillo is a robust, mid-infrared spectrometer that excels as an in-line process analyser of liquids. It can be configured to operate in traditional spectrometer mode, or loaded with a calibration model and run as either a concentration meter, a qualitative classification analyser, or both simultaneously.
Not only does it match the power of a laboratory-grade instrument, but it is tough enough as a process instrument to install directly into a manufacturing line to catch any problem when it happens, not after it happens. Because the IRmadillo provides real-time analyses, Keit helps producers make faster decisions to run their processes more efficiently, safely and profitably.
What makes the IRmadillo different
Traditional FTIR instruments operate using a pair of moving mirrors based on a design from the 1800’s called the Michelson interferometer. The IRmadillo has no moving parts and instead is built upon an arrangement of static mirrors. The light is processed by splitting it and sending it around a loop of mirrors to create an interference pattern on the detector which is analysed and converted into a spectrum.
The IRmadillo was specifically designed to be robust and rugged, and this static-optics design means that if the instrument is subjected to vibrations, impact or general movement then the entire mirror assembly moves as one – meaning no loss in signal. This has been tested on the same equipment that’s used to test satellites for launch – so believe us when we say it’s vibration resistant!
The IRmadillo family
The IRmadillo is available in three probe variations:
- IRmadilloDiamond: the workhorse of the IRmadillo family, the IRmadilloDiamond comes with a diamond-ATR tipped probe. This gives it a wide range of chemical compatibility, with increased robustness along with scratch resistance. It can be used for a wide range of chemical and biochemical processes regardless of pH or the nature of the chemistry.
- IRmadillo25H: this model has been specifically designed for high temperatures, and has a working range up to 220°C. The ATR tip is composed of a chalcogenide glass, which gives a full working spectral range of 800 – 3800 cm-1, with no “diamond dead zone” present in the majority of other commercial probes. The glass tip has a working pH range of 0 – 9, and is not suitable for alkali processes or strongly oxidising processes.
- IRmadillo25: The globally Ex-certified (C1D2, ATEX, IECEx) original model. Similar to the IRmadillo25H but with a reduced working temperature range and similar limitations on alkali and oxidising processes.
How does the IRmadillo compare to other analytical techniques like Raman and NIR?
Raman and NIR (near infrared) are common techniques for advance process analytical technology (PAT), and have been around for many years. NIR is less information-rich compared to FTIR (mid infrared), and sometimes simply will not give the level of information required to monitor an application accurately.
Raman is a very powerful technique, but does not work for every chemistry due to what’s called the “selection rule”. It can also suffer strongly from fluorescence in some applications making it very hard to use.
Traditional industrial FTIR instruments do not have a good reputation as they are often fragile and unreliable, with moving mirrors and delicate fibre probes that need protecting. As a result, the IRmadillo is the first truly industry-ready FTIR spectrometer. The key thing is knowing which technique is right for you – contact Keit for more information on whether the IRmadillo is right for you.
How do I use it?
All model types of the IRmadillo can be calibrated to read concentrations of various chemicals in the analyte stream, classification readouts (for example “in spec”, “out of spec”) or both at the same time. This output can be sent directly to any existing DCS, PLC or SCADA system using Modbus or OPC-UA comms protocols. This means that once installed, the IRmadillo will tell you exactly what’s going on in your process in real time, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year.
Do you have a laboratory model?
The IRmadillo was designed to be robust and rugged, which means it’s large and heavy. Keit does not currently have a specific laboratory model, but we do have a variety of accessories to make evaluation and calibration in the laboratory easier. We have a range of sample cells, flow cells and reaction vessels to take the complexity out of laboratory trials. Contact us for more information.
How do I integrate it into my system?
There are lots of options for integrating an IRmadillo into your specific process system ranging from a welded flange on the probe to interface directly with process vessel or pipework, or a support cradle with an optional wafer ball valve that allows for easy cleaning and maintenance to a variety of flow cells and sample cells on the end of the probe for smaller volumes. We’re flexible!
Key features of the IRmadillo
- Static optics makes the instrument extremely stable over time with minimal drift or change over time, and very resistant to vibration and movement. One customer described the IRmadillo as “50 times more stable” than the competitor’s instrument.
- Low energy light source runs at less than 100 mW, meaning more reliable electronics, and less likelihood of source burnout. The infrared source has an expected lifetime of many years.
- Room-temperature detector means that the IRmadillo has no need for a Stirling engine or liquid nitrogen cooling. The detector and mirror assemblies are stabilised rather than cooled, giving the instrument a wide ambient temperature range.
How do I get one, and can I have more information?
To find out more about technical information, click on any of the specification sheets to download. Keit is committed to helping you chose the right technique for your process – please contact us to arrange a consultation and to kick start helping you get the right tool for your job.
I’m interested. What’s next?
Keit gives you options to make it easy to start using an IRmadillo. For all options, we’ll help you install, train your team, and we can even calibrate a chemometric model.
Want to try one out? Keit will provide an IRmadillo suited to your process operating environment and bill you monthly for an agreed span of time. Easy to renew, you have control over how long you keep it – from a few months to an even longer rent-to-own plan.
Consider a longer 2-year leasing plan that is a cost-effective alternative for those needing an instrument, but also need to keep the CAPEX expenditure in check.
Own your IRmadillo outright to monitor your process on-line and in real time as you see fit.
Begin your discussion today on how you can get an IRmadillo installed into your system.