SECO Process Instrumentation is a consulting company in the field of instrumentation, providing niche analyser, pneumatic and VSD solutions. The company offers cutting-edge technology and integrated services to customers, including engineering designs, field instrumentation, calibrations, installations, plant commissioning, instrument repairs, plant maintenance and instrumentation training.

The company is the local agent for the US-based MoistTech, a world leader in moisture measurement and control.

MoistTech is responsible for the industry’s first patented method of non-contact, non-destructive moisture analysis and detection for a multitude of sectors. Improved over time, the company’s near-infrared (NIR) technology provides robust and reliable moisture measurement and control for businesses the world over.

“We delivered the moisture measurement and control industry’s first big breakthrough in the 1970s and we are now 40-year veterans of the sector,” John Fordham – MoistTech’s CEO – explains. “Near-infrared moisture control technology helps us provide top-of-the-line equipment popular all around the globe. We are represented in every continent, though all our products continue to be manufactured and assembled in the US.”

Primarily, MoistTech manufactures a substantial range of on-line and at-line sensors for the real-time process control of numerous applications. Capable of providing true data regardless of gaps and interruptions in product flow, these sensors are insensitive to material variations, such as height, colour and particle size.

Consequently, MoistTech equipment can deliver instant, non-contact moisture analysis of manufactured goods to ensure the accuracy and quality of the final product. Not only does this make for a reduction in waste, but also a decrease in downtime, manual intervention and defective goods. Serving a wide variety of sectors and disciplines, including adhesives, biomass, chemicals, coatings, food, forest products, minerals, renewable energy, textiles and wood products, MoistTech solutions are valued by a diverse range of clients. Alongside the firm’s flagship IR3000 sensor, which can be used for most applications, the company offers a number of more specialist products.

“In 2018, we developed improved filters for our converting sensor, enabling enhanced readings in any type of glue, coating base, adhesive strip, silicone release paper or pressure sensitive adhesive,” John reveals.

“We have the CCS3000 for dark materials like coal, the IP67 for harsh conditions, the 828-model designed specifically for tobacco and less sensitive blends, and two laboratory units that are considered ‘at-line’: which are the 868 and 858 models,” John remarks.

“The IR3000, however, is our most state-of-the-art smart sensor. For any application, it will have a measuring and repeatability accuracy in the +/- 0.05 per cent range depending on the application specifics. The sensor is drift free and recalibration will never be required.

As standard, there are three isolated 4-20mA outputs along with an Ethernet connector and a second one for RS-232/485 serial communication. For display, included in the quotation as an option, is a remote LED meter with 3.5-inch digits for excellent readability. “Furthermore, our PC software suite is supplied with the MoistTech sensors at no additional cost,” John continues. “This software is available for configuration and calibration, as well as trending and data collection. It is, nevertheless, not required for the sensor’s operation as the MoistTech NIR sensor is all self-contained.”

“MoistTech NIR technology is a ratio-based measurement with prime beam, which eliminates sensitivity to distance, improves stability and accuracy, and provides a non-drift design. This allows for extremely accurate measurements with far more sensitivity than that of the firm’s competitors. While other technologies require constant re-calibrations, have height interference, experience drifting over time, and produce less reflected light, MoistTech solutions provide the user with true data rather than an estimated guess. The advanced design gives much more reflected NIR energy to the product, less height interference and, most importantly, one-time calibration with zero drift,” John says. “MoistTech is the original pioneer of NIR and we still have the backing of the patent holder for the principle, which means there’s much more to come.”

“NIR technology is specific and stands out from other moisture control technologies as it does not ever come in contact with the product, is non-destructive – meaning it does not destroy the product it is measuring – and provides instant, accurate and repeatable results.

It is not only a fast-analytical technique with the ability to deliver the chemical and physical information of virtually any matrix, but it can tell us about a product in a similar way to visible light.

When light hits a product, it will interact in various ways – transmitted light will pass through the product, while backscattered light will reflect from the product. Light can also be absorbed by the product, and absorption is key in NIR analysis. By harnessing this core technology, we then attempt to produce variants and new, more efficient product types like the Linear Belt-Driven Slide.”

All sensors are pre-calibrated to the customer’s exact application prior to shipment, allowing for plug-and-play operation. All samples are calibrated in the lab at the Sarasota production facility. This calibration is used to program the sensor to be exactly what the customer is measuring, in order to avoid errors and sensor adjustments. Additional options and parts are added in this facility along with all shipping and repair requests.


Sean Frost

SECO Process Instrumentation
Tel. +27 63 929 9669

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