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MOCON, Inc: Mocon's CAL-SMART® calibration system helps in-line gas stream analyser deliver accurate results

Accuracy, repeatability and durability are the key attributes of MOCON, Inc.’s oxygen GSA™ (gas stream analyzer) Model 102.
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FILED IN:  Controls  > Strategy
     
The compact unit has been designed as an inline addition to vertical form-fill-seal units, as well as rotary pouch machines and horizontal flow wrappers with continuous gas flushing.

Gas flushing is desired in a variety of food and pharmaceutical applications where carbon dioxide or nitrogen is flushed in to the package to displace oxygen so that shelf life is extended. Typical applications include meats, coffee, nuts, snack foods, cheese, fruits, produce and pharmaceutical/medical products such as sterile injectables, drug-coated stents and ophthalmic surgical solutions, etc.
 
At the core of the GSA™ Model 102’s performance is its self-initiating Cal-Smart® calibration system. Cal-Smart uses ambient air and advanced electronic controls to perform a two-point calibration (0- and 21- percent gas levels) vs. the commonly used room air or certified tank gas methods. Two-point calibrations are fast and easy which improves the instrument's accuracy and repeatability while significantly reducing intervals between more time consuming certified gas calibrations.
 
Unlike all other time-consuming and less accurate calibration methodologies, the GSA™ Model 102 can be programmed to automatically perform Cal-Smart® calibration at predetermined intervals. The calibration cycle only takes 90 seconds to execute. The automated, fast and accurate calibration process means no downtime for whatever continuous-motion packaging unit it has been mounted onto.

Also unique to the GSA™ Model 102 is temperature and barometric pressure compensation. Those additional capabilities further enhance the instrument’s accuracy.

Online GSA™ models are desirable because they insure more uniform product quality, maximize industrial gas efficiency and complement the effectiveness of post production headspace gas testing. Because the gas stream is measured prior to the package being sealed, there is an added layer of quality assurance. Problems are discovered earlier in the process which allows flush gas flow corrections to be made more quickly.
 
"Having an in-line gas flush monitoring system helps to insure label declarations regarding product shelf life are met. Avoiding one rejection incident for improperly gas flushed products can save a processor tens of thousands of dollars in production costs. It also helps preserve brand equity," says Anthony Ahmed, product manager, MOCON.

The compact GSA™ Model 102 is L 7.37- x D 4.67- x W 3.31-inches (18.72- x 11.86- x 8.41 centimeters) and weighs less than 2-pounds (.9 kilograms). Its compact size simplifies installation on new units or retrofitting on existing form-fill-seal equipment.
 
A GSA™ Model 102 D also is available. This model features an LED display on the side of the unit showing the actual reading. Both models can send a signal to the machines’ programmable logic controller which automatically executes a specific action when readings exceed an acceptable target level.

MOCON’s GSA™ 102 also comes with an additional patented process—FloSmart® which monitors the in-stream gas flow to insure that an adequate sample is being collected. Should a disruption occur, the instrument will trigger an alarm alerting the operator.
 
Further, the GSA™ is built with durable pumps rated for 10-year life and does not require factory-performed sensor replacements. The GSA™ sensor life exceeds two years and can be replaced for a nominal cost, by the operator in about 10 minutes, significantly reducing plant operations expenses and the demand on plant maintenance support personnel.

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