The latest news and events from MCM

14/10/2011 - The Truth is out There . . .

Why MCM think that the facts should speak for themselves.


In the world of industrial instrumentation, vendors will often claim to have the best technology in oder to win contracts. Unfortunately these claims aren't always substantiated, hence the term Caveat Emptor - buyer beware.

Low purchase price and performance characteristics that ensured artificially dry results, helped to secure a significant market share for Aluminium Oxide hygrometers. Operators liked the apparently positive results and these instruments soon became difficult to replace. Few people cared about the impact of variations in temperature, pressure, mass flow, hysteresis, drift or slow response . . . these factors all introduced significant errors but became masked by the constant dry values that were displayed.

Many buyers, and indeed operators, were unaware of these fundamental sources of error. But how can any engineer or procurement officer specify the best solution for an application without a full and detailed knowledge of the issues at hand? It's clear that such an approach doesn't work and hence the same mistakes are repeated time after time.

MCM believes in transparency of data and the provenance of science. There are many examples of where poorly specified moisture analysers have caused serious plant upset and significant financial losses. There are also plenty of reports that highlight the deficiencies of long-favoured technologies and, fortunately, others that demonstrate the superior options that exist.

So, in support of our philosophy that "the truth is out there", MCM is happy to provide the following reports for your consideration:-


Ref. 1 - What Makes A Good Hygrometer?

To see the characteristics that a National Standards metrology lab consider to be important in a hygrometer . . .

Click here.


Ref. 2 - BJ Services

To see the practical implications of hysteresis and slow sensors in moisture analysers . . .

Click here.


Ref. 3 - Shell Bukom

To see how contamination can rapidly affect the performance and sensitivity of an anlyser such as the Aluminium Oxide technology . . .

Click here.


Ref. 4 - Shell St Fergus

To see how contamination impacts on reliability of data in molecular sieve breakthrough tests on QCMs (commonly used on drying applications) . . .

Click here.


Ref. 5 - Hasegawa

To understand why temperature control is important and why drift is to be monitored . . .

Click here.


Ref. 6 - Statoil

To understand how handling and methodology issues impact on uncertainty in validation, and how working together with a vendor can dramatically improve the situation . . .

Click here.

Many vendors and buyers of equipment are either unaware or simply avoiding the issue of measurement traceability and the importance of applying appropriate standards.

Factually, standards are needed in order to define a measurement accurately. Without an appropriate standard, there is no measurement. It's as simple as that.

Currently there are two prime routes to defining a traceable moisture measurement; either Dewpoint through traceability to temperature, or concentration (ppmV) with traceability to Mass.

Put simply, if you need a reading in ppmV then you need to take the Mass route, not the temperature route.


Ref. 7 - NIST

NIST's public statement is that NIST do not offer a mass traceable route for the calibrations that they provide. This is important because many buyers fail to ask the question of whether traceability to NIST is actually valid; it is merely presumed to be so, without question. To see this statement . . .

Click here.


Ref. 8 - Japanese Standard

A new trace moisture generator has exposed the weakness of Aluminium Oxide and Chilled Mirror technologies at sub-ppmV levels. This is an important study because it raises questions for the LNG, petrochemical and semiconductor industries, where such technologies are regularly used for trace analysis. To see this report . . .

Click here.


Today, vendors who have discarded Aluminium Oxide sensors in favour of Laser-based technology are suggesting (yet again) that they have the best technology on the market!

How often do you hear their salesmen say that, "they don't need calibration or maintenance".

The facts suggest otherwise.


Ref. 9 - T90 Tests

To see how QCM and Lasers compare with heated Silicon Sensor, when tested on clean gases . . .

Click here.

(The main question to ask here is, "Why do they read so far apart if they don't need calibration?")


Ref. 10 - Woodside

To see how Woodside's Train 4 suffered lost production due to poor sensitivity and response from the installed moisture analysers . . .

Click here.


Having read all of these reports, why would you believe the unsubstantiated claims of any vendor?

You shouldn't. At least, not without traceable proof.


Ref. 11 - CLAS Accreditation

To see how MCM offer mass traceability to sub-ppmV levels (and with proof) . . .

Click here.


MCM demonstrate fast, stable and repeatable performance against traceable standards. We offer methodologies for correcting the impact of contaminants by both zero and span correction, if required. Our published literature for Auto-Zero and Auto-Zero / Span systems describes how we address the effects of contamination.

MCM's calibrations are performed at atmospheric conditions to reduce contamination and provide traceable data, whilst allowing validation to be easily performed by independent cross-check measures.

The facts - not the claims - speak for themselves.

We welcome your comments and the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities at any time.



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