Brian Rohrback is the President and CEO of Infometrix, Inc., the first company to form around the field of chemometrics. Under his guidance, the company has built over 300 commercial software and firmware implementations of multivariate analysis for process instruments, lab-based systems, and field deployment. Dr. Rohrback's expertise is in the integration of multivariate data processing for a variety of analytical instrument methods and has more than 60 publications cover topics in chemistry, informatics, analytical instrument systems, process control, petroleum exploration, and chemometrics. He was awarded the International Society of Automation's highest honor for Technology Achievement in 2016.
This is a report of a multi-company, multi-industry, hydrocarbon processing consortium, established six years ago, to re-evaluate how the calibration process for analyzers could be managed more efficiently. The first focus was optical spectroscopy, an increasingly important source of process chemistry knowledge due to its advantage of speed, sensitivity, and simple safety requirements. As one of very few analyzer technologies that can measure chemistry, spectroscopy has become a workhorse in the chemical, petrochemical, and petroleum industries. But, even as the number of optical systems is continuing to increase, companies have been decreasing the number of employees who are tasked with their management. As a result, a paradigm shift is required for industry to adapt to a higher workload combined with changes in the fitness level and longevity of the technicians responsible for installation, calibration, and maintenance. What if we could put a spectroscopy system in place and have it handle the application and communicate results as soon as it is turned on? Then, if performance does not match legacy standards, the system dials itself in or calls for help. The systematic approach discussed is not constrained by the brand of hardware or by the software vendor and, as such, the approach can be used to manage any new or any in-place system.