Custom Design Solutions
Turtle Tough offer a custom design solution to solve measurement problems frequently encountered by using standard commercial off-the-shelf sensor brands. Our engineers can develop a sensor specifically for your application that will deliver superior performance unlike any other to improve the accuracy and reliability of your process measurement.
By understanding the characteristics of your process and the previous failure modes of process sensors, we can design a sensor to overcome these challenges. By working with us to get a better measurement solution we can provide huge savings in reduced manpower (calibration, cleaning, maintenance), reduced reagent costs and improved yields through better process control.
- When developing a sensor our team will take into account all your process parameters including:
- Type of process
- Concentration or Measurement Range
- Pressure, flow and temperature characteristics
- Chemicals and major constituents present
- Physical Installation requirements
- Failure history of existing sensor (see below)
Fig: Pajingo Gold Mine
What makes Turtle Tough better than the market-leading brands?
Our ability to custom fabricate sensors to suit your application gives us a significant advantage over every other manufacturer. Understanding your process and learning what has caused a previous sensor to fail prematurely allows us to design a sensor that mitigates this weakness and provide improved life and performance. That learning has also led to the development of some very unique technologies including the industry’s only customisable solid-state reference system and special glass formulas designed to resist contamination and physical degradation while delivering superior performance.
At Turtle Tough we can custom engineer every aspect of a sensor including:
- Construction, thread types and process mating components
Cable material and lengths
Body materials and sealants
Reference material and chemistry
Sensing elements and glass formulations (pH/ORP)
Integrated digital or analogue electronics
Fig: Telfer Gold Mine
Through years of research and experience, we know how sensors fail. Upon commissioning for a custom development, we will undertake an investigation to determine those primary failure modes and then implement a solution to mitigate those factors. Typical issues include:
Sensing element (glass) failure
Sensing elements can easily break either during cleaning or service and impact with high-velocity solids. They may be eroded or etched by strong chemicals causing significant drift and inaccuracy in measurement. The presence of certain ions may also infiltrate the sensing element and contaminate the glass leading to premature failure.
Reference failure occurs when the reference becomes contaminated by the process or blocked. Other forms of reference failure include reference depletion, where the reservoirs are either consumed rapidly by the process or dry out due to being left un-hydrated.
This occurs when the sensor’s sealing methods fail allowing process liquid to infiltrate and damage the internal sensor components. Sensors that utilise o-rings to seal liquid or gel components internally have an inherently high rate of failure due to ingress.
When materials are not compatible with the physical or chemical environment they will fail rapidly and cause a catastrophic
loss of the sensor. All aspects of the sensor including body materials, sealants, cables and sensing elements must be compatible for a sensor to provide a full-service life.
Fig: KCGM Super Pit
Often a sensor is incorrectly installed leading to performance issues and reduced life. Sensor failure by this method is wide and varied, however common observations include incorrect installation angle, air bubble entrapment, insufficient flow or level, close proximity to dosing points (poor mixing) or generally being difficult to access and reducing the opportunity for care and maintenance.
Although listed last, human elements are the most common form of measurement or sensor failure. Typically, insufficient operator training leads to improper calibration, cleaning and maintenance techniques that result in reduced sensor and measurement accuracy.
At Turtle Tough we address every one of these issues by implementing improved designs, materials and technology as well as making sure operators are sufficiently trained in care and maintenance.
Developing the VERY BEST sensor for YOU
Our engineering team will work with you to overcome each of the above measurement challenges to develop the very best sensor for your application.
We’ve worked with some of the world’s brightest scientists to develop unique technologies that address many of the failure modes discussed. At the core of our pH/ORP/ISE technology are application specific references
and sensing elements, while all our sensors, including Conductivity & Dissolved Oxygen, benefit from careful material selections that are chemically and physically compatible with your process.
Fig: Kanowna Belle Gold Mine
Is it expensive? Do you have a cheaper one?
At Turtle Tough we do not make low cost budget sensors. We pride ourselves on building the right sensor to the job and the cost of that will vary depending on the demands of the application. Anything less is a sensor that's designed to fail.
When we say “we will save you money”, what we promise is the lowest cost of ownership.
Our small team of scientists and engineers take great pride in troubleshooting and problem solving for difficult process measurement applications. Each sensor is made by hand and takes more than 8 human labour hours to assemble, using designs and materials we’ve selected especially for you. Having a sensor that actually works and delivers a measurement you can trust has massive implications for our clients, specifically:
- Reducing human effort and frustration
- Providing trust and certainty
- Improving plant output and profitability
We do not mass manufacture sensors, nor do we claim to compete with the price of mass manufactured brands. We are a bespoke solution that works.
While we do have sensors that cost less than others, each is designed to perform for its intended application and we would never recommend using a sensor that has not been designed for the task.
A Turtle Tough sensor is on average is 20-30% more expensive than most market-leading products. A custom built Turtle Tough sensor will on average last anywhere from 3-10 times (300% to 1000%) longer than a competitor sensor. While the increase in life expectancy is impressive, the real Return on Investment (ROI) comes from improved process measurement and control. For most of our customers, this equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in improved recoveries and reduced reagent use.
Fig: Ravensthorpe Nickel Mine
How can I get a TURTLE TOUGH CUSTOM DESIGNED sensor?
Unfortunately, we cannot help everyone. Some applications will simply not benefit from our technology or materials approach. Some may even be beyond the realms of scientific possibility.
Our custom design process is a laborious effort typically consuming 2-4 weeks for our development team and taking up to 6 months to test and develop the final product. This process often involves site visits, field tests, laboratory sampling & analysis and several product revisions before we settle on a final design. As such, those who will benefit most from a custom development sensor will be clients that:
- rely heavily on accurate and reliable measurement to control their process
- have serious concerns for worker health, safety or environmental protection
- have high labour costs associated with ongoing sensor replacement and maintenance
Each year we work with a select group of customers to develop custom solutions. Due to our limited resources, we can only work on a small number of projects (12 per year) and these are chosen based on their individual merit with consideration to:
Fig: Lihir Gold Mine
- the scope of commercial viability
- cost-benefit analysis, ROI
- nerd satisfaction rating (will it excite our development team)
- the probability of meeting the client expectations
If you believe your process requires a custom solution, please complete our process application questionnaire and register your expression of interest. Please include in the application that you would like a custom development solution. If your application is successful, a detailed quote and scope of works will be provided for the design, development and implementation of the required solution.
Please note: We have no further capacity to take on new custom build clients in 2017. To receive a notification alert for when our 2018 list opens, please register your details here.