Norwegian laser-based multi measuring device delivers better visibility of gases inside pipes.

NEO Monitors is first to deliver an instrument that measures four gases and temperature in-situ. This can reduce fuel usage and decrease emissions.

The Norwegian company NEO Monitors have the last three decades gone from a good idea to becoming a global leader within equipment to measure gases. They have now embarked on the next step towards the «holy grail” of real-time gas analysis. This with an instrument that delivers information on four gases and temperature – simultaneously.

By  Odd Richard Valmot, Technical Magazine (Teknisk Ukeblad)

LaserGas iQ2

Laser Beam

NEO Monitors’ idea is as simple as it is complicated. They send laser beams through gas to a sender on the opposite side. By comparing what is sent to what is received, they can determine how much that is absorbed by the gas they want to measure. The knowledge lies in the algorithms.

The company has managed to be in front of the development for 30 years by putting massive investments into R&D. Competitors have come and gone, or have been acquired by bigger companies. Revenues for the company have more than doubled since 2010, from 64mnok to 144MNOK in 2014. 95 percent of all production is exported. The compete with global giants such as Siemens. In the past they have delivered stand-alone solutions for each gas, now they move towards the front of the race with multi-gas measurement.

Great results

– We have gone under our competitor’s radar up to a few years ago. We increased revenues last year with 30 percent and export 95 percent of our production, says CEO at NEO Monitors, Ketil Gorm Paulsen.

He believes that it’s becoming more and more important with accurate in-situ measurement.

Oil and gas, chemical industries and energy production based on fossil energy sources have a huge need for real-time knowledge on what kinds of gases that are streaming through their facilities.

Environmental focus

Although one hardly can categorize fossil energy as sustainable, NEO Monitors believes they can help the many industries optimize and improve. This to ensure less fuel usage, regardless of its coal, oil, gas or garbage. The end goal are less emission.

– The more variations there are in the sources of a process; the harder it is to control them. By knowing the variations it’s easier to control and optimize. The fact that we now can measure O2, CO2, CH4 and H2O, as well as temperature with the same instrument makes the process cheaper and more efficient. One instrument is very much cheaper than five, not to mention less need for cabling, installation and maintenance. This instrument is able to look into an incineration on 1200 degrees celcius, ensuring better control. One doesn’t have to save much fuel in a power plant before one sees a direct return of investment, says Paulsen.

Great interest

Their new multi-gas instrument has received a lot of interest. Engineers in the US have been very positive. Several units are tested in live installations and the first results are very encouraging. When Technical Weekly asks for details, NEO Monitors hesitates.

– We would have loved to tell more, but we are in the process securing the many needed patents, saysPaulsen.

He is confident that this will be a success and estimates that they will sell more than a 100 units next year, although the price is around half a million Norwegian kroners. The company has no challenges being based in a high-cost market as Norway.

– We have a great culture focused in knowledge. Norwegians have down to earth approach and corporate cultures are serious and extremely focused. The cost for skilled people is not as high as many thinks, he states.

More to come

Few Norwegian companies invest as much in R&D as the NEO-companies with 10-15 percent of all revenues each year. A large proportion of the 75 employees are involved in product development.

– Our sister company HySpex researches on hyperspectral imaging. This on the optical specter that goes far above what the human eye are able to register. We believe this will be a huge growth area for us, as well as developing new solutions for gas measurement. The fact that we now can deliver on four gases in the same instrument is not the end of the line for us, he concludes.