NDC Infrared Engineering Awarded U.S. EPA Grant to Develop New, Non-nuclear Gauges to Replace Radioactive Sensors | Automation.com

NDC Infrared Engineering Awarded U.S. EPA Grant to Develop New, Non-nuclear Gauges to Replace Radioactive Sensors

September 132005
Irwindale, CA (September 2005) . . . NDC Infrared Engineering has been awarded funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop new technologies that reduce industry’s reliance on radioactive isotopes. Under an EPA grant, the Product Stewardship Institute, Inc. (PSI) (www.productstewardship.us) assisted the agency in initiating this project and soliciting proposals, and will help gain acceptance in the marketplace for the technologies through multi-stakeholder involvement.

“Achieving acceptance and use of non-radioactive devices is an important step toward a sustainable economy,” said Scott Cassel, Executive Director of the Product Stewardship Institute. “NDC is demonstrating how others in this industry can take greater responsibility for the products they make, distribute, or sell.”

NDC was awarded approximately $150,000 for research and development, the PSI’s top award for product development in this area. With the funding, NDC will immediately begin work on an X-Ray technology that has potential to replace devices that use gamma and beta radiation in the plastics, pulp, and paper industries, said Hector Marchand, NDC Vice President of Marketing.

“NDC has been driving toward the goal of reduced activity nuclear gauges and /or non-nuclear alternatives since we introduced the first lower activity beta gauges back in 1994,” he said. “Subsequently, all of our gauging developments, including Laser, Infrared and X-Ray devices, have been non-nuclear in nature. This grant allows us to take the next logical step in developing additional high-performance non-nuclear gauging alternatives.”

Many sensors and gauges in use today use small amounts of radioactive materials, and although they are considered safe, they can cause environmental contamination and health dangers if damaged or disassembled. The PSI has been commissioned by the EPA to “identify and implement product stewardship solutions for devices containing radioactive materials . . . including fixed nuclear gauges.” Fixed nuclear gauges are used to monitor and measure parameters such as density, thickness and moisture content in a wide variety of plastics and other industrial applications.

The PSI Radioactive Devices Project solicited companies to develop and demonstrate alternative technologies requiring further development for industrial radioactive devices (www.productstewardship.us/prod_rad_project.html).

About the Product Stewardship Institute
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national non-profit organization located in Boston, Massachusetts, which employs a multi-stakeholder process to solve waste management problems and foster product design changes PSI is working with stakeholders to develop product stewardship agreements to reduce the health and environmental impacts from radioactive devices, electronics, paint, mercury switch thermostats, pharmaceuticals, propane gas cylinders, and tires.

About NDC Infrared Engineering
NDC Infrared Engineering offers the world's most extensive range of non-contact sensors and systems for measurement of moisture, fat, protein and continuous web processes variables such as coat weight and film thickness.

The group's range of complementary measurement technologies for the web industry includes infrared absorption, beta transmission, gamma backscatter, X-ray fluorescence and transmission, laser caliper and UV absorption. Applications include blown film, cast film, paper, foil and film converting, pulp and paper, nonwovens, rubber and plastics sheet materials, tire production and plastic pipe manufacture. Products range from hand-held, portable devices for QA checks, to complete on-line system solutions for continuous precision measurement and process control.

The group is the world market leader in the design and manufacture of near infrared (NIR) sensors and systems for on-line and off-line analysis and measurement. The NIR product range includes instruments for monitoring fat, moisture and protein content in food; moisture, nicotine and total reducing sugars in tobacco products; film thickness, barrier layers and coat-weight in plastics; paper and board, foils and sheet steel.

Other products in the NDC Infrared Engineering portfolio include a microwave system for measuring the moisture content of paper and a wide range of hardware and software accessories for the sensor and system ranges. All products are CE marked.

NDC Infrared Engineering is headquartered at Irwindale, California in the USA and Maldon, UK in Europe. Operating companies in Germany, China and Japan provide local support to key world markets, and NDC Infrared Group is presented in more than 60 countries worldwide by a comprehensive network of specialist distributors.

NDC Infrared Engineering is a Spectris company, an international company specializing in high value-in-use process control solutions.

Visit their website at www.ndcinfrared.com
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