New Addition to Filter Leak Monitor Range

LEAK ALERT 65-02 Filter Leak Monitors provide significant process benefits in terms of tracking changes in emissions from particulate arrestment plant enabling early detection of deteriorating or broken filter bags.  The latest addition to PCME’s Filter Leak Monitor range, the LEAK ALERT 65-02, provides high quality leak responses from single compartment baghouses.

System self-checks, including zero and internal reference drift, together with unique probe self-check (insulator short-circuit check) can be controlled either automatically or manually to validate data integrity and provide appropriate quality assurance checks.  Importantly, these checks minimise false alarms and meet regulatory requirements: European and US ASTM D7392-07 performance standards for Filter Leak Monitors.  PCME’s established  ElectroDynamicTM measurement technology combined with high speed pulse detection algorithms means that the LEAK ALERT 65-02 can reliably track dust changes associated with bag cleaning, while also monitoring the low background dust level coming from well-operating bagfilters.

In addition, bag leak location capability is provided by use of an optional Bag Pulse Display Unit for graphical identification of faulty bag media, therefore, assisting preventative maintenance activities, reducing bag replacement costs and saving time diagnosing emission excursions.

Are you looking to track changes in emissions from your particulate arrestment plant and would like advice on how to analyse your emission data?

Please contact us: or click here to find out more about the new LEAK ALERT 65-02

“Seeing is Believing”

Many Process Operators install a dust monitor in their stack or emission point to monitor dust emissions, either for regulatory purposes, corporate responsibilities (ISO 14001) or for local regulatory demand.  However in many cases the monitor only gives an indication of high dust levels based around an emission limit value or a pre-determined warning alarm level.  This is quite normal, but does it give the “whole picture?”

When operating a Baghouse, the dust levels are a direct function of the efficiency of the filter system.  This efficiency is in itself a function of the performance of the filter media and the cleaning system used to keep the media working correctly.

Most bagfilters use a reverse jet cleaning system where a high pressure pulse is used to blow-back into the filter bags to remove the inbuilt dust “cake”.  It is at this time of “pulsing” that dust is instantly created and becomes part of the emission.  This dust pulse has a very short duration but can have a very high level compared to the normal emissions when the bagfilter is not being cleaned.

The size, shape, duration and presence of these cleaning pulses offer an insight into the efficiency of the fabric media being used in the bagfilter.  This “visible” information offers instant on-line indication of:

  • Fabric media performance/deterioration – determines filter life and increased emissions
  • Leaking or broken bags – leaking bags are typically a pre-cursor to broken bags, helps determine maintenance intervals.
  • Correct reverse jet pulse system operation – indication of faulty timer/sequencer/ PLC driver
  • Sticking or non-opening pulse valves – identifies faulty pulse valves for repair.

And of course helps to keep emission below pre-set levels and avoid unwanted dust excursions.

All this from a Dust Monitor?  Well “YES” if the monitor has the ability to display the real-time fast moving dust pulses created from reverse jet cleaning.  Most Dust Monitors do not do this, however, most PCME Dust Monitors do offer this “graphical” display of the cleaning pulses, either as standard (from PCME’s extensive range of advanced control units) or as an add-on option of a “Filter Display Module”.

It should be noted that trying to use the 4-20mA output to manage the same job is problematic as the 4-20mA is often not dynamic enough (to visualise the fast moving dust pulses) and is often averaged to coincide with emission data and not filter performance.

Alternatively, real-time data can be displayed on a PC screen using PCME’s “Dust-Tools” software.  By using PC software, more data analysis can be undertaken, showing long term trends of filter performance, media wear rates and help schedule filter maintenance intervals more precisely against actual media wear rather than typical regular timings regardless of actual filter media performance.  This capability has been proven by site operators to reduce costs associated with bag replacement costs and reduction of labour costs.

Being able to visually identify the performance of the filter, especially over time to track trends greatly helps the filter maintenance teams identify problems with the bagfilters before they become major, and by default keeping emission levels at reduced levels.

“Seeing is therefore believing”, if you know what to look for!

Leak Locate Fig 1Figure 1: (Click on images to enlarge)

As the chamber goes “off-line” to clean, the isolating valve closes.  Typically there would not be any dust passing the sensor and no pulse information from the cleaning cycle, however, the peaks seen during the offline cleaning sequence are a result of the valve after the chamber not sealing fully.

If the valve was working correctly, then no emission peaks would be measured by the dust sensor.

The large peak after the off-line cleaning sequence is due to the valve re-opening and letting out all the built-up dust in the chamber.

The slow rise in the dust levels after the cleaning sequence indicates deteriorating bags in the chamber.  This is further verified by the height of the peaks identified during the off-line mode, ironically from a leaking isolating valve.

Leak Locate Fig 2

                                                              Figure 2:

Schematic of 8–chamber (25 rows per chamber) baghouse, with dust sensors monitoring the emission from each chamber.  The chambers are cleaned both “off-line” and “on-line”, determined by the operator based on load and filter media performance.

Leak Locate Fig 3

                                                             Figure 3:

The on-line cleaning sequence creates one peak per row which is shown in the graph.  Some of the peaks are much higher than the others (1 and 21) indicating a broken bag in that row.  Other bag rows also show “leaking bags” which are a pre-cursor to broken bags.  The graphical visualisation of all the rows being cleaned brings to life the performance of each individual row of bags facilitating predictive action by maintenance teams, reduction in filter down-time, fewer bag replacements and ultimately lower emissions.

For further information on how PCME’s products may help you manage your bag filters more effectively and how to analyse your emission data, please contact PCME Ltd:

PCME is awarded second prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise

PCME Ltd, leading specialist in the development, manufacture and supply of continuous particulate emission monitors for industrial processes worldwide, has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2013. This prestigious award recognises outstanding business achievement by UK organisations.

PCME have been honoured for a second time, on this occasion in the International Trade category for its sustained and impressive international growth complementing their previous Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

Innovation is at the heart of PCME’s success reflected through strong, sustainable growth and significant market share. Currently exporting to 40 countries, working through highly valued distributors, formalised partnerships and joint ventures, PCME continues to maintain and develop global presence.

Commenting on winning the award, William Averdieck, MD of PCME said “I am delighted that PCME’s record in working with major industrial companies in the metals, minerals, chemical and combustion sectors has been recognised with this prestigious award. Winning a Queen’s Award for a second time is a great honour and a reflection of the hard work and commitment of our team at PCME and PCME’s long standing distribution partners around the world. PCME is proud to be recognised for innovation and growth in the field of particulate emission monitoring”

PCME launch new Particulate Emission Monitoring Workshops

PCME Ltd, the specialists in particulate emission monitoring have developed a new 5-part Workshop Series providing practical guidance for best practice particulate emission monitoring.

Lead by knowledgeable and experienced Engineers with strong practical on-site experience, these modular Workshops have been designed to focus on the most common issues faced during dust monitor selection, installation and on-going instrument optimisation.

Highly interactive, making good use of discussions and case studies, together with an emphasis on practical learning with real equipment, Spring events will be repeated in the Autumn providing maximum opportunity to plan attendance.

Events will be held throughout the UK, commencing during May in Avon, West Yorkshire, Leicestershire and West Sussex and repeated during October/November in North London, the Midlands and the North East.

Alternatively, workshops can be delivered on your site if preferred where content can be tailored to your exact requirements.

Events are completely free of charge and refreshments will be provided.  In addition, delegates will receive a workshop manual containing presentations and useful documentation.

For more details, please contact Kim Short (

PCME’s New Backscatter Particulate Measurement System

PCME have developed a new laser Particulate Measurement System, the PCME STACK 160, based on Backscatter technology which is designed for use in medium to large stacks (2-10m). The PCME STACK 160 measures the amount of light scattered back from particles in the stack illuminated by a modulated laser. The instrument’s ProScatterTM Backscatter technology means that the ‘telescopic’ detector field of view is controlled to eliminate stray scattering from the far inside stack wall. The low angle of measurement increases the effective penetration of the measurement volume into the stack (typically at least half way across the stack) compared to ‘higher angle’ back scatter instruments which provide very small measurement volumes.

The PCME STACK 160 is conveniently mounted on one side of the stack and usually requires no light absorber or beam dump on the opposite side of the stack. The sensor itself is non-intrusive in the stack meaning that all critical optical components can be kept contamination-free by simple air purging. The system is provided as a sensor complete with its own power supply, display, keypad and user interface providing the convenience of local set-up and display.

The instrument response is proportional to dust concentration for a given particle type and size and may be calibrated in mg/m3 by comparison to the results of a standard reference test (isokinetic test). ProScatterTM Backscatter technology is able to resolve dust levels to below 10mg/m3 meaning that it may be installed in applications with emissions well below the resolution limit of traditional opacity instruments.

Typical Use and Applications:

  • Continuous PM measurement and emission limit monitoring in power/boiler applications
  • Alternative to opacity in power plant and combustion applications where emissions are to be reported in mg/m3 (rather than Opacity)
  • Monitoring performance of filter abatement plant operations in metals, minerals and chemical plant where the stack size is greater than 2m.



New Service and Technical Support Center for PCME’s US PM-CEM Business

PCME is increasing its commitment and support for the PM-CEMS Utility market and the broader PM and Bag Leak Detection market with the opening of a new business in Pittsburgh, PA.  The new PCME Service and Technical Support Center is being established in North America to provide US based electric utilities, other end users, distribution partners and system integrators with a full range of product, application and service support.  The Center will be managed by Ed McCall, an engineering management professional with over 20 years experience in the US CEMS field.

PCME’s US Center will support a network of distributors, system integrators and service partners, to facilitate plant operators to fully experience the benefits of PCME’s world class PM-CEMS monitoring instruments for dry and wet FGD applications.

A ‘select’ number of System and distribution partners will be accredited by PCME’s Service and Technical Support Center to provide high end service to utility companies and other end users, with the backup of in-country service spares which would normally be associated with a manufacturing facility.

PCME’s Pittsburgh office will assume overall responsibility for supporting the sales and service of PCME’s product range in North America and support an associated network of sales and service partners and adds support to APEX Instruments who will remain one of a number of non-exclusive distribution partners.

Midwesco will remain PCME’s partner for Bag Leak detection across the wider non-combustion process industry for baghouse performance and Leak detection (MACT) applications.

William Averdieck, President of PCME commented, ”US Utility plants will experience increased commitment from PCME in supporting its wet and dry PM-CEM instruments.  We are very excited about the establishment of the new PCME Service and Technical Support Center.”

Ed McCall, General Manager, PCME Service & Support Center

PCME at AQE2013

PCME look forward to meeting you at the forthcoming Air Quality and Emissions Show in Telford (13-14 March) where we will be presenting innovative and cost-effective solutions for industrial emissions monitoring and control through a series of product demonstrations and workshop presentations.

Demonstrations will reflect the requirements for different types of continuous particulate emission monitoring which have evolved over the past 20 years satisfying three important trends:

  •  The increasing importance and variety of type approvals and certification schemes such as MCERTS and TUV
  • The application of BAT (Best Available Technology) to monitoring approaches where particulate filter condition is required in certain processes while absolute measurement is required in others
  • The wide adoption of bagfilter type arrestment plant whose operation can be optimised by new types of performance monitoring

 PM measurement for monitoring after wet scrubber abatement systems

TUV EN 15267-3 tested against QAL1, PCME’s Wet Stack Monitoring System overcomes the monitoring challenges associated with interference from condensation and water droplets.  The extractive monitoring approach with heating providing the ability to monitor a saturated flue gas critical for the application of monitoring emissions from a coal fired power plant fitted with a wet FGD system will be demonstrated.  Easy and safe operator access to the measurement volume for external auditing with reference materials proves useful in satisfying AST linearity test requirements for EN 14181 compliance and absolute correlation audit for PS-11 compliance.

Accessing measurement volume on PCME QAL 181 WS Wet Stack Monitoring System for external auditing


Backscatter PM-CEM for non-intrusive monitoring on large stack/low dust applications

Utilising a low angle Backscatter measurement principle unique to PCME, the PCME STACK 160 is well-suited for use in large stacks and is suitable for low to medium dust concentrations regardless of dust velocity or charge.  As a reliable alternative to Opacity technology in Power Plant and Combustion applications, the sensor is conveniently mounted on one side of the stack, with no secondary light absorber or beam dump required.  Automatic self-checks are included as standard to ensure appropriate quality assurance and to meet US  PS-11 compliancy requirements.

PCME STACK 160 Backscatter PM-CEM

Filter Performance Monitors which provide valuable feedback on filter plant performance

The new LEAK LOCATE 330 multi-compartment bag filter leak detection system when combined with PC-ME Net Tools PC software serves as a valuable maintenance tool to monitor dynamic filter operation and provide warning of filter deterioration before the occurrence of broken bags.  Significant savings in spares, maintenance times and lost production to reduce the environmental impact and clean-up costs associated with large-scale emission events will be demonstrated.

Bag house control enhanced by new LEAK LOCATE 330 Filter Leak Detection System

MCERTS approved systems to meet UK, European and US regulatory requirements

Quality assurance features, including reference materials and zero and span functions which ensure measurement uncertainty is always below a defined uncertainty as required by EN 14181 in Europe and PS-11 in the US will be demonstrated.  PM-CEMS are approved according to the EN 15267-3 standard which is reflected in the latest version of MCERTS (Version 3) and BImSchV 17 and 13 in Germany according to the TUV approval schemes.

In addition, PCME’s Workshop sessions provide the ideal opportunity to further explore the importance of selecting the right technology for different processes utilising BAT (Best Available Techniques).  Best practice PM calibrations, including RM-QG6 procedures will also be discussed together with practical considerations for improving OMA (Operator Monitoring Assessment) scores.

PCME Plant Trees to reduce Carbon Footprint

As part of PCME’s ongoing commitment to recycling and offsetting their carbon footprint, PCME is entering into partnership with the Thicket, which is a small woodland in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.  It is home to a wide range of native woodland animals and plants and visitors use the Thicket to enjoy a tranquil, woodland setting, watch birds and have picnics in the summer.

Some of PCME’s staff visit the Thicket regularly with their families, taking part in nature trails and as somewhere to get out into the fresh air, therefore, it was the natural choice for PCME to donate trees, offsetting around 50MtCO2 and ensuring that it is well stocked for the future.

Tree planting will take place in the Thicket on Tuesday 4th December from 09:30 – 11:30 by staff and volunteers.  PCME are also in talks with local schools to encourage involvement by providing them with learning resources on how we can all take steps to become more aware of our impact on the environment.  The event coincides with National Tree Week: 24 November – 02 December 2012 which is the UK’s largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season.  (

This project has been in progress since the start of 2012, as part of PCME’s ongoing ISO 14001 development plans.  Technology, including GoToMeeting and Skype is utilized wherever possible to reduce PCME’s carbon footprint by flying less and saving miles on the road.  In addition, an internal communications system was recently introduced to reduce the printing of messages for the Notice Board.

*ISO 14001 is the internationally recognized standard for the management of environmental systems, with the aim of reducing the environmental footprint of business and decreasing waste.

Can you think of any other ways that we can reduce our Carbon Footprint?  We’d be interested in hearing from anyone with their ideas and/or experience.

Autumn in The Thicket, St Ives

Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Emission Monitoring


Professor Bill Bardo, Institute’s Immediate Past President presenting William Averdieck with his award.

William Averdieck, Managing Director of PCME Ltd has been awarded the Alec Hough-Grassby Award by the Officers and Council of the Institute of Measurement and Control in recognition of his achievements in emission monitoring.  This Award commemorates Dr Alec Hough-Grassby, a member of the Institute’s founding Council and a prominent Process Analyst with ICI.

Commenting on receiving the Award at the Annual Lecture and Learned Awards Evening at the Glaziers Hall in London, William Averdieck said “It is a great honour to be presented with this award and receive such recognition form the IMC.  Through focus on innovation in particulate monitoring for over 20 years, I have had the wonderful chance to contribute to the growth of a UK based business and work with some great collaborators in the PCME Team.”

Marathon Success

Archie smiling and hurting all the way to the finish line

Archibald Reid, Development Engineer at PCME Ltd, took part in the Berlin Marathon 2012 along with some 40,000 athletes.  He completed the 42 kilometre course which included running through the famous Brandenburg Gate, in 5 hours, 57 minutes and 42 seconds.  Archie’s time was particularly impressive as he ran half the race in an ankle support as a result of a twisted ankle injury which occurred during training the week previously.

Archie raised over £1500 for the Stroke Association, a cause close to his heart, who fund research into stroke prevention and treatment and also fund support for victims and their carers.

“I enjoyed the first half which I completed in 2 hours, twenty minutes. At the halfway point I removed my foot support in an attempt to relieve the pressure around my ankle, this was a mistake and it was the generosity of friends and colleagues which spurred me on through the pain to the finish line” said Archie.

Despite spending the next few days of his holiday in Germany on crutches, Archie is determined to maintain his strong commitment to fitness and will continue training, mixing cycling and running, as he considers options for his next competitive event.

It is still not too late to donate to Archie’s worthy cause securely online by clicking here