Focusing on its core foundation of quality and precision in fluid measuring, Hamilton Company continues to innovate all of its current product lines by responding to the prospective needs of each market, and has made technological advances in the sphere of process analytical sensors.

Founded on the call for precision and reliability, Hamilton Company was established in 1953 in Whittier, California, after Clark Hamilton recognised the need for a dependable device for chromatography and created the first Microliter Syringe in 1947. As the company began to grow, its headquarters moved to Reno, Nevada, where it has remained for the past 43 years. In 1968, European manufacturing was instituted with famous Swiss precision in Bonaduz, Switzerland.

The institution of innovative precision and quality remained throughout the company’s expansion as the first syringes were followed by the development of multiple liquid-handling and analytical devices. Today, Hamilton Company’s portfolio consists of a wide variety of products and services including the original glass chromatography syringe developed in 1947, syringe pumps, valves, diluters, large robotics systems, HPLC columns and process analytical sensors. Keeping in the tradition of the founder’s principles, the process analytical product line allows no concession for deviation from accuracy and precision, as this is not permissible in the applications of biotechnological production. Using expertise in glass manufacturing, Hamilton Company developed its portfolio of process analytical sensors with the release of new pH sensors 25 years ago, and most recently introducing the new Arc system, featuring an innovative approach to satisfying the increasing demand for intelligence within process environments.

Wisdom from within

In 2007 Hamilton Company completely revolutionised the dissolved oxygen-sensing market with the introduction of the VisiFerm DO sensor. For the first time, optical DO-sensing technology was presented in a user-friendly format familiar and backwards-compatible to existing instrumentation and process procedures. The sensor boasted a traditional 12mm design, but incorporated intelligence and offered a new internal microprocessor, 4-20mA analogue and digital interfaces, and an electrochemical sensor (ECS) interface for connection to traditional meters and transmitters already in use. With the advent of these features, the sensor is used in multiple ways. It can be connected directly to an existing transmitter or bench-top control tower or directly to a process control system (PCS) via 4-20mA or digital communication. 4-20mA and digital signal interfaces generated directly from the sensor itself mean that the transmitter – introduced simply for the purpose of sensor control and signal amplification to begin with – is no longer necessary. The sensor provides not only a current signal, but also directly related process information.

Bridging the future

The biopharmaceutical market continues to evolve and transform with the incorporation of process analytical technology to receive cohesive, higher quality process information. Consequently the need for more intelligence in sensors has led Hamilton Company to integrate electronics into the entire sensor offering. Using the latest technological advances to drive miniaturisation of the microprocessors, the Hamilton Arc product line now offers multiple electrical signal output options with relevant process information in pH, DO, ORP, and conductivity measurements. By miniaturising the transmitter and putting it into the sensor itself, Arc sensors are standalone devices, delivering data suitable for process control.

Calibration and configuration of Arc sensors is conducted in multiple ways. Use of the Hamilton Device Manager (HDM) freeware available on the company website allows control and digital communication with a PC. Information provided through the sensor-PCS interface allows calibration and control with the PCS itself. Local monitoring is accomplished with the addition of a wireless module, the Arc Wi, to each sensor. This, in conjunction with the user-friendly, portable Arc Handheld, allows the user to communicate wirelessly with any number of sensors (up to 31 at a time) in one area and gives complete, password-protected control over each Arc sensor without the cost of the 1:1 transmitter to sensor ratio typical of many process environments. Visual confirmation of calibrations, measurement values, errors and warnings and easy to access settings within each sensor support stress-free sensor handling.

Using its core foundation of quality and precision in fluid measuring, Hamilton Company continues to innovate.