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Sunday, 29th November 2015

Task MasterTask Master - Custom Instrumentation and Software

Significantly, our one-off instruments are built in cases, not slotted inside a computer. This allows us room to innovate and adapt to your requirements. Since our incorporation in 1985 we have designed and built one-offs. All design, manufacturing and software is done in-house enabling us to go from concept to fully tested instrument in a very short time. Utilising our extensive library of electronic designs and software we find that most requests for a unique instrument simply need an adaptation of an existing instrument thus keeping the costs low.

Our name for these one-offs is Task Master, in the sense that the instrument is not the Jack-of-all-Trades but the Master of One because they are tailored to our customers specific needs. They do not have to be computer controlled, but they can be. They can be as simple as a battery powered reference electrode buffer or as complicated as an ultrasonic nuclear reactor tube monitoring system. They do not even have to be electronic, we also design probes and cells.

Please contact us with your ideas, we genuinely love to make new systems. On really big systems it is quite common for the customer to visit us about 3/4 of the way into the project to ensure that everything is fine, this is a good time to make software changes and incorporate new ideas. It also makes a great excuse to come and visit our lovely part of the English Lake District.

All ACM Instruments, the Task Masters included, come with a two year warranty which may, at low cost, be increased to five years for peace of mind.

If you wish to purchase a Task Master, discuss options, or perhaps request a quote then please phone or e-mail us. We're always ready to help.  

Optional Extras

[ You name it, we can do it ]

Bespoke Instruments

  • Autoranging Industrial ZRA - A robust plant ZRA compatible with 4-20mA industrial systems.
  • Cautious 12 - Stand alone instrument consisting of 12 potentiostats grouped in two groups of 6
  • Concrete 32 - A 32 channel system for long term monitoring of embedded probes in concrete using LPR, AC and Current & Voltage Noise techniques
  • Dockyard Weld Tester - measured current supplied to sensitised paper
  • Dyno Analyser - A three electrode corrosion rate meter, with isolated industrial interface
  • GalvoGuard - A guard ring for measuring corrosion rate, cell potential and bulk resistance of concrete structures
  • Gill IK64 - This instrument comprises a single 2A potentiostat and sixty-four 20mA Zero Resistance Ammeters
  • Heating Investigator 4 - Central Heating inhibitor test equipment comprising 4 channels + temperature and stirrer control
  • Hydrogen Permeation 12 - Base unit plus 12 remote screened small potentiostat and ZRAs for hydrogen permeation current monitoring
  • Indomitable 100 - One 10A potentiostat and one hundred 100mA ZRAs in one instrument!
  • Lamp Post Logger - A portable corrosion rate meter for testing metal lamp posts in the ground
  • LPR 485 - An industrial monitoring system, using RS-485 to link LPR instruments
  • Plant Noise Apparatus - A central controlling PC which monitors and analyses the data from 12 remote signal collecting and conditioning units.
  • SOLnCOR Concrete Meter - A portable instrument for potentiostatic determination of solution resistance and corrosion rate of rebar in concrete.
  • Speedy 9 - Fast simultaneous measurement from nine cells using all of our conventional DC techniques

Please note that most of our instrumentation started out as bespoke including our standard laboratory and field instrumentation. They only became standard due to their popularity.

Constructing your Taskmaster

There are a number of specifications to consider when creating a Task Master.   

Is the Taskmaster based around a ZRA, Potentiostat or Both?

  • This all depends on the type of test required.

Number of Channels Required?

  • Each channel can monitor a galvanic couple or potential. Thus in order to monitor 12 individual couples a 12 channel system is required.

Sequential or Parallel System?
  • A sequential system would switch between channels in turn. Thus only one channel can be controlled at a time while the other channels are isolated or coupled as required.  
  • A Parallel System would control all channels simultaneously.  

Current Range of each Channel?
  • Current ranges up to 7mA are the most cost effective. You can have a wider current range using switched current ranges. This could be relatively simple such as two current ranges or several giving a current range from 10pA to 5Amps. You would need to specify the current range required.

Fixed, Switched or Variable Potential Polarisation?
  • If needed the potential can be set to fixed value, switched or variable between a range of values.

Electrical Isolation of each Channel?
  • Electrical isolation enables each channel and thus its associated electrodes to be electrically isolated from the other channels. With electrical isolation, electrodes from all channels can be placed in the same cell at the same time without any externally imposed polarisation between channels. A Parallel System also offer isolation between channels.

Test Type?
  • Any potentiostatic, potentiodynamic, galvanostatic or galvanodynamic polarisation test types can be specified with a Task Master including harmonic analysis; potential pulse; AC impedance or cyclic voltammetry.

Read Rate?
  • The read rate depends on the design of the system and the time constraints of the type of test itself.

  • Do you need your instrument to be portable?  Most of our instruments including our standard laboratory instruments can be made portable and run on batteries.
  • Do you need your instrument to be weather resistance or waterproof?

Examples of Potentiostat based Task Masters we have designed.
  • AC 40 - A forty channel sequential system using AC Impedance on coated samples. This system monitored both capacitance and impedance at specific frequencies as well as performing a full AC Impedance scan from high to low frequencies
  • Pot 16 - A 16 channel multiple potentiostat system for cathodic disbondment tests on painted samples.
  • LPR 4 - A four channel LPR system with distributed and remote potentiostat units. Each potentiostat had four current ranges. It was designed to monitor atmospheric corrosion close to the reactor at a de-commissioned nuclear power station over a period of years.

Examples of ZRA based Task Masters.
  • Isolated 30 : A thirty channel system with a ZRA per channel. Each channel has electrical isolation twin current ranges and the ability to monitor the couple potential. Fitted with gold plated Lemo connectors and 5 meters of electrode cable.
  • GalvoGill 12 : A twelve channel system with a ZRA per channel. Each channel has four ranges and the ability to monitor the couple potential. The GalvoGill 12 is typically supplied without electrode cables but fitted with 4mm sockets for ease of connection.

Due to the great variety of specifications and options available for these Bespoke instruments and not wanting to confuse our customers please contact us and we can ask you the necessary questions and quote to your specifications.

Here is a short list taken at random from my files of some of our projects supplied to customers world wide:

Instrument Customer
EuroMeter  (combined AC LPR Galvanic and potential stand alone data logger)      Liverpool University
BRE Solution resistance and corrosion LPR battery powered portable meter Building Research Establishment    
Six channel corrosion monitor for inhibitor evaluation Aberdeen Oilfield Company
300 Watt AutoAC project European plating
Cathodic protection timer Taylor Woodrow
Distributed nuclear plant LPR monitoring system GEC
Current pulse portable equipment Concrete Research
Twenty parallel computer controlled auto ranging ZRAs  BNFL
Hydrogen permeation/ fishscale test unit British Steel
180 channel crack growth monitor BAe
CP Instant off recorder    TRL
Conductivity Meter TRL
Differential pulsed polography - stand-alone instrument British University
8 Channel Impedance matching for reference electrodes UMIST
Corrosion alarm Alan Smith
Coulomb counter  British University
Ultrasonic fuel tube monitoring system BNFL
Nuclear waste monitoring system ER LPR and potential UKAEA/BNFL
40 channel AC impedance with auto curve fitting British Gas
Transient analysis trigger logging and analysis of scratched electrode BNFL
Holiday detector UMIST
Very fast LPR meter BP
Portable Guard Ring LPR ITRI Taiwan
4 Dynamic offsetting ZRA's with potentiostat Crown Paints
Temperature cycling multi-channel corrosion monitor Fernox
MultiZRA equipment TI
Simultaneous quad polarisation and quad ZRA BNFL
Ten parallel potentiostat system     Rolls Royce
Galvanoscope BP
Parallel six/ Galvanic five Shell
Super offsetter Fry's Metals
Guard ring AC impedance Sweden
16 channel ZRA TRRL
36 Channel RE system B Steel
100 ZRA plus 10 Amp potentiostat National Power
100 1 Amp ZRA's plus 100 Amp potentiostat National Power
Distributed 14 channel system Pot Gal Temp Conductivity Flow NNC
Stand-alone loggers to interface with plant computer Unilever
Wooden box stat polished marine ply! Korea
Guard Ring LPR  
Guard Ring AC  
Exxon 12 Exxon
DPP Saudi
Rotating Disc Electrode System Baker
Pulse/Trigger Unit Gareth
Field DSP Buffers BAE
Root Meter  
Standard 12  
Potential 20 Curtin
ISO 3 Invista
Ref 12 Hawaii
BioStat Solvay
FastSweep DSP  
Kurt 4 & Kurt Kalibrator  
Dynamic 8 Loughborough University
AC Impedance Imperial/UMIST
AC Box Imperial/EG&G/UMIST
LPR (10Hz) BP
AC + LPR Shell
4x4 Inhibitor Test Box Cookson India Research Centre
Dynamic ZRA CIMAV Mexico
Dynamic ZRA 5x5 British Gas
ElectroFormer Weir Strachan & Henshaw
Field Stat Petrolite
Gill 16 Polariser Bredero Shaw
Gill 100 HP National Power
Gill 4 Inhibitor (Offsetter) Fernox
Ionex 50 Ionex SG Ltd
Isolated MultiZRA 10 BNFL
Isolated ZRA 40 BNFL
Kenometer Almetron Ltd
Polariser 10 Liverpool University
Polariser 12 Florida University
Quad Stat 200mV British Steel UK
RE Buffer BP
Standard Twenty BNSL
Temp Control Fernox
Tricorder UMIST
Twin Channel LPR Meter Rose Corrosion Services
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