The Sievers TOCA was developed for NASA and was the first TOC instrument in space.
GE Analytical Instruments, part of GE Power & Water, GE Water & Process Technologies, was conceived with the belief that if you cannot measure it, then you cannot control it. Today GE Analytical Instruments is totally committed to providing measurement solutions that are critical to our customers’ needs. The innovative technologies, insightful methods, and dependable support we provide our customers are based on a deep understanding of our customers’ processes and the measurements that limit their success. This basis is not new, but goes back to our roots more than three decades ago at Ionics.
In the late 1960s, Ionics Inc., a pioneer in providing innovative water management solutions, formed a cooperative agreement with the Union Carbide Corporation and established the Ionics Instruments Division. The successful association ultimately led to acquisition and transfer of Union Carbide’s thermocatalytic total organic carbon (TOC) technology for analysis of carbon content in process waters. Shortly thereafter, Ionics Instrument Division licensed total oxygen demand (TOD) technology from the Dow Chemical Company for rapid determination of oxygen demand in process waters. These complementary and ground-breaking answers to difficult and time-consuming process measurement problems comprised an important part of Ionics’ strategy to provide water purification and control solutions to its rapidly growing range of customers. By the mid 1970’s, Ionics Instrument Division was firmly established and playing a key role in routinely solving water management problems. In 1996, Ionics acquired Sievers Instruments.
Sievers Instruments, Inc. was formed in 1984 by two colleagues from the University of Colorado, Dr. Misha Plam and Professor Robert Sievers. Based on innovative chemiluminescence technology, Sievers Instruments developed a novel detector designed for determination of nitric oxide that has since become the standard for biomedical research into the role of nitric oxide in biological systems. Based on the this core chemiluminescence technology, Sievers subsequently introduced the Sulfur Chemiluminescence Detector (SCD), leading to more than 1,000 SCD instruments installed worldwide for use in a broad range of applications.
Sievers Instruments’ most widely used product line, however, evolved from work done under a NASA contract to develop an instrument to monitor drinking water quality in space. The Model 800 Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer represented a true breakthrough in TOC analysis. Since its introduction in 1993, the Model 800 technology has grown into a product family that has earned market leadership positions in both semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries.
In January 1997, a Sievers TOC instrument developed for NASA was tested successfully on the Atlantis/Mir space shuttle mission and its successor was subsequently installed on the International Space Station.
By combining the Ionics and Sievers product lines, Ionics Instrument Business Group (Ionics Instruments) was created. In 1999, Ionics further expanded its range of measurement solutions by acquiring Agar Environmental, Ltd. Founded in 1990, Ionics Agar Environmental Ltd. specializes in developing, manufacturing and marketing state-of-the-art environmental protection and process control systems. Leakwise® brand products detect and continuously monitor the presence and changes in very thin layers of contaminating hydrocarbons. With these highly sensitive and robust environmental monitoring technologies, Ionics Instruments’ range of products and solutions have expanded out of the laboratory and factory, into the very locations that present the most difficult measurement problems.
GE Water & Process Technologies, Analytical Instruments
In 2005, the General Electric Company sought to expand its rapidly growing portfolio of water purification offerings by acquiring the Ionics group of companies. The former Ionics Instruments became part of the GE Water & Process Technologies division. Known informally as GE Analytical Instruments, the company now provides a wide range of instrumentation solutions for its traditional markets, while developing and manufacturing measurement technologies for the broader GE Water & Process Technologies group.