NeSSI (for New Sampling/Sensor Initiative) is a global and open initiative sponsored by the Center for Process Analysis and Control (CPAC) at the University of Washington, in Seattle.
The NeSSI initiative was begun to simplify the tasks and reduce the overall costs associated with engineering, installing, and maintaining chemical process analytical systems. Process analytical systems are commonly used by the chemical, oil refining and petrochemical industries to measure and control both chemical composition as well as certain intrinsic physical properties (such as viscosity). The specific objectives of NeSSI are:
- Increasing the reliability of these systems through the use of increased automation,
- Shrinking their physical size and energy use by means of miniaturization,
- Promoting the creation and use of industry standards for process analytical systems,
- Helping create the infrastructure needed to support the use of the emerging class of robust and selective microAnalytical sensors.
To date, NeSSI has served as a forum for the adoption and improvement of an industrial standard which specifies the use of miniature and modular Lego-like flow components. NeSSI has also issued a specification which has been instrumental in spurring the development and commercialization of a plug and play low power communication bus (NeSSI-bus) specifically designed for use with process analytical sample systems in electrically hazardous environments. As part of its development road map, NeSSI has defined the electrical and mechanical interfaces, as well as compiled a list of automated (smart) software features, which are now beginning to be used by microAnalytical manufacturers for industrial applications.