What does the device exactly measure?
The device measures the infrared absorption spectrum of the sample in the wavelength range from 2.5um-5.0um or 5.5um – 11.0um. The amount of light absorbed at a given wavelength is a direct measure of the concentration of characteristic components or molecules present in the samples. By measuring and monitoring the actual concentration of these characteristic molecules it is possible to derive qualitative and quantitative information about the condition or purity or age of the sample. The spectrometers are a platform technology that were designed to bring the lab into the field. The spectrometer has no moving parts and are extremely robust and accurate.
Where can it be used?
They are used for oil conditioning monitoring on wind turbines or ship engines, in agricultural application such as milk analysis or rapeseed oil analysis, for fuel analysis or in medical application for urine analysis or COPD identification.
What measurement method is employed?
The method used is infrared absorption spectroscopy. This method measures the amount of light that is absorbed by the sample in a specific wavelength range. The method uses a blackbody emitter that emits light in the wavelength range from 2um -20um. The light passes through or couples into a sample interface (either a transmission cell or an ATR crystal) where the light interacts with the sample and certain wavelength of the light are absorbed by the molecules within the sample. Subsequently the light is directed through a linear variable filter (LVF) on to an infrared detector with 128 or 256 pixels.
The linear variable filter splits the light up into different wavelength bands, either from 2.5um – 5.0um or from 5.5um – 11.0um and the light then falls onto the pixels of the infrared detector. As there is a direct correlation between the pixel number and the wavelength of the light that falls onto a given pixel the output signals of the infrared detectors are a measure of the amount of light absorbed by the sample.
An absorption spectrum of a sample is created by doing a first measuring without a sample present (background measurement) and then doing a measurement with a sample present.
By correlating the sample measurement with the background measurement the absorption spectrum of the sample can be calculated.
How is the measurement carried out?
First a background measurement is taken without a sample present. Then a measurement is taken with a sample and the absorption spectrum of the sample is calculated and analysed by the spectrometer and the results are presented to the user in an easy to understand way.
The samples are generally placed onto the ATR crystal using a pipette and for transmission cells the samples are often pumped into the cell or placed using a syringe or pipette.
Do you need special training to use your products?
No the spectrometer can be used by untrained personnel once it is set-up for the application(s). Spectrolytic will work with the customer to set-up the spectrometer for their desired purposes. Once the set-up is completed an especially developed user interface will guide the user through the measurement routine to ensure that the measurement is carried out correctly and only accurate data is collected and analysed.
How is the device kept clean?
Cleaning the spectrometer is important and Spectrolytic will advise on the correct cleaning procedure for the different applications / spectrometer configuration. In any case it is a very simple cleaning process and the spectrometer carries out a self-check to ensure that cleaning has been done correctly.
Do temperature, humidity or other environmental factors influence the measurements?
The system temperature and the sample temperature have an influence on the measurements. The system temperature is tracked and the user is alerted to carry out certain activities if required. The sample temperature itself should be below 80C but it is important that the samples are all analysed having a similar temperature.
One sample measured at a 10C and the other at 50C will make it difficult to compare the results.
Other environmental factors such as humidity, room temperature etc are less important.
How reliable are the measurement and analysis of your products?
Very reliable once it is set-up for the customer’s application. It achieves very similar accuracies to that of a laboratory analysis.
How long does a measurement take?
The user has to take a background measurement and then a sample measurement. Each measurement takes around 90s so after 3min the user has a result.
Which measurement values are made available and how are they documented?
During the set-up of the spectrometer the customer can decide which parameters are of relevance to him and these are made available. The results for each parameter and for the overall sample are presented in a traffic light system (red = bad, green = ok) to allow the user to react accordingly.
A more detailed report can be printed providing much more detail to the trained engineer. All data are stored digitally and can be shared with relevant people within the organisation via email.
What advantages do your products offer compared to other established methods?
Spectrolytic products provide accurate analysis of the sample in the field wherever and whenever it is needed. No need to send samples to a lab and wait for days for the results. With Spectrolytic’s products immediate actions can be taken based on reliable data.
What do your products costs and what is included?
The Spectrolytic handheld device includes the hardware and also a sophisticated software for the data analysis. One device can be set up and used for many different applications. For example the same device can be used to analyse different kind of oils at EVERY lubrication point of an engine or generator.
Spectrolytic’s handheld devices are significantly cheaper than other mid-infrared spectrometer solutions.
Has there been any experience or calculations related to return on investment?
With an average oil sample costing around €70 and an individual spectrometer being able to measure multiple types of oils the return of investment depends on how many machines/lubrication points the customer has and how often a sample is taken.
You also have to factor in the advantage of having real time information and being able to react to any problem that has been detected there and then.
Agricultural and food applications can also save on analysis costs but can also ensure that the product they are buying/selling has the desired quality that they are paying for.
Become laboratory tests superfluous when using your products?
This depends entirely on the customer and the application. In general customers still prefer to run some laboratory tests in parallel to using Spectrolytic’s products.
Do you incur significant maintenance costs when using your products?
There are no real maintenance costs related to the product. The only thing needed is some cleaning fluids/wipes for the cleaning of the spectrometers.
Where can I buy your products?
Spectrolytic spectrometers can be purchased directly from us or from our local partners.
Please see our website for your local contact.
Who is responsible for service and maintenance?
Spectrolytic will manage all service and maintenance related enquiries.