New SPECTROLAB High-End Spectrometer with Hybrid Optic

June 12, 2007

The hybrid optic in the new SPECTROLAB directly processes the light from the spark stand; with photomultiplier tubes (PMT) and CCD detectors simultaneously. The result: Extremely low detection limits and a flexible range of use.

Kleve, Germany, June 12, 2007 – SPECTRO presents the next generation of SPECTROLAB stationary metal analyzers at the GIFA Foundry Show (June 12 -16, 2007 in Düsseldorf, Germany). This state-of-the-art high-end spectrometer has been equipped with a new hybrid optic, a new readout system and an advanced plasma generator developed by SPECTRO in 2006. The instrument now achieves extremely low detection limits and is especially suited for all metal analysis applications.

“This latest generation of the SPECTROLAB spectrometer is the most flexible and most accurate OES instrument using spark excitation available.  It is suitable for all common matrices that can be combined as needed.  In addition, detection limits of a few mg/kg have been obtained,” reports Kay Toedter, Product Manager for Stationary Metal Analyzers at SPECTRO.“

The most important technological advance achieved in this version of the SPECTROLAB is its hybrid optic that directly processes the light from the spark stand with up to 108 PMT detectors and 22 CCD sensors. Parallel utilization of the two detector technologies achieves detection limits with a previously impossible flexibility.  The SPECTROLAB, for example, achieves detection limits below 1 mg/kg for typical applications like the determination of trace elements (e.g., Al, B, Ca, Cu und Mg) in iron alloys.

In the CCD segment, the instrument operates with a focal length of 750 mm, enabling much higher resolution measurements. The repeatability of results is extraordinarily high in the argon atmosphere thanks to the instrument’s pressure control and temperature stabilization. This advanced arrangement ensures a maximum in measurement reproducibility. 

In order to fully take advantage of the potential in the hybrid optic, the SPECTROLAB was outfitted with a new readout system. In the PMT segment, instead of integrating the total light over a fixed measurement time, the light output for each individual spark is measured with integration times in the microsecond range. “This leads to more reliable results with greater statistical certainty,” clarifies Kay Toedter. 

Low Maintenance and Operating Costs New technologies not only have made the SPECTROLAB a better performing instrument, but also reduced operating costs. With the modified spark stand and the efficient interaction between plasma generator and readout system, measuring cycles have been shortened by about 20 percent. This results in a higher sample throughput and ensures greater efficiency in the laboratory.

Another cost-saving advantage is a reduction in required maintenance work that previously was performed daily that is now coupled to the sample volume and, depending on the sample material, permits up to 3,000 analyses to be conducted before the instrument needs service.

As a high-end OES, the new SPECTROLAB is designed for metal producers and processors as well as the automobile and aviation industries. The instrument is suited to comprehensive quality management and for the demanding material analysis of incoming and outgoing materials.

This sophisticated and versatile instrument offers an attractive and practical solution for companies, which work with many different metals that previously had multiple analyzers on-site. Because SPECTROLAB can be configured for all ten standard matrices, it covers virtually all of the requirements of daily laboratory operation, making secondary instruments unnecessary. 

For its market introduction, SPECTRO is offering several additional SPECTROLAB configurations, for which the matrix is tested in view of later precious metal plating. With these configurations, metal manufacturers can test whether or not a carrier alloy is suitable for gilding, for example.  

SPECTRO is one of the worldwide leading suppliers of analytical instruments for optical emission and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. As a member of the AMETEK Materials Analysis Division, SPECTRO manufactures advanced instruments, develops the best solutions for strongly varying applications and provides exemplary customer service. Innovation, instrument concerns and customer relations are its main activities. From its foundation in 1979 until today, more than 26,000 analytical instruments have been delivered to customers around the world.

AMETEK, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with 2006 sales of more than 1.8 billion US$. AMETEK’s corporate growth plan is based on four key strategies: Operative excellence, strategic acquisitions and alliances, geographic and market expansion as well as new products. AMETEK’s common stock is a component of the S&P MidCap 400 Index and the Russell 1000 Index.

Please contact Tom Milner for additional information, Tel: +49.2821.892-0, 
Fax: +49.2821.892-2200, E-Mail: