RoHS Compliance and Lead Screening, Environmental Testing and Mining Applications Using Handheld XRF - New Applications for the SPECTRO xSORT

March 8, 2009

SPECTRO xSORT handheld XRF instrument now available with application packages for RoHS compliance screening, environmental testing and mining applications
Silicon drift detector with high signal throughput enables extremely fast and accurate analysis of all important elements from sulfur to uranium
Kleve, Chicago, March 2009 – SPECTRO Analytical Instruments presents a new range of applications for the SPECTRO xSORT handheld XRF instrument at Pittcon 2009 (March 8 to March 13, Chicago). First introduced to the market in September of 2008, SPECTRO xSORT’s original metal analysis capabilities have been expanded to include applications for RoHS compliance and lead screening as well as for the examination of soil in environmental testing and the direct analysis of ores, concentrates and tailings.

The SPECTRO xSORT, weighing just 1.7 kilograms (3.7 lbs), is an analytical instrument for rapid non-destructive XRF screening analyses. With just a few seconds testing time, it non-destructively analyses the content of all important elements between sulfur and uranium contained in a sample. The modern silicon drift detector (SDD) used in the xSORT processes signals extremely fast. Dirk Wissmann, Product Manager for XRF instruments at SPECTRO, explains: “Depending on the task, users can utilize the high readout rate to measure with the xSORT much faster than with other instruments, or use traditional measurement times and achieve significantly better detection limits and accuracy.”

High Readout Rate, High-Speed Measurements, Attractive Price
Rapid RoHS compliance and lead screening are among the most important of the new applications reports Wissmann: “In the United States, lead residues have recently been found again and again in toys, jewelry and cosmetics. Product recalls and high compensation claims are the result. This subject remains current and encompasses ever more industries worldwide; right through to the classic wholesale and retail trade.” The SPECTRO xSORT can bring all of its strengths into play for this application. The analyzer is non-destructive, offers a high degree of analytical flexibility and has a low purchase price. For screening measurements the high speed xSORT really shows what it can do: “When a warehouse clerk needs to test several hundred products at a time, it makes a big difference whether he/she has to hold the XRF instrument still for 30 or 90 seconds,” explains Dirk Wissmann. “With the xSORT, the clerk is not only finished faster, but doesn’t have any aching muscles either!”

Fast environmental screening analyses are a second important application area for the xSORT.  With the instrument, users simply press a button to test the elemental composition of soil or sludge or to discover whether or not an old telephone pole was treated with outdated and now illegal wood preservative. As one would imagine, operation of the instrument is easy: The user places the probe against the soil or sample, presses the trigger and, within just a few seconds, views the elemental contents on the integrated PDA display. Small or thin samples can be examined using the optional docking station. The SPECTRO xSORT is available with various configuration options for especially accurate results and additional ease of use. Options include extremely large surface area detectors for exact soil examination or an integrated GPS module that keeps a protocol of sampling locations when geologists analyze rock samples.

The three new SPECTRO xSORT applications packages - RoHS compliance and lead screenings, environmental examinations and ore analysis - are available immediately, worldwide.

About SPECTRO:
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 30,000 analytical instruments have been delivered to customers around the world.

AMETEK, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with an annual turnover of approximately 2.5 billion USD. 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: spectro.info@ametek.com
Wider range of use: RoHS compliance screening, analysis of precious metals, examination of small samples as well as inclusions in glass and metal, forensic analysis
More powerful silicon drift detector guarantees maximum measuring speed and enables analyses with a working distance of 20 millimeters
Kleve, Chicago, March 08, 2009 – SPECTRO Analytical Instruments presents the third generation of the SPECTRO MIDEX micro XRF spectrometer for the first time at Pittcon 2009 (March 8th to 13th, 2009, Chicago). The new model has been improved in many ways and presents itself as being faster, more powerful and more flexible than its predecessor. It has been designed for the electric and electronics industries, precious metal market, the automotive and aerospace industries and forensic laboratories.

The SPECTRO MIDEX is an XRF instrument equipped with an air-cooled low power X-ray tube with micro focus. The spectrometer utilizes software controlled collimated point excitation. The size of the measuring spot can be optionally set in steps between 200 micrometers and 4 millimeters. The current model, into which the formerly separate MIDEX and MIDEX M versions have been combined, utilizes the latest generation silicon drift detector. The detector can now process up to 250,000 pulses per second. “The new detector makes the MIDEX even faster. It scans the microelectronics on a EC board, a standard size for printed boards, in 30 minutes” explains Dirk Wissmann, Product Manager for XRF spectrometers at SPECTRO. During point analyses, the MIDEX determines the entire contents of a sample in two minutes. Additionally, the stronger detector delivers exact results even with a working distance of 20 millimeters reports Wissmann further: “This opens new areas of use. We can examine the high components of a mounted printed circuit board with varying heights, without damaging the board. It is just as easy to non-destructively search for inclusions in finished automotive components.”

Motor Driven Sample Plate

The MIDEX has a sample chamber that may be optionally equipped with a motor driven XYZ table. For mapping analyses, the travel path can be freely programmed along a surface of 235 x 178 Millimeter, in order to examine all of the capacitors on an electronics board, for example. “Customers also like to use the XYZ table as an autosampler. They place several samples on the table and then program the travel path so that all of the samples are examined,” reports Product Manager Dirk Wissmann. SPECTRO equipped the sample chamber with an integrated video system for point measurements. Users can exactly set the measuring spot and even document the analyzed point in a video image.

Analyzes Surfaces and Valleys

The new MIDEX supports two types of operation: With the standard configuration, the distance between the excitation source and the measuring spot is two millimeters. This mode is well suited to rapid point measurements – testing precious metal alloys, for example – as well as line scans and mappings of flat surfaces with a large measuring spot. This configuration can be supplemented with an optional helium flush; enabling the MIDEX to measure the light elements from magnesium to titanium.

As an alternative, the MIDEX can be configured so that the distance between the excitation source and the measuring spot is 20 millimeters. This distance is ideal for the non-destructive analysis of the lower lying components on a sample. Three dimensional topologies – such as especially high boards or pieces of jewelry with structure surfaces - can also be easily analyzed.

Marketing Director Tom Milner sees two large markets for the SPECTRO MIDEX: “With its strong mapping features and the option of scanning to a depth of 20 millimeters, the MIDEX will set new standards for RoHS compliance screening,” he predicts. The second important market is the jewelry and precious metal industry: “The MIDEX was always ideal for the non-destructive analysis of expensive jewelry and artwork. Now, the instrument has become even faster, which means a vast time savings especially for elaborately structured and massive pieces.” SPECTRO can also visualize the MIDEX in the automotive and aerospace industries, where it can search out inclusions in glass and metal samples, as well as in forensics, to view powder burns with X-ray fluorescence.

About SPECTRO:

SPECTRO is one of the worldwide leading suppliers of analytical instruments for optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. SPECTRO manufactures advanced instruments, develops the best solutions for strongly varying applications and provides exemplary customer service. SPECTRO’s products are exemplified by unique technical capabilities that deliver measureable benefits to the customer. From its foundation in 1979 until today, more than 30,000 analytical instruments have been delivered to customers around the world.

AMETEK, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with an annual turnover of approximately 2.5 billion USD. 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: spectro.info@ametek.com