With handheld devices making it easier to analyse samples on the move, it’s easy to overlook the reliability, flexibility and sheer power of desktop XRF analysers. For 45 years, LAB-X has been a leading name among lab instruments around the world, and the latest in this tried and tested line of products has just been launched. Our XRF expert Matt Kreiner looks at why people are getting excited about the LAB-X-5000 from Hitachi High-Tech.
Lab instruments don’t get much easier to use than this. To get straight down to business you simply load your sample, press the green START button, and your analysis will appear in seconds. There are no complex menus, no extra buttons to press or queries to respond to. Just like pulling the trigger on a handheld analyser, the basic process has been streamlined down to the press of a button.
The LAB-X5000 has a more compact footprint than its predecessor, the LAB-X3500, and now also includes a 7-inch touch screen. This displays your results and makes it easy to refine your testing method – if you need to – with just a few taps of the on-screen options. The industrial grade touch screen has been extensively tested for chemical and physical resistance ensuring it can withstand solvents and other corrosive substances common in the testing environment.
In addition to an integrated printer, data can be exported via USB and network connection. With the LiveConnect cloud service the LAB-X5000 can be integrated into a QA/QC data system. A qualitymanager can instantly receive data updates from one or several analysers in different locations throughout a large facility or from a fleet of devices from facilities around the world. This makes local and global quality programs easier to institute.
The software on board gives you the opportunity to run routine pass/fail testing. Plus, for tests with complex criteria the LAB-X5000 includes a feature called SmartCheck. For instance, if a test involves three elements, and one is not detected in a sample, normally this might mean the operator needs to contact their manager to find out what to do. SmartCheck can be set to instruct the operator in these circumstances – perhaps a fail on one element means production can continue, perhaps not. The powerful and intuitive software on board means the device can be used by anyone.
Settings have been pre-loaded in the LAB-X5000 for its most common uses, including testing sulphur in petroleum, lubricants, silicone on paper and film, and wood preservatives. With its optimised hardware and software configuration, operators in many industries will be able to begin testing from the get-go. However, the advanced features in the LAB-X5000 enable you to calibrate test criteria for many applications. The high-resolution detector allows analysis of many more elements in less time than with previous models. This makes it far more flexible and efficient when investigating and developing methods for testing complex minerals and other materials.
The LAB-X5000 continues the tradition of reliability and safety seen with previous models. The sample cup is placed into the sample holder, which rotates round into the back of the device where the X-ray tube and detector carry out the analysis safely within the housing. The sample then rotates back for removal. If there’s an accidental spill during loading or unloading, or if the sample is forgotten and left in the instrument, the X-ray tube and detector are protected. In addition, this version of the LAB-X has been tested far beyond any previous model. The START button has been pressed 400,000 times, the primary filter mechanism has endured 1.2 million cycles, and the turntable 700,000 cycles. Drop tests, vibration tests, chemical tests… just about any form of abuse you can think of has been carried out on the LAB-X5000.
So, perhaps the main reason to get excited about the LAB-X5000 is that it takes everything that makes a LAB-X a great instrument for quality control testing and adds new features to make it faster, easier to use and more flexible.
Want to find out more about how a LAB-X5000 can serve your labs? Talk to one of our experts or book a demo today.Find out more
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