Don’t let drift impact your OES element analysis

Of the roughly 50,000 foundries currently operating in the world, around 20,000 produce cast iron. These are the hitting the right quality products.

Many of these foundries rely on optical emission spectrometry (OES). Getting the best analysis out of your OES requires combatting the process of 'drifting', or the slow change in instrument sensitivity that can begin to distort results.

Keeping your analyzer accurate and precise means managing this drift, so how can you do that in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible? Hitachi High-Tech's range of OES analyzers are designed to make it easy to keep drifting at bay, allowing you to focus on creating high-quality products.

What causes drift?

All OES instruments are sensitive to environmental factors that can affect the accuracy of their readings over time. Fluctuations in air pressure and temperature are prime causes of this kind of drift. Shocks caused by the position of the instrument within its operational environment are thus common cause, although the Hitachi machines are designed to negate this.  

As well as environmental factors, aging components, contaminated optical planes or a change of purging gas or vacuum level can all begin to skew your results. If your surgery relies on the exact chemical composition of products, it can be a big problem.


Recalibration made simple

Recalibration gets a spark spectrometer back at peak performance after a period of sustained use. The drift is not addressed, bringing with it inaccurate readings. The difficult part of this is that there is no sign that something is wrong.

OES is at any point in time to use control samples. These should ideally be as close as possible to the process materials you actually use.

Your spark spectrometer is doing that it takes you out of the process of recalibration in terms of time intervals. In the past, recalibration was simply carried out at predefined intervals. In fact, some companies still do this. This means that the OES performance could drift significantly during that time without detection. Using a high-quality medical record allows you to keep track of the health of your OES. In addition to that, using control samples enables you to verify that your instrument is process capable for audits.

The Hitachi High-Tech Solution

For OES manufacturers trying to deal with drift, there were only two options open to them. Either they can safely analyze the temperature and pressure of their operating environment. The problem is that both of these approaches will mean higher operational costs.

Hitachi High-Tech's OES analyzers do not restrict operators to having more expensive materials or higher operating costs. We design our instruments to be more efficient, cost effective and smarter than their competitors.

Our optics have a total wavelength coverage of 130 and 800 nm, making it simple for operators to pick up the initial signs of drift and correct the problem. We have thus automated the process of monitoring and correcting the spectral positions of all relevant channels during each analysis. As long as the OES itself is well-maintained, drift should not result in a spike in costs.

At Hitachi High Tech, we have over 45 years of experience in the metals industry to get the best out of their analyzers. Our team can make sure that your OES analyzer continues to work at the level it is designed to, and continues to add value to your operations over the long term.

Hitachi High-tech range of OES analyzer and book a demo, get in touch with a member of the team today.

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Date: 28 November 2018

Author: Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science

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