Why LIBS means lower cost of ownership

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometry (LIBS) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) handheld analysers are both compact, easy-to-use and fast. Materials can be identified at the pull of a trigger. It’s that simple.

Often, cost is a key factor in the decision making process, especially when it comes to thinking about overheads long-term. When both products are comparably priced and have a similar service life, choosing between a LIBS or an XRF analyser can be tricky.

One of the deciding factors for many users is the lower overall cost of ownership of a LIBS analyser like the Vulcan by Hitachi High-Tech.

Here our VP of Sales and Service for EMEA, Paul Bunting, looks at the key ways our customers are saving money with a Vulcan.

1) No costly compliance

Until now, many customers have been using handheld XRF analysers, which are very good and accurate, but in most countries you have to comply with safety legislation. This can mean registering the analyser, appointing a radiation officer and possibly even inspections. Regulations vary depending on what country you’re in, but they can lead to extra costs. There are no regulations applying to LIBS analysers in most countries, meaning these costs simply aren’t there for products like Vulcan.

2) No training

Because no X-rays are involved, owners of a Vulcan do not need to undergo radiation safety training. It uses a Class 3B laser so we recommend you wear a pair of protective glasses, which are included with the unit. In some countries wearing safety goggles is mandatory.

For companies with a high staff turnover, this training can become an on-going cost. While for smaller businesses, two or three days for training can be inconvenient and may affect productivity.

3) Durability

Both XRF and LIBS analysers are built to last even in harsh operating environments. With a Vulcan, the measurement optics are recessed 10mm into the nose of the device and are protected by a window made of sapphire glass, which is nearly indestructible. Even in a tough environment such as a scrapyard the chance of accidental damage and replacement cost while measuring small or sharp objects is almost zero.

4) No consumables

Made of sapphire glass, the protective window on the Vulcan needs regular cleaning, but it’s very rare that you would ever have to replace it. With an XRF analyser, the devices need the occasional replacement of the film in the nose of the analyser that protects against dust and water. The price of consumables however is relatively small.

We know cost is just one of the areas of consideration when choosing an analyser. To make sure you get the right tool for the job, talk to one of our experts today or book a demo.

Get a quote or demo

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Date: 31 October 2017

Author: Paul Bunting, VP of Sales and Service for EMEA

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