Archive for July, 2011

Protection Against Counterfeit Electronic Components

I recently read a blog post at EBN Online by Dawn Gluskin of Soletec Electronics that listed ten ideas that can help supply chain professionals avoid conterfeit components.  Since Quickshot XRF has added the QSX-82D for RoHS testing and composition analysis, we have been working with a number of independent distributors, circuit board manufacturers, etc to help them meet in-house screening/inspection requirements.  I thought the blog entry would be of interest to those visitors to our site and it can be reviewed in full here.

The blog includes tips like ‘making certifications a requirement’, ‘working with distributors that are aligned with industry organizations’ and ‘identifying distributors that have systems in place to screen for counterfeit parts’ among others.

RoHS-Test-EquipmentPart of in-house screening may include x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology; like the QSX-82D from Quickshot XRF.  In these situations, XRF Spectrometers are used to detect poor quality or counterfeit components by measuring the elemental composition of materials present in the parts and then comparing them with an authentic part.  While counterfeit parts may pass electronic functionality tests, critical elements may be missing or replaced with lower cost elements that can compromise the parts performance in various situations.

With an appropriate x-ray fluorescence analyzer, distributors can verify components for RoHS and material composition; providing assurance to their clients that they are providing complient electronic components.  Review that blog and contact Quickshot XRF if you have a need for in-house screening solutions.

Testimonial: upgrading x-ray fluorescence analyzers

As many of you know, when gold prices spiked their was an increase in gold buy-back organizations starting up.  Many serious gold buyers turned to x-ray fluorescence technology to separate themselves from other gold buyers.  This is one major benefit of XRF but if the wrong system is selected then the accuracy and range of metals may not meet a buyers interest.

When the interest in x-ray fluorescence was growing, many sales organizations suggested proportional counter detection systems (aka ‘prop count’) to meet gold buy-back interests.  They promised accuracy across a range of precious metals…but that is simply not what a ‘prop-count’ system can offer.

At QSX Instruments Inc, we have been able to help gold buyers that purchased ‘prop count’ systems to upgrade their technology and obtain the accuracy, ease-of-use and range of metals that make XRF Technology a true benefit to their operations.  One current client offered the following statement on his upgrade to an Si-PIN Detection System (the QSX-295T Precious Metal Analyzer):

“Even though the price was right, the low-cost proportional counter system that we were using was not giving me the return that I thought it would because the technology is limited to yellow gold.  The upgrade to a QSX-295T with the better detection system (Si-PIN) has allowed me to see much better accuracy on gold plus the additional precious metals I need to know about (silver, etc) to get the best return on my investment in XRFThe Quickshot XRF staff made the upgrade process simple and the investment to upgrade has been well worth it.”

Rick P.
Owner / Buyer
Michigan Gold Buyer Organization

You can request literature to learn more about the difference in performance that detection systems can offer (request 79T v 295T comparison) or contact a QSX Instruments technical advisor to discuss your current buy-back operation and, possibly, XRF Analyzer.

Preparing Soil/Ore Samples for XRF Analysis

The technical staff of Quickshot XRF recently developed an overview of the steps required to prepare soil and ore samples for XRF testingRequest this piece of literature from Quickshot XRF; below is a brief summary.

Simple preparation of geological samples on site (in-situ) can yield data that is appropriate for some needs (surveying, etc).  This fast and simple preparation includes the selection of an appropriate sample and simply cleaning off the sample in order to obtain proper results.  The quality of data required for a users need will determine if this approach is acceptable

If the quick preparation noted above is not sufficent for a users need, then a more thorough sample preparation will be needed.  This approach will require access to additional accessories but should allow the user to obtain more detailed and accurate results. 

XRF Testing Ore SampleThe steps to follow (detailed in the available preparation overview) will include:
Drying the Sample: be certain that a geological sample is properly dried
Grinding: a grinding mill is required to create a thin powder for analysis
Final Preparation: based on a users access to additional machines, timing, etc can be as simple as packing into sample cups or more involved, like using a press machine and pressing into ‘cake’ like pieces

Again, more details on sample preparation can be requested but the critical idea is that the approach to sample preparation is dependent upon what an XRF users data quality objectives are.  For top results, a thorough sample preparation procedure should be utilized.