Archive for the ‘Hazardous Substance Testing’ Category

RoHS2 and XRF Technology: Article from PCB Magazine

With the RoHS2 regulations, we have seen a renewed interest in X-ray Fluorescence technology for hazardous substance testing.  Many organizations involved with electronic components, circuits boards, etc are affected by these regulations are looking to XRF analyzers as part of their compliance system.

In the February issue of ‘Printed Circuits Design’ Magazine, an article discusses the technical documentation and process control aspects that must be considered.  The article, written by Scott Mazur, highlights XRF Technology for an organizations internal process control and as an RoHS2 monitoring device.  He notes, “During electronics manufacturing, many variables and cross-contamination opportunities exist.  XRF technology can verify that the various processes, equipment, tools and materials are compliant.

It is a beneficial read for organizations considering their approach to RoHS2 monitoring and control. 
Read the complete article from Printed Circuit Design Magazine.

Circuit Board Testing with XRF

He highlights the portability benefit of Handheld XRF, which will allow for on site vendor audits.  The following manufacturing areas being potential XRF testing points:
-  Surface Mount Technology
-  Wave Solder
-  Hand Soldering
-  Final Assembly

While the author does highlight Handheld XRF for its portability, we always suggest that organizations dealing with smaller components and looking for streamlined functionality consider the QSX-82D desktop model from Quickshot XRF.  Please contact a QSX Instruments associate to discuss your process control requirements and how the technology may best fit…and read that article.

QSX-82D RoHS Test Equipment Demo Video

A new video is available that provides a demonstration of the desktop analyzer (QSX-82D) in action.  The video was taped as a quick follow-up to the previous blog post that highlighted the differences between Quickshot XRF’s handheld and desktop analyzers in RoHS testing.    Recorded by an Application Specialist after a web-cam demonstration of the system, it offers an overview of the QSX-82D taking a measurement then pulling the data to generate a report.  It is a fairly brief video and highlights the analyzers streamlined software and report functionality.

Currently, the video is not on the Quickshot XRF Youtube page but can be requested through a sales associate through the Quickshot XRF Contact Page.  It may be added to our Youtube page in the future.

It should be noted that we also have a video of the Handheld XRF Analyzer in action in case you are comparing the operation of the desktop analyzer and the handheld system.

RoHS Test Equipment: Benchtop or Handheld XRF?

Quickshot XRF recently released the QSX-82D, a desktop x-ray fluorescence analyzer that was developed specifically for RoHS testing needs.  With the release of this system, organizations have both a desktop and a handheld system from Quickshot XRF to consider when looking to add in-house RoHS testing capabilities.  Both systems present different benefits that will meet various end-users interests and this blog touches on a few benefits of each.

Concerns over the difference in accuracy and repeatability of the two systems are topics that most organizations want to discuss.  This is, essentially, a non-factor as both technologies offer the ability to read at PPM levels well below RoHS requirements.  Although, the increased sensitivity the desktop system provides allows it to outperform the handheld when testing metal samples for hazardous substances.

We ran some tests on a sample piece using both systems and a summary of those tests follow:

XRF Testing Results of RoHS ComplianceAverage Reading (in PPM)
note that the largest difference between average results was only 4.28 PPM; in Bromine

Standard Deviation of XRF ResultsStandard Deviation
fairly tight repeatability from each analyzer

Handheld XRF (QSX-HH)
This very popular option from QSX Instruments Inc can provide a good screening device when companies require portability.  Many organizations like that it is available for rent; which provides the option to credit the entire rental fee to the purchase price – making it a popular way to try XRF Technology for an extended period of time before making the full investment.

Top Benefits of Handheld XRF
     -  Portable Testing; good for incoming inspection interests
     -  No Limit to Sample Size; a benefit for testing larger boards that can’t be destroyed 
     -  Cost; only QSX Instruments offers a handheld system at thsi price for RoHS testing 

Desktop XRF (QSX-82D)
RoHS-Test-EquipmentThis system was developed for organizations that have a need to test smaller components for RoHS compliance.  The camera system allows for focus on a specific area and the image is included in reports.  Many users of desktop systems appreciate that the software operates on a computer (not a PDA like handhelds) making it easier to navigate and the reporting capabilities are much more impressive.

Top Benefits of Desktop XRF:
     -  Software; easier to navigate than handheld and better report functions
     -  Color Camera System; insures proper sample alignment
     -  Multiple Filters and Collimators; increased sensitivity and detection limits

At the end of the day, QSX Instruments can not offer a standard answer for what system is the better option.  The decision must be based on the individual organizations testing needs and situation, but both systems can provide accurate information with different benefits.  Feel free to contact a QSX Instruments associate to discuss your testing interests, concerns and the benefits of each analyzer style.

California Watch Offers Free XRF Screening of Jewelry

CPSIA Screening Equipment

CPSIA Screening Equipment

Utilizing a Quickshot XRF Handheld Analyzer (QSX-HH), California Watch will be providing free screening of jewelry at three different locations in the Southern California region throughout early October.  Details of the screening events can be reviewed here.

The California Watch team was launched by the Center for Investigating Reporting in 2009.  As noted on the California Watch web-site, the team “pursues in-depth, high-impact reporting on issues such as education, public safety, health care and the environment”.  They have had several articles regarding hazardous substances (lead, cadmium) in jewelry including this article about a national retailer that continues to violate lead laws (Proposition-65, CPSIA).

Refer to the California Watch website with questions on the free screening events or their reporting on this important issue.  Feel free to contact Quickshot XRF about our solutions for testing product for lead, cadmium, etc.

New (shorter) Handheld XRF Video Demo

A new video demonstration has been posted to the Quickshot XRF Youtube Channelthanks to toy cheese.

Toy Cheese Lead Test
Yes, cheese.  I had the chance to visit the main QSX facility recently and also visit with family that lives near by.  One night my nephew was chewing on a piece of toy cheese from a kids kitchen set and I thought “I hope that doesn’t contain lead”.  So, I took it into the office and tested the toy on the Quickshot XRF Handheld Analyzer using the CPSIA Screening software.  Luckily; it showed lead content as a non-detect…so he can chew away (?).

After running that test I wanted to tape a shorter video than our previous one on the Handheld XRF Analyzer.  The video runs through the initialization and measurement procedures related to hazardous substance testing.

You can probably tell from looking around our website but detection of lead, cadmium and other heavy metals is a major application for XRF technology.  The QSX handheld system performs very well on the application and has been chosen by a variety of companies looking to screen per the CPSIA regulations – sporting good manufacturers, childrens jewelry importers, textile and clothing manufacturers and more.

At Quickshot XRF the moddo is “consider us for the price…choose us for the performance” and that is what people have been doing.  Enjoy the video; more will be posted soon and feel free to make any suggestions…