QSX Instruments: Gold and RoHS lead the way into 2012

December…a month that probably moves much faster than anybody prefers.  Pretty soon, we will be entering a New Year.  So, right now, we’ll look back at 2011 and ahead to 2012…before December flies by. 

In 2011, QSX Instruments Inc continued to provide solutions for two primary application interests (Gold and RoHS).  We released two new analyzers and our technical staff continued to make support/education a priority.

Gold ImageGold Testing Continued: Quickshot XRF continued our focus on providing economical solutions to organizations that require accurate vertification of gold and other precious metals.  In doing so, we began offering a new system, the QSX-79Tplus) that combines a low-cost chamber design with higher performing components and offers the best value in gold testing equipment.  This new system and our QSX-295T proved to be the most popular systems in our line as gold prices continued to climb along with the demand for accurate verification of the metal.

RoHS Testing Logo
New RoHS Test Equipment
: We were pleased to introduce the QSX-82D desktop analyzer for in-house RoHS Testing.  Revised RoHS regulations have affected more organizations than before so the QSX-82D and our Handheld XRF (QSX-HH) proved to be of great interest to many organizations.  These two systems contributed to one of the most popular blog posts of the year; one that compared the benefits that each XRF style provides for RoHS testing.

Looking towards 2012…Quickshot XRF will continue to offer solutions for precious metal analysis and hazardous substance detection but are looking forward to expanding the line and application reach.  Some systems will see expanded capabilities and benefits with the addition of new detection systems; specifically the QSX-295T and Handheld analyzer.  A few new instruments are planned to be unveiled as well.  Overall, 2012 should prove to be another year of growth for QSX Instruments as organizations see the benefits of our approach to providing economical, and effective, XRF solutions to testing needs.

We hope that you and your organization have continued success in 2012 – we look forward to any opportunity to help you solve a testing need through the wonderful world of x-ray fluorescence.

Have a great holiday season…

XRF Analyzers and Lead Detection Business

I wanted to share a nice article I read about an entrepreneur that utilized handheld x-ray fluorecence technology to create a new business.  The article is from a Kansas on-line newspaper and discusses the approach taken by a young man that provides portable lead testing services; typically for lead in paint analysis.  It offers an overview of his clients that range from construction companies that need lead testing but are not investing in the technology to personal homes and businesses that want to know more about potential lead contamination.

The full article can be read here: “He’s in the business of detecting lead in older homes

One portion of the article that I would like to point out is when he notes a major benefit of Handheld XRF Analyzers (like the Quickshot XRF QSX-HH system)…he comments about his research into testing options and noted how taking paint chips to an outside laboratory for analysis was too slow for many customers.  The portable X-ray Fluorescence analyzer allows him to take the lab with him and provide almost instant results.

Are you a succcess story like this young man?  Are you considering a similar approach?  He used a new regulation to start up his business that relies on the accuracy of XRF technology.  Send us your story or contact Quickshot XRF if you are considering a similar business to learn more about our portable system.

X-ray Fluorescence Safety: Handheld and Desktop Analyzers

A common question that we hear is “How safe is XRF Technology?” and the short answer is ‘very safe’ but the answer can be expanded for the two styles of analyzers that Quickshot XRF offers – handheld (portable) systems and desktop (stationary) systems.  Both utilize the same basic technology; electronically induced radiation generated through a low energy x-ray tube and high voltage power supply but safety approaches vary slightly.

Handheld XRF Fluorescence: Essentially, these systems are as safe as the operator using one is.  All Quickshot XRF handheld analyzers are tested before shipping to insure no radiation leakage (safety radiation survey, visual inspection).  However, if a user does not follow basic safety guidelines they can be putting themselves at risk.

Handheld-XRF-SafetyThe image to the left shows a different brand of Handheld XRF being used in a low-cost holding stand and you will notice the operator is actually holding the sample in place with their hand – this doesn’t fall under the category of good common sense.  Holding stands for these ‘x-ray guns’ are very beneficial and we offer a stand that holds the unit in place, has a large platform to place samples and a lid to protect operators from any radiation.  Additional common sense when using handheld systems include not placing a sample on your lap or holding in your hand while testing it.  Of course, pointing the ‘gun’ at co-workers should never be done either…basic stuff that needs to be noted.

More about the instrument stand can be reviewed in a past blog entry on “Holding Handheld XRF“.

Desktop X-ray Fluorescence: These closed chamber systems are subject to Federal regulations that must be met to insure operator safety – all desktop systems from QSX meet the requirements.  The technology itself is safe because of the x-ray tube design (glass tube held in a thick metal chamber that is filled with oil) and all components are enclosed in a thick steel chamber.  However, additional safety requirements include four main items:
Key Switch: turns hi-voltage power supply on/off, controlling when radiation can be produced
X-ray On Light: indicates to an operator when radiation is being produced
Instrument Power Lamp: illuminated when the chamber has power, no radiation can be produced without power
Safety Interlock: a sensor on the door that will cut power to the HV Power Supply when the door is open

QSX Instruments Inc puts customer service and operator safety at a high priority.  We work to educate users on the proper operation of the systems and provide overviews of how they can be safe when utilizing x-ray fluorescence technology.  While we provide information and support, clients need to use common sense during operation (especially with handheld systems) and should have a safety radiation survey performed annually to insure operators are not exposed to radiation.

Contact a representative of QSX Instruments if you have any questions about the safety features of Quickshot XRF analyzers or general safety approaches when utilizing the technology.

Gold Testing: Top Five Benefits of Quickshot XRF Desktop Analyzers

One of the most popular uses of the Quickshot XRF analyzer line is for accurate detection of gold and other precious metals.  While we do offer both handheld and desktop systems for this purpose, we would always suggest the desktop options as they provide the best long-term return on investment.

Gold buyers, jewelers and refiners have several brands/models of desktop gold testers to choose from.  However, Quickshot XRF is earning a reputation for providing an excellent value (top performance at an excellent price) along with other benefits over competitive desktop systems.

The top five benefits that QSX desktop x-ray fluorescence analyzer provide over others includes:

New Software (2011) Features Windows 7 OS:
simple navigation and report functions with karat identified in 10 seconds and full content percentages in 30 to 60 seconds (as opposed to other machines that require 100 seconds to meet the Quickshot XRF accuracy)

No Calibration Service Required:
calibrations on Quickshot XRF systems will typically last over one year and you can calibrate yourself when needed.  Other companies offer systems that require calibration every 3-4 months with on-site services at $500 to $600.  The Quickshot XRF approach could save you $1,800 to $2,400 per year!

Camera System Comes Standard:
a feature that others charge for is included on all QSX desktop systems – the automatic sample photo is a nice addition to reports and helps with sample alignment, especially with smaller sample areas.

Powerful X-ray Tube:
the 50 kV tube is oil and air cooled; this more powerful component runs at a lower current than many competitive analyzers so the Quickshot XRF tube will last longer and be more stable

Top Solid State Detection System:
QSX uses Amptek detectors which has a lower resolution (approx 170ev).  This means a Quickshot XRF analyzer is a more stable machine to provide consistent results and better accuracy

Schedule a time to discuss these benefits and how they apply to your testing needs.

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.