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.

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.

Gold Test Equipment: Five Questions (and answers)

A primary use of the QSX Instrument line of x-ray fluorescence is for accurate identification of gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals in scrap jewelry.  Due to this fact, QSX associates have daily conversations with gold buyers and precious metal refiners – as they look to increase long-term profits by investing in XRF Technology.

The following is a list of the top five questions that gold buyers and refiners bring up when speaking with Quickshot XRF associates about the technology…ask your own questions by contacting us here.

Precious Metal XRF AnalyzersI need something for gold and silver; what’s the best option?
Many gold buyers call asking about the QSX-79T but that is a proportional counter detection system.  Any “prop-count” system is limited in its ability for precious metal analysis.  The QSX-295T is the answer when anything other than yellow gold with four constituents is being tested (which is almost always these days).  The top performing QSX-295T uses a relatively low-cost detection system that is still very effective at accurately identifying gold, silver and other precious metals.

What about Handheld XRF for gold buying?
The only time that handheld technology would be suggested is when portability is a requirement.  The desktop (QSX-295T) was developed specifically for precious metals testing and its software is streamlined for easy navigation and provides excellent reporting functions…something that handheld technology can not offer the user.  Plus, the QSX-295T offers a layer of protection against plated gold; which is another concern that handheld typically can’t help with.

How much are your analyzers?
Quickshot XRF provides a top price-to-performance ratio and the most popular option for gold buyers and refiners (the QSX-295T) lists at nearly half the price that some other XRF analyzers are sold forContact QSX representatives to find out the exact cost.

Will my employees be able to use the unit?
  We have developed a streamlined software package that, typically, doesn’t even require on-site training for users to begin obtaining accurate measurements.  While on-site training is always suggested, with a basic understanding of computers, the operation manual/training videos and support from our technical staff (phone/email) most users will see the benefits of XRF within minutes.

XRF Gold Test EquipmentWe use acid tests (or other low cost test kit) right now.  How is XRF better?
You are reading this for a reason…you want more accurate information to help you increase long-term profits and grow your buy-back or refining business.  That is what XRF Technology from Quickshot XRF offers.  It can help you differentiate your business from competition using low-cost test kits and provide sellers with comfort that they are dealing with the best option for them.  General benefits of XRF are listed here.


That sums up conversations that Quickshot XRF sales associates have on a daily basis.  If you want to discuss any aspect further or have other questions/concerns just contact us (here) and we’ll be happy to talk…