Archive for July, 2016

XRF Feature Focus: Auto-Focus with Distance Variation

Every step in using x-ray fluorescence can be considered an additional step in the quality control process…and steps take up operator time.  So, when an XRF analyzer is built to streamline every step, it can improve the overall efficiency of your quality control process.  Automatic focus is one feature of the Hitachi FT-110A that can speed up the throughput of a laboratory and is highlighted in this ‘feature focus’.

Hitachi XRF Automatic Focus smallWhen a user of the Hitachi FT-110A XRF chooses to include the auto-focus option, they will actually see a few different benefits.

Auto Focus:
Without this addition, an operator will have a laser spot to help position a sample but would spend extra time manually focusing for each measurement point.  However, with the auto-focus feature, the analyzer will provide the optimum focus – automatically and with consistency.  The process works by having a camera that moves independently on a 3.14″ vertical axis after an automated distance measurement takes place.

Recent advancements in the Hitachi FT-110A auto-focus make the typical focus time only 3 seconds, which is a 70% reduction from previous models.

Distance Variation:
The distance variation aspect works hand in hand with the auto-focus function and will save operator time in the initial set-up of calibrations because they won’t need to create separate calibrations for each measurement depth.  If the measurement head is at a fixed height when measurement points are at varying heights, then the camera and the analyzers software algorithm will adjust to maintain measurement accuracy.

While not exclusive to the Hitachi line, many other x-ray fluorescence brands that don’t offer this ability may provide erroneous measurements or wasted operator time.

xrf results in distance variation

Auto Approach:
This function will provide increased accuracy on measurement samples that have various heights because the x-ray head will move to a set distance from the sample on the Z-axis and then the camera focuses as required.  An optimum measurement distance is set during the calibration process so, when it’s time to measure, the operator simply presses a button and the measurement head will automatically approach the sample to that distance from the sample spot.

Hitachi XRF Auto-Focus Function on YouTube

Associates of Eastern Applied feel the auto-focus benefits are a great option for most organizations to consider as it helps streamline steps that can add up in a big time savings in the long-term.  However, we aren’t the only ones that see the benefit – a new user of the Hitachi FT-110A for Zi and ZiNi applications on large auto parts noted “…the auto-focus function of the (FT-110A) is one feature that has helped improve our throughput – especially when measuring into crevices”.  Contact Eastern Applied associates if you have questions on the auto-focus feature or how it may benefit your quality control processes.