With proper care and routine maintenance, a good quality X-ray Fluorescence Analyzer will provide years of satisfactory performance. But what qualifies as 'proper care' and 'routine maintenance'?
This blog entry highlights a few areas that organizations utilizing X-ray Fluorescence can keep in mind to limit instrument problems and extend the life of a system.
Regular Cleaning by the User
Dust build up on fan filters can limit the fans effectiveness and create problems when an x-ray tube isn't cooled properly. Our technical staff suggests that users routinely wipe down all surface areas and clean all filters to limit issues (contact our XRF Service Team if you are unsure of how to do this).
Instrument Environment Awareness
Expanding on the cleaning idea is the overall environment that a system is in. Any XRF analyzer should be in a dust-free environment that maintains a constant temperature; around 70 degrees. The unit should be located away from major electrical devices such as furnaces, microwaves, EMF etc. and have a dedicated power source (with UPS). Some clients have built enclosures around their x-ray systems with small air conditioners to protect their investment and keep it in a stable environment.
Proper Use and X-ray Tube Care
If a system is not properly used it will be at greater risk of incurring future problems. One major concern is the ramping up and down of x-ray tubes which can cause fatigue to the tubes filament; similar to a light bulb. Some systems allow for manual ramping (up or down) of the x-ray tube while others have it built in. When it's built in, select the shortest idle time and do not bypass initial ramp up. If you can not manually ramp down the x-ray tube then only turn it off on the weekend.
Routine Calibration and Preventative Maintenance
No matter what care is given day to day, it is always suggested that routine XRF calibration and preventative maintenance service be provided. In addition to certification/calibration, a field technician will thoroughly clean and inspect a system in order to provide advanced warning of any components that may create future performance issues with a system.
During installation/training services or routine maintenance visits, Eastern Applied technicians can discuss these areas of protecting your investment. Also, our technical staff can always provide optional XRF Protection Plans that will help to maintain the performance of a system and limit your financial burden should problems occur.