Our organization, Eastern Applied, works with a wide range of organizations on their x-ray fluorescence needs. We realize that budget is always a factor - regardless of whether we're working with a general metal finisher, academic laboratory, aerospace/military facility, or any other organizational type.
There are two budgetary considerations to make...both the short-term decision relating to the XRF analyzers price but also the long-term costs to maintain the system.
Price of XRF
The first discussion with our XRF Sales Team will always be about your testing goals and analyzer requirements. Eastern Applied offers both new and used XRF options, so we want to make sure we narrow down the options to meet your testing goals while making the machine as efficient as possible for the operator.
It will be important, however, to discuss target budgets you are working with to make sure we discuss appropriate options. Depending on the testing goals, new energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence systems can range from the high $20k's to the mid $100k's. Used XRF analyzers will typically start in the teens and go to the mid $50k's...in general, quality used systems are about 50% of what an equivalent new analyzer would be priced at. This percent is generally true for both benchtop XRF as well as handheld XRF.
Long Term: The Cost of XRF
Then, there is the after installation cost of XRF ownership. Owners of XRF will want to know their state regulations relating to ownership of the technology and if there are any annual fees or requirements.
XRF Safety Radiation Fees vary per state and are generally very low but, in most states, it is mandated that any x-ray fluorescence analyzer have an annual safety radiation survey performed and documented. We suggest an annual preventative maintenance service be performed which includes Accredited XRF certification in addition to the safety radiation survey. Pricing for this service will vary based on model, location, etc so contact our Service Department for a customized quotation.
So, state fees and annual service are the only costs that XRF users need to be concerned with on a regular basis. However, as systems age, there are costs associated with repairs - so, when considering a used analyzer, be sure to confirm the age of major components (x-ray tube and detector tube)...remember, the age of a used XRF is not as important as the condition of the major components.
Some prefer to put budget into new systems for that initial purchase and extend the likely 'worry free' time with their analyzer. Another way to have 'worry free' time is to put budget towards an annual XRF protection plan, which can limit repair costs, etc. It's really up to you and your organizations situation.
Are you considering adding an XRF Analyzer for your coating thickness measurement or elemental analysis needs? Contact Eastern Applied Research to discuss your specific testing goals and the costs to consider.