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How to choose an NIR spectrometer company

ianm's picture
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7. How to choose an NIR spectrometer company.

It is me again, forwarding an interesting question. When you have read this and have personal experiences, could you share them with everybody? If you are with an equipment company, please don't forward them to everybody - not that such information would not be of interest, but I don't want this medium to become commercial, as that may be in conflict with CNIRS guidelines and philosophy.

Bruce

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Bruce--

My employer may be interested in using NIR for quality control in South America and Europe. I'd really like to have the group's recommendations for equipment suppliers--who could readily provide service and support. Also, I'd be interested to hear of any personal experiences.

Thank you

Diana Pell

From: Richard Kramer

Please compile and forward to the larger list as you deem appropriate.

Choice of an "optimum" instrument supplier is very case and applications pecific. The good news is, virtually all of the potential suppliers today are generally decent to work with. The bad news is that vendor choice is, therefore, sometimes confusing and requires a lot of "homework". Given that a prospective vendor has appropriate hardware, software, applications expertise, you also need to determine things like:

1. the level of application, installation, and post-installation support you require

2. what aspects will be your responsibility, what aspects will be the vendor's responsibility; examples...

methods development and validation

sample systems design, construction, installation

training

installation

post-installation validation

service and maintenance

ongoinging validation and calibration updates

replication of multiple installations

3. what features, benefits you require in the hardware and, if applicable, the software

4. vendor's availability to provide required products, services in the geographical regions where you require it

5. vendor's industry-specific experience

6. intangibles such as rapport, committment to making and keeping you happy, willingness and ability to provide "hand-holding" as needed

7. relevant references and existing comparable installations

This short list is the product of only a few minutes thought. I suspect that more in-depth reflection would yield other important items for the list.

Richard Kramer

From: Jim Malone

Bruce -

You are right; this is an interesting question. On the surface it would seem like a simple answer would suffice, but like most things, that just ain't so.

Using NIR (either dispersive or FT) for remote plant QC operations depends on a few things. For instance, who will develop & maintain the claibration models? How often will they be validated? Since the writer is from a food company, I can easily imagine that raw materials will vary considerably from North America to South America; what will this do to models?

I would suggest that an intranet (Ethernet?) capability is important; it will allow sharing of raw data for chemometricians to evaluate. Standardization of equipment between sites is probably also important, if only from a maintenance standpoint.

Analect's experience with our users who have multiple sites suggest that this can be done successfully, but a lot of standardization is necessary.

It would be interesting to hear from users who have tried a multiple site approach and what their experiences have been.