Insights from industry

Using Spectrometers for Inline Testing in the Display, SSL and Other Industries

Steven Goetstouwers, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Admesy BV, speaks to AZoM about the company and how their spectrometers integrate into production lines with ease for inline monitoring and testing in a variety of industries.

Could you please provide a brief introduction to the industry that Admesy works in?

Admesy is active in several industries. As a photonics company we focus on bringing photonics measurement into the R&D, development and production processes of several other industries.

Major examples of these “customer industries” are the development and manufacturing of displays, LED displays, LED’s, SSL and other lighting solutions. In these markets colour and light are very obvious characteristics of the end-user product and a high need for measurement for colour, luminance, illuminance, flicker, peak wavelength etc… exists. Due to decreasing development times we see the need for test and measurement evolving from the lab environment, via sampling, evolving to 100% inspection on the production floor.

But also many other industries can benefit from high speed spectral- and/or colour measurements. Colour can be a very important characteristic of the end product in for example printing, textiles and several other graphical industries but colour or spectral reflection or absorption can also be used as an indicator of production quality or as an easy to implement non-contact and non-destructive analysis method for coatings, liquids, oils, chemical compounds, etc.

We believe that, due to its non-invasive and non-destructive characteristics, photonical systems such as Admesy colorimeters and spectrometers in the future will be more and more embedded in several industries as an integrated and key part of the production and quality process.

Why have you chosen to focus on the LED and SSL market for the coming 12 months?

Although active in several markets, by origin Admesy was mainly focused on inline testing in the display market. In this market high-measurement requirements form a challenging combination with high-speed measurement and a measurement system robust enough to fully integrate in the production line. Our colorimeters and spectrometers are perfectly matched for this combination and are used in the production sites of several of today’s best known manufacturers.

Although large the SSL market is still at the early stage of a real high-speed scale up of the production volumes. Our customers in the SSL market approached us with similar questions and problems as our display customers previously. Besides the technical requirements of the system they needed an easy to use, easy to implement and easy to maintain spectrometer system and we stood up to the challenge.

We believe the LED and SSL market will grow the next couple of years partially driven by the obvious quest for energy reduction. But keeping the product quality at the highest level will be challenging for the SSL manufacturers.

At Admesy we hope to help our customers in upscaling production without any concessions needing to be made on the quality and user experience. Our latest developments, the Cronus spectrocolorimeter and the Hera and Rhea spectrometers fit this goal perfectly.

What are the primary applications of your range of Colorimeters and spectrometers?

In the display market our products are mainly used to do, for example, the white-point adjustment, contrast measurements, colour measurements, gamma curve measurements on the displays. By flashing a series of patterns on the display in the production line the white-point, flicker, contrast, gamma curve and reaction time of the display can be verified and, if needed, adjusted.

When looking at the SSL market we see more and more need for an integrated solution in the actual production line. An inspection of the peak wavelength, average wavelength etc. is already rather common certainly in the lab but often also (on sample basis) in the production line. But due to the complexity of the LED driver a series of malfunctions, like colour shift or flicker behaviour, can occur. In order to prevent these effects inline measurement systems should include these kind of high-speed measurements.

Our Cronus spectrocolorimeter is an example of an ideal tool for this kind of measurement. Whilst analysing al spectral data with the spectrometer the colorimeter can detect any flicker behaviour. By combining the two in one measurement device testing becomes much easier in the lab but above al in the production environment.

What are the unique selling points of your in-line colorimeters and spectrometers?

There are many aspect to our unique selling points but they can all be derived from a simple basic principle - we develop with the (industrial) user in mind.

Instead of adapting existing lab equipment we always start with the application and full product integration in mind. To build a device that is useable in a production environment, it needs some additional characteristics besides its measurement performance:

  • ease of use
  • ease of (software) implementation
  • integration possibilities
  • low maintenance needs
  • small and compact housing
  • robustness

In all Admesy developments we always start with these development principles in mind and then create the best high-end measurement tool possible.

How can your products help to ensure there is little or no variation in the quality and characterisics of SSL/LED lights?

Let me start of with clarifying that testing and sorting is not a new thing in the SSL market. All major LED producers bin their LED’s using LED binning machines which, depending on the quality and speed, can sort the LED’s in quite small, uniform bins.

One problem which can occur at this binning step is that whilst the sorted LED’s from an individual binning machine can be very uniformly binned, the LED’s from the “same” bin of a second binning machine might slightly vary from the first machine and thus a slight variation still occurs between all the machines in the entire factory.

In larger factories with many binning lines it is important to get a uniform test- and measurement system over all production lines. This is a typical situation where Admesy can make a difference. Just as in the display market where every screen coming from any factory in the world needs to be identical we can provide affordable spectrometers which get the same result over all lines.

But also in the next step, where they transform the LED’s to SSL lightbulbs and lighting solutions it is important to continue inspecting and testing. As any Led driver developer knows developing and producing LED drivers without any variation in the output of the light when it is used isn’t that easy.

Small differences can lead to non-uniformity in colour, spectral output, luminance but also unwanted flicker behaviour which can be annoying and even unhealthy for the final user. By integrating a spectrometer with a high-speed colorimeter Admesy can test all characteristics of the light source including the flicker behaviour.

Admesy’s products are used in different industries and for different measurements. How do you see the industry you work in progressing over the next decade?

I think we will see a large acceptation of photonics based measurements in many other industrial processes. From thin-film applications where spectral reflection and/or spectral absorption measurements could be used to create a non-contact and non-destructive measurement of for example coating thickness to the food industry where real time quality inspections via Raman based systems can be used to monitor food safety real time.

Main drivers for these developments are the relatively low costs of phtonics based systems compared to other measurement techniques, their (generally) non-invasive and non-destructive characteristics also make them very suitable for true integration in other systems.

Together with partner companies we develop targeted niche measurement applications for very different industries. Admesy builds the measurement module and our partners build the system. We truly believe in these kind of cross-industry cooperation by working together with people from different kind of industries the possibilities to implement photonics in other applications are near to endless.

I think even the people in the industry will be surprised by where these measurement principles will be used in 10 years.

How will Admesy be a part of this change?

In the display and SSL industries we will continue to innovate and bring new, faster, better measurement solutions to the developers and production floor. We are always working on new products and upgrades of our existing productsrange. We expect to introduce a few new measurement systems in 2015 which will open up whole new possibilities for our customers.

But since we have always developed and build our products with quick adaptation and implementation in mind, also outside of these industries we can be part of this change. By using a platform system developed in house we can quickly work with customers and partners to build a new system creating endless possibilities.

Steven Goetstouwers

About Steven Goetstouwers

Steven Goetstouwers is CEO of Admesy BV a Dutch manufacturer of colorimeters, Spectrometers and spectral vision systems. Before joining Admesy, late 2012, Steven worked at NV Industriebank LIOF a regional venture capital investor.

At LIOF he was responsible for investments in high-tech early stage start-up companies. During these 7 years he was involved in more than 50 start-up ideas and companies.

After graduation Steven started working at the University Maastricht Business School where he helped starting entrepreneurs developing a solid business plan.

Steven has a bachelor degree in Business Engineering from the Hasselt University and a master’s degree in International business from the Maastricht University.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Alessandro Pirolini

Written by

Alessandro Pirolini

Alessandro has a BEng (hons) in Material Science and Technology, specialising in Magnetic Materials, from the University of Birmingham. After graduating, he completed a brief spell working for an aerosol manufacturer and then pursued his love for skiing by becoming a Ski Rep in the Italian Dolomites for 5 months. Upon his return to the UK, Alessandro decided to use his knowledge of Material Science to secure a position within the Editorial Team at AZoNetwork. When not at work, Alessandro is often at Chill Factore, out on his road bike or watching Juventus win consecutive Italian league titles.

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