Today’s materials testing is likely to change in the near future in order to meet external regulations and internal quality guidelines. Analysis equipment which is just good enough now, could well be outdated in a year.
Equipment to Stand the Test of Time
Nobody can predict the future, but we can observe trends in the wider landscape which are driving the need for stringent in-house testing procedures and new regulations.
More Complex Supply Chains, and Raw Materials Frequently Changing Hands
More companies are adopting a 100% PMI strategy due to the worry of using the wrong material and challenges in pin-pointing the original source of materials. Equipment which is truly portable, with quick testing times is needed to cope with this level of testing. The software needs to be upgradable in order to keep up with new types of alloy once they become available commercially.
Tighter Control of Substances Which Could be Harmful
There is already a long list of substances which are harmful to the environment, or to animal and human life. Research is ongoing into the influence of substances on water-courses and food-chains. It looks as though acceptable limits of hazardous substances will probably get lower.
A good example of this, is that from January 2020, a 0.5 % sulfur cap will apply to fuel worldwide for the imminent IMO2020 regulation for marine fuel. Port authorities and ship owners may have to test fuel to check for sulfur content at these low concentrations in order to comply. Making sure any purchased equipment possesses the lowest possible detection limits will help to ensure it is viable to screen for trace elements at low concentrations.
Additional Steps to Protect the Environment
A number of other steps are being taken which have a knock-on effect on the likely in-house testing. For instance, the automotive and aviation industries are sourcing lightweight components to decrease carbon emissions and fuel consumption. This has resulted in a movement towards lighter-weight alloys and new alloy chemistries which promise higher strength at smaller cross-sections.
The ability to identify and check the composition of complex alloys correctly is reliant on the accuracy and capability of an analyzer. Selecting an instrument which can detect a wide scope of elements at high accuracy will help the user with new material innovation.
Data Will be More Important
Strict data management is crucial to show compliance to each regulation, and with a growing number of readings being taken, a robust data management system is necessary.
Recording the exact location via GPS is also crucial if you are collecting field measurements for soil analysis, or permanent structures like pipelines. Making sure your analyzer can integrate fully into a cloud-based data management system will help you cope with large data sets. At audit time, easy access to stored records from a secure cloud-based system will be crucial.
Future-proof Your Business with Hitachi’s High-Tech’s Range of Mobile and Handheld Analyzers
Hitachi’s Vulcan, X-MET8000, Coatings, and MASTER product ranges of handheld, mobile and benchtop analyzers are designed with the future in mind. They provide the lowest detection limits possible for the specific analysis technique and are highly accurate instruments inside a robust casing. Additionally, the hardware and software are upgradable, ensuring your instrument stays up to date.
Hitachi’s High-Tech’s range of handheld instruments integrates with the ExTOPE Connect data management system. This enables the user to store results safely, access data in real-time from any computer, and share data instantly. It also includes a GPS location coordinates for measurements, so the user is able to record the exact location each measurement was taken. This is crucial when working on-site or in the field.
In the majority of cases, getting the best performance from your equipment today and in the future is about selecting the right type of analyzer for the application.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.
For more information on this source, please visit Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.