Insights from industry

A Powerful New Spectrometer for OEMs

insights from industryGer Loop & Edwin SportelProduct Manager & Manager of ManufacturingAvantes 

In this interview, AZoM speaks with Ger Loop, Product Manager, and Edwin Sportel, Manager of Manufacturing, at Avantes about their powerful new photonics spectrometer, the AvaSpec-Pacto. 

Please could you introduce yourselves and share a little about your background?

Ger Loop:

I am a product manager at Avantes. Following my electronic bachelor's, I have held several technical roles in the electro-optical field. In 2009, I joined the Avantes team and have been a product manager since 2014. I work closely with customers and their applications, ensuring that the Avantes products range optimally meets their needs.

Edwin Sportel:

I am a manufacturing manager at Avantes. I have a background in engineering physics with extensive experience in integrated optics. Over the last nine years, I have been part of the team innovating the Avantes manufacturing process.

Could you tell us about the new AvaSpec-Pacto device from Avantes?

Ger Loop:

The AvaSpec-Pacto is our newest spectrometer. It is a compact, versatile device that is easy to integrate due to its customizable options. It is a powerful device capable of handling a wide variety of applications.

The Pacto has a carefully designed 75 mm Czerny-Turner optical bench providing the lowest stray light possible. We currently offer 2K or 4K pixel seamless detectors with good overall signal-to-noise performance and the capability to operate at short integration times.

We take care of excellent second-order suppression to obtain an optimal signal.

The Pacto is a compact spectrometer weighing about 280 g with a size comparable to a deck of cards, measuring 80 mm x 105 mm x 20 mm. This means it is easy to integrate into other devices, making it an ideal spectrometer for original equipment manufacturers.

Image Credit: Avantes

How can the AvaSpec-Pacto be customized?

Ger Loop:

With over 15 gratings, six slit sizes, and different replaceable fiber optic connectors, users can tweak and tune the spectrometer to be optimized for an application offering ideal wavelength range, resolution, and sensitivity.

The I/O connector at the back offers multiple programmable inputs and output signals for triggering or strobing. It is also flexible on the communication side of the processing unit.

We offer the default model of the Pacto with a USB 2.0 connection. We also provide OEM customers the Pacto Link with RS232 or SPI communication.

For customers developing their electronics and wanting to hook up to our optical bench, we offer the Pacto Bench Only with direct access to the CMOS detectors.

Could you tell us about the manufacturing process at Avantes?

Edwin Sportel:

A new and future-proof manufacturing concept offers new products to the market with the mentioned features and performance, combined with the ability to quickly upscale production volumes. This manufacturing concept is based on modularity, scalability, and reproducibility.

The Pacto is not just a new product but a new concept that delivers product excellence to our customers in a future-proof way.

One of the critical features of the new manufacturing concept is the use of generic modules. In our wide range of spectrometer configurations, the advantage of modules is that you can more efficiently automate the manufacturing process and control the quality in its earliest stage possible.

Modularity makes customization possible at a high, predictable quality level. Due to the modularity, we can manufacture spectrometers from small to very high volumes.

The modules themselves are manufactured using semi-automated systems, which allow for integrated quality control and the use of statistical process control. These modules can be manufactured in larger batch sizes because they can be used in multiple configurations.

It is also possible to manufacture the complete spectrometer in the semi-automated environment due to alignment complexity being reduced by high-end modules with stringent specifications. The modules exclude several alignment parameters or reduce deviations.

Image Credit: Avantes

What key benefits are provided by this manufacturing process?

Edwin Sportel:

Manufacturing automation enables the possibility to influence statistical process control. With collected data and data science, it is possible to bring quality levels and quality control to the next level. Based on the process data, we can also set specifications for the Pacto to a higher level without decreasing yield and increasing cost.

These new features result in high unit-to-unit reproducibility, with predictable throughput, which allows Avantes to deliver a high variety of spectrometer configurations to our customers in a reliable way. The reproducibility applies to products within a series and to products from batch to batch.

This has been made possible by implementing modularity in combination with semi-automated systems, integrated quality control, and the ability to use statistical process control.

Another advantage is the ability to deliver product excellence concerning mechanical performance and environmental stability. Semi-automated manufacturing ensures that the modules and spectrometers are assembled reproducibly, with tight mechanical and alignment tolerances, leading to a stable and predictable mechanical and environmental performance.

How straightforward is the AvaSpec-Pacto to set up and begin using?

Ger Loop:

Users just need the AvaSpec-Pacto spectrometer and a computer that has AvaSoft 8.15 or higher installed on it and running.

It is simple to plug in the Pacto to a free USB port and wait for the software to initialize. Once the AvaSpec is detected, users begin by pressing ‘start measuring’. Libraries are also available to integrate Pacto easily into your own software application.

Avantes Pacto Spectrometer - Empowering Spectroscopy Solutions

Video Credit: Avantes

What are some examples of applications that can make use of the AvaSpec-Pacto?

Ger Loop:

Spectroscopy can be used in the agriculture and food industry to analyze grain or determine ripeness or bruises on fruit, or in life science for blood analysis.

It is also used in the chemical industry for material identification, or the environmental industry for measurements regarding solar panels, recycling, and determining the quality of the recycled material.

Options are endless with spectroscopy as many applications are possible. Semiconductor is one of our biggest industries, for end-point detection or wafer inspection. In the OEM industry, our spectrometers can be easily integrated into many devices, helping them to solve the applications.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/Parilov

What support is provided by Avantes to users of the AvaSpec-Pacto spectrometer?

Ger Loop:

Avantes offers feasibility studies to customers. Our application engineers welcome our customers’ challenges, testing their samples to determine the right setup or ideal spectrometer configuration for them.

We have an extended demo program where customers can try out the spectrometer to see if it fits their needs, or to establish a baseline, to determine the optimal configuration.

Avantes is globally present, with offices in China, Europe, and the United States, and a distributor network from all over the world. This means support is guaranteed, wherever you are. With a personal My Avantes login, customers can access all required software and information.

About Ger Loop

Ger Loop completed his Bachelor's degree in Electronics and has worked in the in the electro-optical field in several technical roles. He joined Avantes in 2009 and has been a product manager since 2014. He works closely with customers and their applications, ensuring that the Avantes products range optimally meets their needs.

 

 

About Edwin Sportel

Edwin Sportel has a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics with sixteen years of experience in the (high-tech) industry, operations and (product) development. He joined the Avantes team in 2015 and has since been part of the innovation efforts in the Avantes manufacturing process. 

 

 

 

 

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Avantes BV.

For more information on this source, please visit Avantes BV.

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.

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