Automated OES and XRF Analyzer – ARL SMS-3500 from Thermo Scientific

The Thermo ScientificTM ARLTM SMS-3500 is a turnkey laboratory workflow automation system that is used to promote process control laboratory efficiencies, within the metals and mining industries.

The automation of multiple spectrometers and preparation machines offers new opportunities for users requiring more integrated and comprehensive automation solutions.

An Evolution of Existing Automation Solutions

Thermo Scientific robotized spectrometers have been continuously enhanced since the early 1990s due to customer experience and feedback.

With more than 700 systems installed in metals applications globally, Thermo ScientificTM has an undisputed reputation of performance and durability.

The ARL SMS-3500 system builds on this success and shows:

  • The capacity to use a range of competences and products such as larger and more robust robots to deliver new automation solutions at the leading edge of technology
  • The commitment to look beyond the footprint of stand alone laboratory instrumentation and focus on complete workflow solutions

Single Source – One Partner, One Competence, One Responsibility

Thermo ScientificTM is unique in designing and manufacturing X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and optical emission spectrometers (OES) with their automation system. The competence of the company is not merely limited to one analytical technique or automation but covers complete systems delivered with sample preparation as turnkey packages.

An Automation Product Designed with its Users in Mind

Simplicity of Operation

The ARL SMS-3500 automation software is based on the same platform as the OXSAS analytical software for OES and XRF spectrometers. This common ground gives a unique and standardized software environment which greatly simplifies using fully automated OES and XRF spectrometers. Also, a single SMS system monitoring screen gives access to the full range of sample tracking and automation user functions.

Flexible Instrument Integration and Comprehensive Analysis Modes

When two equivalent spectrometers are used with two preparation machines, the samples can be prepared and analyzed simultaneously, giving optimum sample throughput. Sample cross transfer is standard: the samples can be prepared by any of the two preparation machines and analyzed by any of the two spectrometers, to reduce response times and to ensure optimum availability around the clock and 365 days per year.

Sequential processing applies to twin XRF and OES configurations when the same sample has to be measured by XRF and OES. Each spectrometer can be used off-line for analytical method development and tests.

The instrument accesses for robot and operator are automatically controlled by the SMS software. The SMS software is a simple software command which allows switching equipments between automatic and manual modes.

Full Compliance with Security Regulations

The ARL SMS-3500 safety enclosure is designed according to the applicable CE conformity standards. The system is also compatible with robotics application and electromagnetic norms and recommendations.

A separate control box is used to temporarily pause the robot operation and unlock the access doors for a manual intervention inside the system. Automatic operation can then be quickly resumed without restarting the system.

Easy Service and Maintenance

Each instrument or preparation machine can be disconnected quickly without causing interruption to the automatic system operation. This allows for quick cleaning of the OES stand for instance.

Additionally, the spectrometers can slide to a separate park position for service or for manual operation over longer time periods. No interruption of the SMS system is needed; the spectrometers supplies must not be disconnected.

Sliding the spectrometer back in the SMS and resuming the automatic operation is done in just a few minutes.

More Efficient Laboratory Automation

Integrating separate sample preparation and analysis systems in one or more compact ARL SMS-3500 cells streamlines full laboratory automation. Samples received through automated air tubes can be immediately processed leading to major cost and significant response time savings. Additionally, these samples can also be temporarily stored and processed by priority.

Material Analysis is the Job of Thermo ScientificTM; Quality is a  Strength and Automation a Commitment

The ARL SMS-3500 System Features as Standard

  • Complete safety enclosure with computer controlled operator access doors and control box
  • Color lamps showing the status of the system and of the instruments
  • Early detection of sample presence
  • Waiting positions for the temporary storage of prepared samples waiting for analysis to further optimize throughput
  • Comprehensive instrument monitoring procedures to ensure that the spectrometers permanently deliver quality results, avoiding scrap and rework in production
  • A large magazine for up to 90 setting- up, control samples and type standards which can be shared between the two spectrometers or dedicated to a specific instrument. Sections of the magazine can also be used for temporary storage of incoming samples
  • Support of conditioning samples for OES stand cleaning purpose
  • Rotation of standards by the robot before re-preparation using any of the two preparation machines, to avoid any bias in the prepared surface over time
  • Inverting device to invert standards and samples upside down before/after preparation, if necessary
  • Filing of selected samples on a chute (e.g., bad samples)
  • Manual introduction position to introduce/remove standards from the system and introduce production sample
  • Sample sorting and filing in 8 boxes

Automated OES and XRF Analyzer – ARL SMS-3500 from Thermo Scientific

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ARL iSpark robot access for automatic analysis
ARL iSpark access for manual analysis
Park position for the ARL iSpark
Fixed magazine for standards
Manual introduction position
Production or SCT Sample filing in a box
Production or SCT Sample filing on a chute

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