SPECTester - Innovative Segregation Tester
Most manufactured products today are mixtures of several components. Generally, the individual ingredients in a mixture will separate (segregate) during the manufacturing process which results in an inconsistent final product. Segregation, or separation, of granular powder materials is one of the main causes of process failure with systems that handle powder materials. Conservative estimates suggest up to 30% of all unscheduled downtimes are due to segregation and quality issues.
Using state-of-the-art spectroscopic technology, the innovative SPECTester is capable of analyzing a sample comprised of up to six individual components and provides a simple report indicating why and how much the sample material is segregating. Fully automated, the instrument provides data about component concentrations, particle size differences, and product uniformity. The SPECTester is capable of measuring segregation by particle size, sifting, fluidization, angle of repose, chemical component, and air entrainment. It is fully capable of identifying both primary and secondary segregation mechanisms. The SPECTester can be used in R&D environments to research a materials properties prior to going into production as well as in production plants for real-time quality control.
Key features of the SPECTester include:
- Measurement of mixtures with up to six components
- Fully-automated operation with reports of how much the material mixture is segregating
- Optional fluidization module quantifies segregation potential of fluidized beds
- Provides data on variations in component concentration, particle size, and product uniformity
- 50 segregation points measured across the sample bed
- Simulates process conditions to identify segregation by sifting, fluidization, angle of repose, and air entrapment
- Indicates product quality control issues
- Provides uniformity index for sample and segregation variance data
- Data can be exported to PDF and Excel formats
- Fast analysis – 10 to 30 minutes to complete a run depending on the sample and application
- USB Interface
- CE compliant
Data Generated by the SPECTester:
The SPECTester provides the user with three main tools:
- Segregation intensity number
- Uniformity number
- Excel-ready data base describing the segregation behavior of both the mixture and the individual components as they travel through a process
The segregation intensity number for each individual component indicates how much that ingredient is contributing to the overall segregation occurring within the material mixture. Use the segregation intensity number to determine which component and/or components, in the mixture is/are problematic. This number is between 0 and 1. A segregation intensity number larger than about 0.25 means that specific ingredient is contributing significantly to the segregation issue.
The uniformity number is the inverse of the segregation intensity number. This number is also between 0 and 1. The uniformity number represents the overall uniformity in concentration of each unique component within the mixture. A larger uniformity number indicates that the ingredient appears through the mixture relatively uniformly. A smaller uniformity number indicates that the ingredient turns up in the mixture pile to a non-uniform degree.
The Excel-ready data base (.csv format) can be used to create graphs, tables and charts that describe the segregation behavior (or lack therefore) of the material mixture and the individual ingredients in reports and presentations.