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Viavi launches probe for point & shoot analysis

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By Joe Whitworth+

18-Aug-2017

The MicroNIR Tablet Probe
The MicroNIR Tablet Probe

Viavi Solutions has launched a tablet probe that provides users with a portable spectral sensing option for point and shoot material analysis.

The MicroNIR Tablet Probe is compatible with the MicroNIR Onsite spectrometer system or PAT-U Spectrometer.

The handheld probe attachment is for analysis of pharmaceutical tablets and pills, small volume samples or single grain kernels.

Repeatable and reliable results while in the field

The probe seeks to eliminate random scatter effects which can lead to analysis error.

Viavi OSP said the probe with the MicroNIR OnSite allows users to achieve repeatable and reliable results in difficult uncontrolled field environments.

Chris Pederson, product line manager, MicroNIR, said in spectroscopy the way a sample is measured has a big impact on the received spectral quality.

“Tablets have a range of sizes and shapes and a change in orientation means you get a different spectral signature. Historically, you have had to hold the tablet in a specific orientation to do a repeatable measurement," he said.

“For seeds you are looking at sorting by quality attributes and non-uniformity and you have the same issues as with tablets. For food use it is more for bulk materials you have received, with plastic containers use the probe against the container and through the plastic into the target material.

“Historically, it has been for quality control measurements but today the emphasis is on food fraud and we have done work with measuring chicken fillet and inspecting protein and if it is frozen or fresh.”

A shift toward miniaturized spectral sensors in near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has led to increased demand for handheld and portable options for rapid analysis.

Viavi Solutions said this is largely due to stringent quality requirements for drugs, growing concern for food and feed safety and pharmaceutical brand protection.

The probe adds to accessories from the Viavi OSP (Optical Security and Performance Products) business and operates between 950-1650nm.

Demand for portable and move away from lab

Pederson said the tablet probe gives users point & shoot material analysis capabilities helping rapid, repeatable and reliable data acquisition.

“A trend we see is customers with traditional instruments are looking to push analysis away from the lab and up the supply chain to when they are sourcing materials so they know the quality and this requires a hand-held portable device," he said.

“We will end up having around eight or 10 accessories, a few have been released and we have a few more to go, to address the majority of sampling challenges.

“Not everybody is a scientist in the field and this is where the software comes into play – it is like a phone app so is familiar and easy to use. The software has multiple controls and quality tests integrated into the workflow so if an error is made it is flagged, so you can re-scan and this helps ensure quality results in the field.”

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