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When light source, spectrometer optics, electronic and accessories are combined to perform measurement tasks, a spectrometer system is formed. Depending on the goal for the measurement, the wavelength range, the accessories and further components can be selected.
While laboratory equipment is mostly flexible in terms of sample representation and spectral resolution, industrial spectrometer systems based on detector array technology are optimized to produce spectral data permanently and reliable without the need for recalibrations. Rugged permanent calibrated miniature spectrometers are a key component for the system supported by an industrial grade spectrometer electronic. The light source does not only produce light in the required wavelength range, but also influences the systems performance and maintenance requirements by its lifetime. In addition to classical halogen and deuterium lamps, Xenon flash lamps and LED or Laser systems provide interesting options for spectrometer systems. By predictive maintenance, selection of long-life light sources, redundancy and good availability of spare parts the availabiltiy of systems is optimized. As the measurement results are often used for quality control of products or monitoring of process parameters, the communication with the industrial infrastructure and a dedicated timing behavior are important. Finally, the complete system must withstand environmental conditions, such as extended temperature ranges or vibrations, that are not imposed to laboratory systems.
How can we make spectroscopy industrial? Depending on the measurement requirements and parameter of interest, the wavelength range and the measurement principle can be selected:
For the monitoring and control of coating processes measurement of transmission and reflection in the UV-VIS and NIR range is an adequate tool. Batch processes or quality control during the production of chemicals in industrial plants sometimes require a selection of a suitable measurement principle. Depending on the component of interest, complexity of the matrix and finally the transparency of the tested sample, the detection principle can be selected. In addition to classical UV-VIS and NIR absorbance measurements, the measurement of selective Raman spectra becomes more visible in the process industries. Independently of the measurement principle, the success is depending on a number of factors, such as chemically and thermally stable immersion probes, high reliability of the overall system and finally seamless integration into a process environment. In the past, several approaches for gas analysis have been explored. While direct absorbance measurements are mainly carried out in the MIR wavelength region, the selectivity of UV Absorbance or Raman show some potential for future gas analysis applications.