On-line, near real time analysis of streams, webs, processes, etc.
At the core of "production quality management" is process control, a statistics and engineering discipline that deals with architectures, mechanisms, and algorithms for controlling the output of a specific process. Analytical information, such as elemental analysis, chemical composition, or molecular structure data, is commonly used to provide critical data to the statistical process control (SPC) model controlling the process. X-ray analytical techniques play an important role in many process control strategies.
Rigaku make a variety of real time process analyzers. The NEX XT is an advanced X-ray transmission / absorption total sulfur gauge for crude oil, marine bunker fuel and blending operations. NEX OL represents the next evolution of process EDXRF elemental analysis for liquid stream and fixed position web or coil applications. The NEX LS delivers scanning multi-element process coatings analysis, of elements from Al to U, by EDXRF spectroscopy; this coil/web analyzer provides cross web and down web profiling of coating weight thickness and elemental composition.
For at-line process or quality control, Rigaku offers a variety of robust X-ray instruments that were specifically designed for the production environment. X-ray diffraction (XRD) is often employed to determine percent crystallinity in a batch of polymer as well as providing polymorph validation in pharmaceutical production. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is used to control many disparate production processes, from the stoichiometry of metal oxides in cement production, to critical additives in plastics and sulfur in fuels.