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SPECTRO iSORT

1 Sorting ................................................................................................................2
1.1 Basics.................................................................................................................................. 2
1.2 Create Sorting Tasks .......................................................................................................... 4
1.2.1 Select a Testing Task ............................................................................................... 4
1.2.2 Create a new set of parameters ............................................................................... 5
1.2.3 Change an existing set ........................................................................................... 12
1.3 Perform a Sorting.............................................................................................................. 13

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1 Sorting

1.1 Basics
Risk of mismatch
In many cases, the good parts must be separated from the bad or the correct
parts from the incorrect. And this must be done reliably in a very short amount
of time. Or else a new delivery must be checked for whether it corresponds to
the expected material.
In these cases, it is recommended to use the instrument with the pass/ fail sort-
ing mode. This is especially true when 100% testing for many hundreds of parts
is necessary or prescribed. This application is actually only used in the arc
mode, because here the measurement period is short and usually minimal or
even no sample preparation is necessary.
However, exceptions include testing, in which elements such as carbon, phos-
phorus, or sulfur must be tested, because they are the differentiating feature of
the components. Then the spark mode (only SPECTROTEST) is selected. The
testing of these components is performed directly in the analysis mode.

Functional principle
A reference piece, which corresponds to the expected material, is measured -
usually three times. While automatically generating average values, the instru-
ment then stores the (light) intensities for the relevant elements to be moni-
tored. Then the first part to be tested is measured. The (actual) intensities re-
corded in this measurement are compared with the stored (desired) intensities
of the reference piece.
Sorting tolerances that have been stored beforehand in the program are now
accessed to make a decision on whether the tested material is a part of the ex-
pected material or not.
The test result is then said to be good if the tested part corresponds to the ref-
erence piece, or bad if it lies outside the permitted tolerances for the reference
piece.

Sorting tolerances
The necessary sorting tolerances depend primarily on the testing task. Thus,
the goal of the testing can be to find out whether all of the test pieces are iden-
tical. In this case, it is usually sufficient to use a general test program, e.g., for
high alloy steel. For this purpose, a value of +-30% (of the light intensities) is
stored as the sorting tolerance for all alloy elements that are present. In this
case, any test piece can be used as the reference piece. In practice, the toler-
ances must be tested for each case.

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For some applications a sorting with the alloying elements is not possible, be-
cause the difference is only in one or more trace elements. These elements
might not be regulated by a standard for this alloy but are nevertheless present
due to production processes. Thus, for this type of pass/fail sorting it is also im-
portant that more than just the standard elements are monitored for the mate-
rial.

Calculating sorting tolerances

Conforming to standards
Has the ordered material of the grade 316 (~1.4401) actually been delivered? Is
it necessary to guarantee that the material is not the wrong one, e.g. a 304
(~1.4301) material without Molybdenum (Mo)? In addition, it should be guaran-
teed that all of the test pieces correspond to the requirements of the standard
limits. Here, a special test program for a certain material is the choice.
Is a reference piece of the desired material already available or does a part
from the delivery have to be analyzed as the reference piece?
In each case, the chemical composition of the reference piece must be avail-
able or determined– at best in spark mode under argon (only SPECTROTEST).
This is because, in this case, the sorting tolerances are always set around the
reference piece. Its chemical analysis is set relative to the normal limits of the
corresponding material. The differences in the analysis to the standard limits
are then stored in the program as sorting tolerances in the form of percent de-

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viations. However, this procedure is only an aid, because in the pass/fail sort-
ing, only intensities are referenced. In practice, the tolerances must be tested
for each case.

1.2 Create Sorting Tasks


Sorting tasks consist of two basic groups of parameters:
 “Limits”: Application specific parameters like elements, tolerance limits, etc.
 “Param”:Task specific parameters like:
 Number of retries before a sample is set to “No Match”
 Number of retries before the calibration with the reference piece failed
 When the references sample needs to be checked
 Etc.

1.2.1 Select a Testing Task


 Select ”Tasks” in the Measure Window

 Choose a task from the list.


 Click on <Edit>
 Select “General”.

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Under ‘Sorting’ you find a list of parameters already stored.


If “Off” is selected the task starts always with the analysis window.

1.2.2 Create a new set of parameters


Select “New” and confirm the following message “Create a new set of sorting
parameters?” with <Yes>.

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Copy and change an existing set


To copy and change a set, select any entry in the list, touch the field “Name”
and enter a new name.
Take over the new entry by <Apply>. Within the next step you have to decide
whether the settings of the selected set before to be copied or not.
Select the new set out of the list. Define the tolerances for the sorting task with
<Limits> then the settings for the task with <Param.>.

Create a new (empty) set.


Enter a new name in the field “Name:” and take over the new entry by <Apply>.
To enter the settings for the new set, select it from the list. Define the toler-
ances for the sorting task with <Limits> and the settings for the task with <Pa-
ram.>.

Define Limits

Select whether you use “Intensity Ratio” or “Concentration” in the check mode
and how the tolerances are calculated, as “Relative Limits” or “Absolute Limits”
and respectively “Fix”.
 Using “Intensity ratios”only the lines used in the associated analytical pro-
gram can be selected.and their intensity ratios are used to calculate the
deviation to the given limits.
 Using “Concentration” just the channels (only element symbol is displayed)
used in the associated analytical program can be selected. In this case, the
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calibration curves of the analytical program are used to calculate the devia-
tion to the given limits.
 “Relative Limits” are calculated in percent, e.g. +/-30% of the reference
piece intensities and +,/- 30% of the value of the reference piece content
respectively. Finish each entry with <Apply>.
 “Absolute Limits” are absolute numbers, e.g.
 in “Intensity ratio” mode: e.g.12000 counts below and 35000 counts
above the reference piece intensities
 In “Concentration” mode: e.g. 0.1% below and 0.5% above the value
of the reference piece content respectively.
Finish each entry with <Apply>.
 “Fixed Limits” are absolute numbers, e.g. min. 0.5% and max. 1.2% con-
tent of an element. These limits are not set ± around the average of the
reference piece; instead all measurements must be within these limits –
similar to the grade ID. Finish each entry with <Apply>.
 “Calib.Limits”: It is possible to enter separate limits for the reference sam-
ple. These limits must be lower or higher than the respective limits for the
sorting of the unknown samples; otherwise you would get an error mes-
sage.
Please be aware that the limits for the reference sample and the unknown
samples have to be of the same type, i.e. you can not check the repeatabil-
ity (rel.) during the measurement of the reference piece and switch to the
check of an absolut deviation for the unknown samples.
Quit the window with a touch on <Close>.
You can define fixed limits by the import of grade limits also. For this, select a
set of parameter and touch <Import> (picture left). In the next step (picture
right) a grade can selected.

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Finish the selection with <OK>.


After setting the limits, the parameter of the sorting task have to be entered.

Define parameter
Touch on <Param.>. A window containing five registers appears.

 “Calibration”: Settings for the reference piece

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 “Min. measurements for calibration”: number of measurements


needed to calculate the average. It is not possible to set the number of
measurements below 3.
 “Number of retries before calibration failed”: number of measurements
maximum allowed to judge the calibration with the reference piece
(“No match” – outside the given limits) as failed. It is not possible to
set the number of retries below 2.
 “Finish calibration automatically”: The average is calculated automati-
cally - after the minimum numbers of good measurements is reached.
 “Charge includes the Reference Sample”: the instrument increases
the match counter by one after the reference sample is measured.

 “Grade”: optional activation of Grade ID for the reference sample and/or


the following sorting
 Grade verification for the average of the reference sample
 Grade search for all measurements retried

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 “Sorting”: settings for the sorting


 “Maximum retries before increase ‘No match’ counter”: number of
measurements to be made to judge a measurement as “No match”
(outside the given limits). It is not possible to set the number of retries
below 2
 Allow ‘As well given’ mode: the operator makes the final decision if a
“No match” counts as a “No match” or as a good measurement
 ”Ask for counter reset (after protocol)”: after requesting a protocol the
operator has to decided if the sample counter (good/no match) will be
deleted or if the following samples will be added to the counter.
 “Check Reference after “No Match”: each time a sample classified as
failed (after the max. number of retried measurements), the operator is
called on to measure the reference sample.
‘Check Reference’ is only a control procedure and has no effect on the refer-
ence value of the previously measured reference sample.

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 “Check Ref.”:
 Max. number of measurements retried allowed for the reference sam-
ple
 Allow the calibration of the sorting task with the reference sample if
the ‘Check Reference’ was not successful. A calibration is possible
and the sample counter (good/no match) status will be kept. Other-
wise a new calibration has to be required manually, which will reset
the counter to zero.

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 “Enable drift correction”: if this option is selected, the stored intensities of


the reference piece are corrected after each good measurement to avoid
errors from intensity drifts caused by e.g. contamination of the quartz win-
dows at the sample probe
 “Enable Drift-Monitoring”: Similar to drift-correction but limited to a defined
range
Finish all entries with a touch on “OK”.
<Save> the changes and <Close> the dialog for entering and define parame-
ter.

Select a set of parameter


Select a set of parameter and quit the dialog with <OK>. Store all changes of
the task with <Save> and <Close> or <Save as…>. The next time this task is
loading, it starts with the screen for sorting.

1.2.3 Change an existing set


 Select ”Sort.” in the Measure Window and choose the relevant task from
the list..
 Enter/change the limits and/or parameters (details see chapter 1.2.2)

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1.3 Perform a Sorting


Select ”Tasks” in the Measure Window. <Load> the relevant task from the list.
Make sure to load a task with activated sorting.

The first step now is to measure the reference sample.

After the number of measurements you have set for this program, the calibra-
tion with the reference sample is finished.

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After the average is calculated, the analysis of the reference sample and/or the
grade is shown on the screen. If the data are ok, accept them; otherwise retry
the calibration of the program.

Measure the samples to be checked and the instrument counts them (“Match”
and “Sum”). If a sample does not match with the reference piece press <Reset>
and the following screen appears:

The instrument tells you the deviation to the reference piece (Sorting Limits
window). Depending on the extended settings of the sorting program, additional
information of the possible grade will be shown (Grade Result window).

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Each “No Match” must be confirmed with the Reset button on the sample
probe. You are asked to measure until the maximum number of retries before
increase ‘No match’ counter has been reached. Afterwards the “No Match”
counter is increase by one. The next sample can be tested.

Sorting Protocol
After all samples have been checked, ask for a sorting protocol with a touch on
“Prot.“.
Choose whether you like to <Save> a protocol, to perform a <New Calib.>
(Calibration) or to leave the window by <Close>.

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For all requested protocol texts actual information can be entered now.
With a click on <Save> the protocol is stored on the SD card.

To be able to printout stored protocols later, transfer the data to an external PC


as explained in the document “Data back-up”. For administration of the analy-
ses, protocols, etc. choose the Result Manager.

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