WESTEC 2019 Recap: LIBS in Long Beach

Posted by Chris Carolan on Oct 4, 2019 6:14:57 AM
Chris Carolan
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This was my first time at this event. A much larger event than I am used to attending, I walked into the large event space at the Long Beach Convention Center on Monday morning with my MAG colleague, Troy Robertson. The Rigaku Analytical Devices (RAD) booth is simple, clean, and easy to set up. It took us about 15 minutes or so to setup. Lucky us :)


WESTEC 2109 - Booth


We hoped to attract event-goers with a simple message of:


Laser-Based Metal Alloy Analysis


KT-100S Handheld LIBS Analyzer


  • Results in Seconds
  • Certified Rugged
  • No X-ray Radiation Concerns
  • Low Cost of Ownership


Of course, we know that having our Red Lasers on the table would help too. That's right, we sell laser guns.




After a short discussion of our goals for the show, our RAD colleague, Jessica Feuer (KT Product & Applications Manager) arrived and we all agreed on the primary goal for the event. Continue to introduce this relatively new (7+ years old) technology (LIBS) as a SAFE, FAST, & ACCURATE way to easily and effectively SORT, VERIFY, CONTROL, & INSPECT metal alloys all along the manufacturing supply chain.


Primary uses include…

  • Sorting all types of alloys in the scrap metal yard to ensure the most profit,
  • Verifying the incoming steel alloys needed for the latest order of machined parts 
  • Controlling quality with testing & certification on a batch of aluminum aerospace parts
  • Inspecting installed materials on airplanes or at power plants


Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) can handle most of the applications present in all of these situations. Previously, industry professionals have had to settle for handheld XRF with its RADIATION, STRICT REGULATION, & HIGH COST of MAINTENANCE or worse yet, taking every sample back to the lab to analyze with a bulky, Spark-OES analyzer that will leave a BIG BURN MARK on every sample tested.




As the show rolled on from Tuesday through Thursday, well over 100 people stopped by to learn more about LIBS and our Red Laser, the KT-100S. A quick demo test of our Aluminum 7075/316 Stainless Steel check sample made it very clear how SAFE, FAST, & ACCURATE the Red Laser is. We had other samples on the table as well but attendees would also offer keys, pocket knives, and other random items for testing. We even tested this little, memory alloy spring offered by our friends at Dynalloy.


WESTEC 2019 - Dynalloy Memory Alloy Actuator Spring


Being honest, the spring test actually blew my mind as I was one of the many who believed that LIBS analyzers had too much difficulty with samples that were too small or rounded or otherwise awkwardly shaped. Luckily, Jessica was there to set me straight. With the KT-100S specifically, it is designed so that you do not have to completely cover the opening where the laser is testing. As long as the spot being burned by the laser stays in place during the time of analysis, you can get an accurate result for any piece you have thought that only XRF could do.


Here I was thinking that was one of the few benefits that XRF still had over the KT-100S and Jessica was there to prove me dead wrong! Learn new stuff every day from the team at Rigaku.


All in all, it was a great first impression at a great event. I really enjoyed my introduction into a diverse and thriving manufacturing community. So many nice people that play integral roles in building the world around us and the things we might take for granted every day. I only wish I had more time to walk around and experience the rest of the event.


I heard there were some great speakers, seminars, and discussions covering a vast array of manufacturing topics. Thanks so much to SME and AMT for putting on a great event. Tell me about your experience. Hit me up on my LinkedIn or shoot me an email at chris@metalvp.com. I would love to hear your thoughts.


As always, for more information on how the Rigaku KT-100S LIBS Handheld Analyzer can help you SORT, VERIFY, CONTROL, & INSPECT metal alloys all along the manufacturing supply chain, check out the product page or shoot me an email.


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With Great Verification, Comes Great Trust






Topics: News, KT-100S, LIBS, Metals Manufacturing, QAQC

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