The ANTECH model G3010 Automated Gamma Spectroscopy System (AGSS) or ‘Sample Changer’ is an effective solution for performing automated, unattended, high-resolution gamma spectroscopy (HRGS) measurements and analysis of bulk samples in a variety of sizes and types of Marinelli beakers. The Sample Changer features an automated pick-and-place system to move Marinelli beakers too and from a highly shielded lead measurement chamber, and a high efficiency HPGe detector completing the measurement. With customisable configurations, and quick-change sample trays, the AGSS provides a versatile solution to achieve laboratory sampling measurements with accurate results.
The Sample Changer consists of an extruded aluminium frame encompassing the Sample Loading Position, Pick-and-Place System, Measurement Chamber and System Electronics. The frame provides both mounting positions for the hardware, but also protection for the operators. Transparent panels in the frame doors allow for full visibility during operation, and an integrated magnetic interlock safety circuit ensures that the system cannot be operated without the doors being shut.
The Sample Loading Position consists of a mounting position for the Sample Tray into which the Marinelli Beakers are loaded. The Sample Tray consists of a grid of sample positions in a UHMWPE material, with identifying numbers for each position. Locating pins allow for a quick swap of the Sample Tray which enables a range of beaker sizes and configurations to be measured on the machine. GammaSample+ incorporates a Sample Tray configuration screen, allowing for multiple tray types to be stored as configurations for simple use when setting up a batch measurement.
The Pick-and-Place system provides 3-axis motion to transit samples from the Sample Tray to the Measurement Chamber safely and accurately. ANTECH utilises Allen Bradley system electronics and servo motors with multi-turn encoding allowing for high accuracy positioning of the sample. The System Electronics are housed within an IP54 rated EMC enclosure with an Allen Bradley Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), Safety Relay and contactor, and Servo Drives. An isolator on the front of the electronics enclosure ensures operator safety. On the front of the enclosure, a set of Green, Amber and Red LED indicators show the status of the system. An emergency stop and reset button provide easily accessible safety circuitry
The Sample Changer Pick-and-Place System has two gripper options; a passive gripper, engaging with a custom lid spigot provided by ANTECH, or an electric gripper, engaging the circumference of the beaker. The Pick-and-Place System can also accommodate an integrated weigh scale to provide the sample weight and an integrated barcode reader for automatic sample identification.
The Measurement Chamber consists of 100mm (4″) thick lead shielding cylinder, lined with tin and copper. A series of split stepped base plugs allow for different sized HPGe detectors to be mounted in the system easily without any shine path to the detector. A Chamber Lid made of 100mm (4″) thick lead shielding cylinder, lined with tin and copper, mounted in a plate aluminium housing is positioned on rails above the measurement chamber, and is automatically opened and closed using an actuator during the measurement process. This allows for complete shielding of the detector from background for a high-quality measurement. For maintenance, the AGSS provides a manual control of the lead shield lid, allowing it to be both opened and closed
The AGSS is operated by the ANTECH GammaSample+ software package, with the Ortec GammaVision spectroscopic analysis software. GammaSample+ provides an intuitive user interface (UI) to allow the operator to configure measurements and the system, including manual control of the pick-and-place system. The user-friendly operator interface of the ANTECH Gamma Sample Plus software was developed with the needs of gamma ray spectroscopists at the forefront, with the package providing;
The GammaSample+ package, and all analysis packages are loaded onto an embedded Windows based controller, allowing operators to remotely connect or interface directly. The software package features three-level user access security of Operator, Supervisor and Administrator, with varying levels of functional access to ensure configurations and parameters can only be accessed and edited by SQEP individuals. All raw data, analysis results and calibration data sets are saved with each batch measurement to allow for future re-analysis and review.
The AGSS can be shipped as an almost complete package or in a flat packed configuration to accommodate any site access requirements or restrictions.