Carl Zeiss today introduced
the Smart Particle Investigator (SmartPI), a software package for use with ZEISS
Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) that enables the automatic detection, investigation
and characterisation of particles of interest.
SmartPI™ integrates all aspects of the SEM control, Image Processing
and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis for particle detection and characterisation
within a single application. A high degree of automation for repetitive sample
analysis provides non-subjective results with minimal user involvement and enables
continuous unattended operation of the instrument. Automated calibration and
diagnostic procedures ensure results accuracy and system stability and an advanced
stop-criteria allows early termination of the analysis if a predefined threshold
is reached, thereby significantly reducing the analysis time.
The applications of Smart PI™ are virtually unlimited and include manufacturing
cleanliness and quality control, wear analysis with failure prediction (e.g.
oil analysis of jet engines), geological survey and mining, forensics, environmental
monitoring and more.
Ease of use
Special attention has been given to ease of use. Due to the automated
nature of SmartPI™ daily operation only requires an operator to load and
unload samples and initiate the predefined analysis routines (recipes), however
more experienced operators can create or modify recipes to meet their specific
requirements. All recipes, system configuration and results data are stored
in an auditable database to allow easy data review and export.
Border Particle Stitching
A special feature of the SmartPI™ package is the border particle
stitching algorithm which determines the full characteristics and measurements
of an individual particle which crosses multiple fields. Images of stitched
particles can easily be saved and reviewed.