Quantitative Chemical Imaging: Transfer of laboratory based quality control into the production line
Modern production facilities are engaged unremitting efforts for a reliable quality control of the outgoing product. Most quality control methods in the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries are laboratory-based, featuring highly precise measurement equipment. However, these methods are often lacking crucial representativity since the sampled quantities are orders of magnitudes smaller in mass and volume than the product stream to be qualified. In many cases, the underlying test methodology fails in actually capturing varying quality parameters of the produce, especially if they happen on smaller time scales than the sampling period of the laboratory or if they are spatially confined in the production stream.
Quantitative chemical imaging (QCI) is a new technology based on hyperspectral imaging data directly inferred from the production line. This inline method allows the transfer of laboratory precision measurements into the production allowing for an inline quality control in real time.
Such a product can be monitored continuously in space and time with known precision, capturing even smallscale variations. This talk will present results and experiences from different industries were QCI has been already successfully implemented. Along these lines the underlying hyperspectral data analysis software SQALAR will be shown, giving insights into this state-of-the-art inspection technology.