When I started my professional career more than 20 years ago as a young engineer full of enthusiasm in Rautaruukki New Technology (later a part of Thermo Radiometrie), I was lucky enough to take part in and follow closely development work of various innovative optical measurement devices. One of these devices was oil film thickness measurement device SC4000, which I actually ended up selling as global Sales Manager half a decade later. This unique hand-held device (weight was 3 kg) used infra-red measurement to determine oil film thickness on metal surfaces. It had required years of development work and had many patented technologies. However, looking back images of the equipment, this top of the line device seems now a bit bulky and old-fashioned. And most of the existing portable devices are very much similar. One can use them for professional use in dedicated applications, but size and price point are still far away from real palm-sized and affordable devices.
Joining the winning team
I joined Spectral Engines a couple of months ago. I regained that young engineer enthusiasm as I saw their products. They had managed to reduce the size of the spectrometer to 2-centimetre sized cube weighting 15 grams. I found out that this NIRONE Sensor is fully programmable, intelligent NIR Spectrometer that is developed for system integrators to use in their designs. In addition to that, they had added mobility by developing pocket-size NIRONE Device which contains, of course, NIRONE Sensor, but also Bluetooth connectivity communication and is battery powered.
It was not a big surprise for me when I learnt that Spectral Engines just won the EU Horizon Food Scanner competition. However, I was really amazed when they told me how fast they did the development. Spectral Engines wanted to demonstrate the usability of NIRONE technology in scanner development and they took NIRONE Device and started to build food scanning application with it. The complete application development took only three months. And they won this highly competitive contest!
Development time shortened dramatically in 20 years
Many of our new customers seem to expect that development of material sensor is as hard as it was 20 years ago. All of them are positively surprised when I tell them how fast they can move forward by using NIRONE platform. Suddenly years of development work can be cut down to months. How is this possible? It is mainly because we have done the major part of the work for you. NIRONE Sensor is not just NIR detection component but a fully functional, programmable spectrometer. It is specially designed to be connected to your design by a single connector. Front optics is changeable and can be modified to meet your needs. So, instead of technology development, you can start immediate application development. With NIRONE Device you can speed up more your development process as it can in many cases work as a prototype for field testing. And what is even more important, we are currently developing NIRONE Scanner platform that will contain tools and services to get your material scanner to the market even faster and reducing your maintenance cost remarkably.
Stop dreaming and start to act
I can’t help but think, what we would have been able to achieve 20 years ago if we would have had access to this technology. I’m sure that then the oil detector would have been truly pocket-size and it would have entered the market much, much faster. If you have an idea of material sensing application, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will help you to grow your business very fast and you can realize not suitcase-size, but pocket-size, measurement solutions cost-efficiently.
By Tomi Väänänen, Business Development Manager, Spectral Engines