Ask the Experts
July 31, 2006 - Updated
July 5, 2007 - Originally Posted

Hand-held XRF analyzer suggestion

An article in the June 28, 06 Electronic News stated that the European enforcement guidelines allow NWML to kick-off RoHS investigation with a hand-held XRF (x-ray florescence) analyzer, without first having to wait for documentation evidence. We are trying to determine how to verify parts received are RoHS compliant (especially lead-free). How can we obtain this hand-held XRF and are there other less expensive options?

Wanda Gray

Expert Panel Responses

RMD Instruments manufacturers the LPA-1 LeadTracer handheld XRF system. The LeadTracer is a state of the art XRF spectrum analyzing system for the quantitative measurement of lead in any substrate, component, and solder bar or solder paste. LeadTracer Features: No False negatives Multi-mode operation Compact sensing area Light weight and durable Ergonomic design for easy of use K-Shell XRF analyzer, no L-Shell limitations High energy source output for deep lead detection For more information on the RMD Instruments LPA-1 LeadTracer, visit their website at

Edward Zamborsky
Regional Sales Manager
OK International Inc.
Ed Zamborsky is a Regional Sales & Technical Support Manager for Thermaltronics, located in New York. His position requires frequent customer visits throughout North America and the Caribbean and his position encompasses not only sales but the role of trainer and master applications engineer for all of Thermaltronics products. His expertise includes such specialties as hand soldering, convection and conduction reflow techniques, array rework, fluid dispensing equipment, and fume extraction. Ed has authored many articles and has presented many papers on topics such as; Low Volume SMT Assembly, Solder Fume Extraction, SMT Rework, BGA Rework, Lead-Free Hand Soldering, High Thermal Demand Hand Soldering, Lead Free Visual Inspection and Lead Free Array Rework.

While the XRF does come with certain disadvantages, it is the least expensive and quickest method for a basic RoHS-Compliancy. It is said that it cannot distinguish between Hexavalent (Cr6) and Trivalent Chromium (Cr3) too well. Currently 2 manufacturers have advertised a portable XRF device here in the USA. Innov-X Systems ( ) and Thermo Electron's NITON division ( .) The Niton website lists a number of presentations they are offering around the country for potential users of this device. Also make sure that you are aware of all local codes and state regulations for the use of X-Ray devices.

Arnold Offner
Industry Standard Manager
Phoenix Contact
With over 15 years service at Phoenix Contact, Mr. Offner has worked in South Africa and Germany. He speaks both English and German, is based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and is responsible for the RoHS/WEEE Training activities in the Americas.
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