Spectrophotometers are invaluable to many industries, delivering the color consistency necessary to streamline supply chain efficiencies and maximize product quality. The key to ensuring optimal instrument performance and color measurement quality is knowing how to properly maintain a spectrophotometer.
Best Practices for Taking Care of Your Spectrophotometer
Spectrophotometers must undergo the proper routine maintenance to deliver the most precise and accurate measurements. With the right calibration and care, you can ensure that your color spectrophotometer performs at its best.
1. Keep Your Device Clean
No matter how well-calibrated your device is, it won’t deliver accurate or consistent readings if it isn’t clean. That’s why it’s vital to perform frequent cleanings to ensure that your spectrophotometer is free of dirt, dust, grime, and other contaminants that can obscure measurement results.
When cleaning your equipment, it’s crucial to follow the best practices outlined in your user manual to avoid damaging the device and invalidating your warranty. Avoid using any harsh or abrasive tools or substances when cleaning your spectrophotometer.
You should also consider your environment when determining cleaning frequency. For example, an instrument stored in a dusty, poorly ventilated closet will require more routine cleanings than one contained in an air-conditioned office.
2. Preserve Your Samples
Like a dirty instrument, dirty samples will not produce accurate color data. Poorly sanitized samples can also contaminate your measurement device and corrupt all subsequent samples. You can exercise proper handling and storage techniques to promote lasting preservation and ensure sample purity.
3. Calibrate Your Device Regularly
You can reset your device to its original factory settings to calibrate your spectrophotometer and maintain device accuracy. It’s a good rule of thumb to calibrate your instrument at the start of each project or every two to four hours. In addition to accurate results, frequent calibration also makes it easier for your spectrophotometer to return to its calibrated state after each reset.
If you’re unsure how to calibrate your spectrophotometer, try following these steps:
- Let the device warm up for at least 10 minutes.
- Adjust the chamber light to the desired wavelength.
- Prepare a blank sample, using a Kim wipe to remove oils from the cuvette.
- Load the blank cuvette into the chamber.
- Close the lid and wait for the measurement to conclude.
- Calibrate the device by pressing the “zero” button.
4. Ensure Proper Operating Temperatures
A stable operating environment is crucial for achieving reliable and precise color measurements. Temperature plays a considerable role in spectrophotometer performance. For example, if your instrument sits in direct sunlight, the device may become heated and deliver inaccurate measurements, even if it’s in a temperature-controlled space.
All spectrophotometers have a set range of temperature tolerances. You can produce the best results by adhering to your spectrophotometer’s best practices.
Learn More About Our Spectrophotometers Today
You can secure high-quality spectrophotometers from the global color measurement technology leaders at HunterLab. We pride ourselves on our full line of highly accurate, user-friendly instruments with unprecedented measuring, monitoring and analysis flexibility.
Contact us to learn more about our devices today!
Mr. Philips has spent the last 30 years in product development and management, technical sales, marketing, and business development in several industries. Today, he is the global market development manager for HunterLab, focused on understanding customer needs, providing appropriate solutions and education, and helping to solve customer color challenges across these industries and cultures.