How to Select a Particle Analyser: Understanding What’s Right for Your Process


No matter what industry your organisation is in, selecting the appropriate particle size analysers can be challenging. Originally, these instruments were designed and manufactured to aid in specific issues. 

Now, the instruments come with a variety of specifications and sizes and are equipped to handle certain tasks. That has made choosing the best one for your needs more difficult. 

That’s exactly why we’ve created this guide on how to select a particle analyser depending on what’s right for your process: 


What is a Particle Analyser?

A particle analyser is an instrument designed to determine the size and material makeup of particles. Depending on the particle analyser, it may be equipped to accurately measure aerosol, liquid, powder, or a variety of other materials. 

These instruments are used in many industries and fields across research and development, manufacturing, quality control and assurance departments. 

Because they’re found in many industries and fields, the tools can offer analyses of materials such as paint, cosmetics, soil, and medications, such as sprays and pills. 


What Are the Benefits of a Real-Time Particle Analyser?

Particles play a significant role in the quality and performance of the final product. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, understanding particle size and formulation aids in making sure medicines comply with regulations and standards. 

Plus, companies and organisations would prefer to release an effective, efficient, and high-quality product to their consumers. Conducting particle analyses ensures that each product meets company standards, as well. 

But completing these analyses manually can be a tedious chore. Not to mention, it opens the door to a loss of revenue and human error. That’s why choosing an appropriate particle analyser is helpful. You’ll reap the benefits, such as:

  • Increased Return on Investment (ROI)

  • Improved Efficiency

  • Automated Process Development

  • Error Detection

  • Improved Quality Control 

Find out more about the benefits of a real-time particle analyser here


What Are the Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Particle Analyser

Not every particle analyser is created equal. So when it comes to how to choose a particle size analyser, you want to make sure you are looking at a few key things: 


The Particle Composition Your Process Analyses

Your current process analysis will help you choose the right particle size analyser. A good way to determine the current process is to take a look at any standard operating procedures the organisation has now. 

Then, take note of the elements the process analyses. Those often include:


Particle Size

Most of the time, the size range, or particle size distribution, of the particle analyser is the main factor when deciding between two (or more). 

Different particle size analysers conduct their size analyses based on built-in technologies. For example, instruments that use laser diffraction (LD) are capable of conducting a particle size analysis in the range of 10nm to 10mm. 

On the other hand, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is better for small particles, as it completes a particle size analysis in the range of 0.1nm to 1mu. 

And in the middle, dynamic light scattering (DLS) is often a good option for particle sizes between 0.1nm and 10mu. 

For processes that require a wide size range, a direct imaging particle size analyser may be the best choice. These types of instruments, such as the Eyecon2, are capable of analysing sizes from 50μm to 5500μm.  


Particle Sample Type

The sample type and how much of it is available also plays a role when it comes to how to select a particle analyser. 

Some processes have samples measured in higher volumes and quantities, which pose no problem for many instruments. 

However, other processes, often in the pharmaceutical industry, have limited sample volumes. Therefore, an instrument that can work with low-volume samples is necessary. 

To choose the right particle size analyser, evaluate your current process for the minimum single sample volume. Use that when examining the specs of the different instruments. 


Particle Formulation

Certain instruments are better at analysing specific particle formulations. You’ll need to take inventory of the materials that make up the particles and pair them with capable tools. 

Instruments such as direct imaging particle analysers can analyse dry, wet, and even airborne particles. 

But other tools, such as dynamic light scattering particle analysers (DLS), require particles and samples to be in an aqueous or organic solvent. 


Miscellaneous Particle Parameters

Other than particle sizes, you’ll also want to consider miscellaneous parameters that your process needs to measure. This most often includes: 

  • particle shape analysis

  • particle counters

  • molecular mass

  • density

  • porosity

  • stability

  • concentration

  • charge

AI & Machine Learning

To create a more efficient automated process, you may decide you need an instrument that can grow as your process develops. 

If that’s the case, then opting for a particle size analyser that has AI, machine learning, and algorithms built into the technology may be beneficial. 

These analysers, such as Innopharma’s Eyecon2, can detect and expand the range of particle material types, sizes, and shapes while measuring them in real time. 

The use of AI and machine learning allows you to unlock the full capabilities of particle size and shape analysis. 


Data Needed

As you’re auditing your current technique to help you choose a particle size analyser, you’ll want to consider the type of data needed.

Some processes function perfectly based on reports from existing templates built into the instrument. 

Other processes require more flexibility in the data they receive from the tool. If that’s the case, you may need to find an analyser that produces raw data from real-time particle size analysis. 


Training Provided by Particle Analyser Developer

Because these instruments are highly technical, you may decide you need initial training to integrate a new particle analyser into your system. 

If that’s the case, finding an instrument that meets your requirements and provides training from the developer is essential. 

With Innopharma Technology’s Eyecon2 particle size analyser, our team of scientists and engineers are happy to help you understand the instrument and integrate it into your current process. We aim to help you improve your process understanding, achieve high-quality standards, and get your products to market faster.

Chris O’Callaghan

Chris O’Callaghan is Head of Engineering within Innopharma Technology and is responsible for process analytical technologies and control products, applications development, and customer project delivery. He and his team manage the custom engineering projects required to successfully interface control systems with new and existing product lines in the continuous and batch manufacturing spaces, as well as control strategy development and deployment.

Darren McHugh

Darren McHugh is a Senior Product Manager at Innopharma Technology, with over 18 years of experience in the field of Manufacturing. He holds separate degrees in: Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturing, and a Master’s in Product Management. He has worked with several companies in the manufacturing industry to help them implement smart manufacturing solutions into their processes. Darren is an expert in Industry 4.0 and 5.0 solutions, where he has used IIoT, image analysis and machine learning (ML) technologies to help companies capture the full potential of their digital transformation efforts and deliver a satisfactory return on investment.

Laryssa Gorato

Laryssa Gorato is an Associate Product Manager at Innopharma Technology with a proven track record of success in developing and launching innovative products. Laryssa is a PAT specialist and the lead point of contact for the Eyecon 2 particle size and shape analyser. Responsibilities include installing, training, and supporting customer success. Laryssa is passionate about converting the needs of Innopharma customers into product features, the implementation of which has improved the product functionality and delighted customers.

Eyecon₂ Direct Imaging Particle Analyser 

Uses direct imaging processed in real-time, with ellipses fitted to each particles boundary, shape and size reported back, highlighting variations


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