CONAGUA Adds American Micro Detection Systems’ Unmanned Dissolved Metals Monitoring System To Become A Leader In Water Safety

American Micro Detection Systems (AMDS)
Aug 2013 Press Release with BMI Mexico
(Stockton, California, August 20, 2013) — American Micro Detection Systems’ water detection product, REX, is now an accepted water monitoring technology for Mexico. This comes on the heels of AMDS’ product line receiving an ISO 17025 certification for accuracy and repeatability for their REX instrument.  The ISO Certification comes from Alternate Systems LLC, a peer-reviewed, globally accepted ISO standard engineering house for measuring the accuracy of x-ray fluorescent systems.

As the regulating body for water technology throughout Mexico, CONAGUA* is at the forefront of clean water innovation throughout the Americas. CONAGUA considers water a national asset, and their mission is to ensure a clean water supply for both citizens and industry. CONAGUA recognizes the importance of AMDS’ REX as the tool to achieve these goals by safely and rapidly monitoring their water supplies, wastewater and industrial water.

After being installed to any water or flow system, REX is the only product that furnishes the user with constant, real-time data that can be accessed from any location in the world.

The Mexican government can utilize AMDS’ REX throughout their water infrastructure. The adaptability of REX will enable CONAUGA to monitor any of their flow systems.  Mexico has 541 drinking water treatment plants in operation and thousands of municipal and wastewater treatment plants. There are 3,000 kilometers of aqueducts, 4,000 dams and large areas of irrigation or rain fed infrastructure in Mexico. REX can manage all of these infrastructures by delivering the most accurate unmanned water detection service available.

AMDS anticipates that through Mexico’s international reciprocating agreements, other countries will soon follow Mexico’s lead on accepting REX’s new unattended water monitoring capabilities.  The AMDS distributor in Mexico is **Badger Meter, Inc. (BMI). AMDS CEO, Robert Keville, stated, “All the professionals here at the Badger Meter offices in Mexico City have done an outstanding job helping to make CONAGUA and all of Mexico aware of REX capabilities.  AMDS could not have chosen a better Distributor in Mexico for our products.”

American Micro Detection Systems, Inc. is a premier provider of state-of-the-art detection and analysis instruments for water and other fluids.  All AMDS instruments are process control systems that work at the site of interest completely unmanned with no consumables and each have the ability to transmit data to any worldwide location.


AMDS, Inc.
2800 West March Lane, Suite 200, Stockton, CA  95219
Direct:  209.955.0172
FAX:  209.955.1377

*The National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA), created in 1989, is an administrative, normative, technical, consultative and decentralized agency of the Mexican government, whose mission is to “manage and preserve [Mexico’s] water and its inherent public goods to achieve a sustainable use of these resources, with the co-responsibility of the three levels of government and society-at-large.”

**Badger Meter, Inc. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1905, Badger Meter has earned an international reputation as a leader in the development and manufacture of flow management solutions. Its products are used to measure and control the flow of liquids, including water, oil and chemicals.  Badger Meter is publicly held and its common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BMI.” Badger Meter is a founding member and ongoing participant in the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the trade group that sets the industry standards for water measurement in the United States.

Badger Meter, Inc.
Pedro Luis Ogazón 32
Delegación Álvaro Obregón
CP 01050 México, D.F.
Email: Raul Sanchez <>
Offices: (52) 5556620882 / 5556628067 / 5556628204 x 11404
Cellular: (52)15554381542

For further information contact:
American Micro Detection Systems, Inc.
Lynn Essman, Business Development, Phone: (512) 415-2830
Email: lessman@AMDSINC.COM
SOURCE American Micro Detection Systems, Inc.

Posted in Calibration, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analysis, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Standards, X-Ray Machines | Tagged , | Leave a comment

X-ray Radiation (XRF) Safety Audits

Radiation safety for analytical and some imaging applications is important but not nearly as involved as the requirements for industrial radiography. Some have asked if their radiation safety officer (RSO) required the “40 hour course” to be an industrial radiographer but this is usually not necessary for laboratory instruments.

Industrial radiography typically uses gamma radiation sources to inspect welds in pressurized piping, vessels, machined parts and other items. Cobalt 60 and Iridium 192 are commonly used to produce the ionizing radiation necessary for these inspections. In Texas, Title 25 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section §289.255 requires that individuals who use radioactive material or x-ray machines during nondestructive testing activities have an acceptable knowledge of radiation safety practices and principles gained through minimum training requirements, typically a 40 hour radiation safety course.

This is remarkably different than the requirements for safe operation of analytical X-ray machines used for material analysis and coating measurement and certified cabinet X-ray machines used for imaging. These devices are usually constructed to comply with 21 CFR 1020.40 which sets the requirements for devices that completely enclose the X-ray source and have interlocks to prevent operator or bystander exposure. These devices typically have X-ray tubes as sources.

We we find these minimal threat devices used for coating and plating measurement, material analysis, hazardous substance identification and screening, and for examining the interior of electronic packages and other items. The safety requirements for these types of devices are different than those for industrial radiography.

Here is a quick check list for radiation safety in a minimal threat environment:

  • Register the device with the State
  • Appoint a radiation safety officer (RSO) who meets State requirements
  • Develop and implement a radiation protection program
  •  Have a responsible service entity perform a radiation survey on each device annually or if it is moved or serviced
  • Annually train your operators in the hazards of radiation as they apply to your specific devices
  • Verify performance of the interlock system on a regular basis
  • Insure the appropriate radiation indicators are functioning
  • Make sure State-required notices and signage are displayed
  • Perform regular self-audits to document compliance

You can find the free version of the Alternate Systems operator training presentation at the bottom of our radiation safety page. Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can assist you in any way.


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Gold (Au) XRF Standard

NIST Traceable Gold (Au) Calibration Foil

Gold (Au) XRF Calibration Foil

Above is one of Alternate Systems’ high purity Gold (Au) foils that is used as a measurement reference and to calibrate X-ray fluorescence (XRF) machines. This XRF standard, custom made for a plating shopis 147 microinches thick and 99.95% pure gold. This gold standard will help make better measurements by minimizing interference during the X-ray fluorescence measurement process.

If you would like to talk to us about X-ray fluorescence or need XRF standards please feel free to give us a call at 1.800.928.9729.

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Creating Coating Thickness Standards

Coating Thickness Measurement Standards being created

Coating Thickness Standards

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Keeping the Measurement Chain Intact

One of the most frequent questions customers have asked over the years is how can they be sure their measurements are correct. In coating thickness measurement, a variety of factors can affect performance of the measuring instrument including substrate composition and shape, coating density, instrument drift, and appropriateness of calibration standards.

If the measuring application has been developed and installed for the instrument properly, the standards should be appropriate. Still, the standards should be examined for wear, especially if they are Mylar® foils, and current calibration certificate. Next, the measuring system can be verified by measuring the calibration standards repeatedly. I like to compare the mean of a 10 measurement series to the standard value and evaluate the standard deviation of the measurement series. If the mean does not correlate adequately with the standard, the instrument needs recalibration. If the standard deviation is too large, the probe may be damaged or the detector may be showing signs of wear. In this case, repair is probably necessary.

We have a more complicated example where a facility has several different types of temperature recorders in a large space. These recorders utilize a variety of sensors including bi-metallic strips, thermocouples, thermistors, and platinum resistance thermometers. Even though the space has sophisticated air handling, sensors relatively close to each other can display very different temperatures. A chart recorder with a bi-metallic strip mechanism moving a pen on paper can indicate a temperature as much as 3 or 4 °F different than a nearby thermistor with an electronic readout. In this case each device can be indicating correctly within its own stated accuracy yet the measurements are different. A small part of this is probably due to environmental differences but the larger part due to response time, accuracy, and ability to resolve temperature. I am reminded of the old saying that a man with one clock always knows exactly what time it is but a man with two clocks is never quite sure.

We always try to prove out these differences by comparing to a standard with an unbroken chain of traceability to NIST or involving a physical constant like the triple point of water or the melting point of a highly pure metal. Using these standards helps us understand how the client’s instrument is performing and how well its measurements reflect the desired parameters of the product or environment. Finally we communicate these variables in a way that improves the knowledge of everyone involved. Better understanding and better measurements for a better world!

Posted in Calibration, Cold Chain Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to the new Alternate Systems website. We’ll be working adding photos and making tweaks to improve the site and we hope you find the information useful. My brother mentioned that we should add credibility by mentioning some of our customers, so this is a quick way to get this accomplished:

Companies using our calibration standards include Bell Helicopter, Cessna, and Spirit Aero, formerly Boeing Military Aircraft Company.

We are doing calibration and metrology work for companies including AVX El Salvador, Chromaloy, Grant Prideco de Venezuela, Kuehne+Nagel, Marlow Industries, MarathonNorco Aerospace, Raytheon, and Sandia National Laboratories, and cold chain support for Allergan.



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