Thank you for Asking About Ingot.
If you haven't heard about Ingot already, keep reading...
Your NIR machine was expensive wasn't it?
And rightly so! NIR machines are very complicated instruments. And if they are used correctly, they could save you lots of money. We guess that it took you a long time to investigate all your different options didn't it? You did lots of research about the different types of machine available, the support offered by the manufacturer, the lifetime of the instrument and the component parts, the number of samples you can analyse in a day... And once you had all of these pieces of information, you made your decision and parted with a significant amount of money.
But wait a minute - there is one huge consideration that we haven't mentioned yet. Did you think about the calibrations for your NIR machine? Do you know what calibrations are?
Don't worry. You aren't the only person looking confused. There are lots of people out there using NIR all the time who don't understand the importance of the calibration files. Let us explain....
An NIR machine will produce a spectra file. It does NOT give you information about your sample.
So how do you get meaningful information about the nutritional or physical qualities of your sample from an NIR machine?
By having the right calibration file!
The spectum produced by your NIR machine is a graphical illustration of how much energy has been reflected by your sample. Different chemical bonds absorb and reflect energy at specific frequencies. If you know the frequencies, and have the associated wet chemistry analysis of that same sample to compare to the spectrum, you can build a calibration file.
The key factor is the number of samples you have. If you only have one sample to build a calibration file, it isn't going to be very good. And if you try to measure lots of different samples against it, do you think that you will get accurate results? No... absolutely not.
If you have a lot of samples with both wet chemistry analysis and a spectrum for each one, you are heading in the right direction.
Where does Ingot come in?
Ingot is the name for the Aunir database of 350000 unique samples.
Each sample has both the associated spectrum file and wet chemistry results from an accredited laboratory. Aunir specialises in building NIR calibrations which means that we collect and analyse samples all day, every day. Our Ingot database currently contains over 350000 samples (which is the equivalent of 4 million data points).
And it is still growing.
So when a new harvest season is available, we add it to our database. And when a new variety is developed and commercialised, we add it to our database. And when there is a particularly bad season of weather and the resulting crops are harvested, we add those samples to our database too. Why? So that your calibrations are based on the widest range of samples possible. This means that when you analyse your sample, you are more likely to get an accurate prediction because Aunir have probably come across something similar before.
Even if you started collecting samples today, you would never catch up with the range of geographies or varieties covered in the Ingot database.
I'm using my NIR machine without Ingot calibrations at the moment and everything seems to be working ok. Why should I switch?
If you have developed your own calibrations using your own samples - great! You might have a very specific set of characteristics that you want to measure in your raw materials or finished products so you have come up with your own calibration. Are you continuing to add more samples to your calibration every day? Have you thought about incorporating some data from the Ingot database to compliment your data set? Why not use our expertise in NIR to make sure you are getting the most out of your NIR investment? Contact us today.
For those of you who can't remember where your calibration files came from. Or if you got some 'starter' calibrations for free when you bought your NIR machine, we think it is time for you to get in touch with us.
'Starter' calibrations are just that... something to get you started. They demonstrate that the NIR machine works but they likely haven't been updated for a while so you might be getting inaccurate results.
If you want to get the most out of your NIR machine, use Ingot calibrations from Aunir.
Ingot calibrations are available for all NIR machines including some of the new portable NIR machines. You can see which industries we work with by clicking through the market icons below. If you can't see your specific industry, get in touch and we'll let you know if it is covered already.
Insight. Informed. Ingot.