Company Introduces Advanced Spectrophotometer

May 1, 2011
Hach Company recently announced the launch of the DR 3900 Benchtop Spectrophotometer, which was specifically designed to meet the measurement needs of the water and wastewater industries.

Hach Company recently announced the launch of the DR 3900 Benchtop Spectrophotometer, which was specifically designed to meet the measurement needs of the water and wastewater industries.

Spectrophotometers are used by water and wastewater facilities to assess water quality throughout the treatment process. The water quality data is used to make important decisions on treatment changes and for internal and regulatory reporting to confirm that a facility is adequately protecting public health and the environment. Knowing how water and wastewater facilities use the data and the importance of always getting an accurate result, Hach focused its new technology on preventing common measurement errors and giving facilities more confidence in their results.

One of the most common errors associated with spectrophotometry is when a user does not correctly follow the method or procedure. Knowing the amount of sample to add, the proper amount of time to mix, the recommended process for mixing or whether the sample needs digestion is complicated enough for any single test and for facilities that test multiple parameters, it can be extremely confusing. In order to reduce these errors, the DR 3900 guides the user through the procedure with step-by-step instructions on a large color display. Wait times or mix times are easily managed using an on screen timer.

Hach’s TNTplus ™ chemistries and spectrophotometers are made to work seamlessly together and many of the chemistries are EPA compliant.

Spectrophotometers work by reacting specific chemicals with the water sample and measuring the amount of light that passes through the sample. Any flaws in the glass or fingerprints on the vial can affect the amount of light that passes through and lead to inaccurate readings. To overcome these issues, the DR 3900 spins the chemistry vial in the measurement chamber, taking 10 measurements through different angles of the vial. Any outlier measurements are excluded from the final calculation. All this occurs in less than seven seconds and eliminates the step of cleaning the vial or using silicone oil.

The chemistries used in testing are critical to accurate results. Common errors associated with current spectrophotometers include using expired chemistry or not updating the chemistry lot calibration factors. To help prevent these types of errors, RFID technology is built into the Hach TNTplus™ chemistry box and captures the chemistry lot information including expiration date and calibration factors. An internal RFID module on the instrument automatically checks the expiration date and alerts the user if the chemistry has expired. The reader also automatically uploads the chemistry lot calibration factors, ensuring that any chemistry issues are minimized.

Many facilities and labs rely on manual entry of the spectrophotometry data in a log book or data management system. It is easy to make mistakes when capturing the data by transposing numbers, moving decimal points or just having handwriting that is difficult to read. To combat these challenges, the DR 3900 is built with one LAN and three USB ports, so users can directly transfer the data from the instrument to a computer or network.

Built with the future of water analysis in mind, Hach’s DR 3900 spectrophotometer will give consistently accurate results in a simpler testing format.

Some water and wastewater facilities have to manage large numbers of samples each week. One of the challenges at these facilities is ensuring that samples do not get mixed up. The DR 3900 can help facilities manage this with its Sample Tracking System. The solution starts with RFID tags that are programmed with location and test requirements and placed at the sample points. Each time a sample is collected, a hand-held RFID device captures the sample location information and programs the information in an RFID chip in the bottle label. Once the sample is brought to the lab, the DR 3900 RFID module identifies the sample and the sample origin.

For more information on the Hach DR 3900 Spectrophotometer or other Hach products visit


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