You'll never be lost in the desert with SciAps

October 28, 2021

A true training story

Dr. Russell Harmon used the SciAps Z-300 handheld LIBS during recent geological field work near the Mojave Desert with a team from North Carolina State University investigating the chemical composition of rock varnish.

The NCSU team observed firsthand how SciAps not only makes top-of-the-line analyzers, but also takes customer service and training seriously. When someone buys a SciAps analyzer, one of the benefits is the lifetime basic operational training for as long as the person or company owns the instrument. The SciAps team provides operators with basic training and is available for any questions, and Dr. Harmon and the NCSU team found out how true that is.

This past June, Dr. Harmon accompanied Prof. Lewis Owen and a group of students from the NCSU Department of Marine, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences to the Owens Valley for their first experience with in-situ analysis using the handheld LIBS (laser) analyzer. Jack Hanson, SciAps representative in Northern California, met the group there to give them both classroom and in-field training with the LIBS.

“I have to say, I’ve always heard that SciAps training is great, but I was able to experience this customer attention firsthand,” says Harmon. “Jack did an absolutely wonderful job training our group.” To begin with, Hanson went into the desert and showed the team how to use the instrument for the specific type of analysis they were doing with the rock varnish. “Afterwards, we came back to the motel and Jack took over the dining room for an afternoon of classroom training. Overall, this dual-track approach to the training, during which Jack spent multiple days with the NCSU team, was just superb,”  Harmon says.

He was also impressed with Hanson’s knowledge. “All of our questions about the instrument were answered. And, if Jack didn't know the answer, he had that for us within 12 hours.” Even though Harmon is appreciative of the recent training, he was not surprised by it. Even with the first LIBS unit, the Z-500 LIBS, which was a loaner from SciAps, he and Dr. Richard Hark received personal service whenever they needed help.

“We certainly didn’t expect to hear from anyone on weekends, especially since we weren’t purchasers, but when we called and said, ‘We've got a problem with the instrument,’ we got a call back with real-time help,” says Harmon. “I don't know of any other company that offers this kind of user service. That just speaks volumes about the company, and how SciAps views its customer relationships.”

Dr. Harmon has worked closely with Dave Day, Morgan Jennings, and Andrew Somers, to name a few, and has enjoyed every minute of it. “It just cements for me that this company is just different than the others in that context. It's been a joy to work with SciAps.”

At SciAps, customer service is an extension of our commitment to provide you with exactly what you need, where — and when — you need it.

(a) Typical use of handheld LIBS during fieldwork. (b) Discontinuous varnish on basalt at Fossil Falls, Owens Valley. (c) Desert varnish on a granite outcrop, Alabama Hills, Owens Valley. Residual desert varnish “patches” on granite boulders on the (d) Lone Pine and (e) Fish Springs alluvial fans of Owens Valley. (f) Strongly varnished clasts in the desert pavement on an alluvial terrace in Deep Springs Valley.

SciAps commitment to customer service

At SciAps, customer service is an extension of our commitment to provide you with exactly what you need, where — and when — you need it.

  1. The lowest repair costs in the business - less than half the industry average for a common XRF detector repair.
  2. Durable instruments - who else could pass the 275-pound Oops Test or 35-foot Drop Test?
  3. A Service & Calibration program built for cost-effective productivity and longevity.
  4. Fast turns - If the analyzer needs to be in the factory for longer than 2-3 days, SciAps will offer a loaner at no charge, with any special calibrations included so that your business is not limited in any way.
  5. Open communications - We stay in touch with our customers during repairs, and track repairs over time to ensure best use of the equipment.
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