Spotlight: Rigaku Analytical Devices is a leading innovator of solutions for use in the protection of public health and safety and aid in the advancement of scientific and academic study
1. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Founded in 2011 in response to a growing need for more rugged and technologically advanced mobile and handheld spectroscopic analyzers, Rigaku Analytical Devices is a leading innovator of solutions for use in the protection of public health and safety and aid in the advancement of scientific and academic study. Several members joined Rigaku Analytical Devices after spending critical roles developing analytical equipment currently used by law enforcement, customs and border protection, first responders, military and others.
2. What is your signature product and how does it work?
Our portfolio of handheld Raman analyzers utilize a unique laser excitation – 1064nm.
This technology allows for the identification of the largest number of truly unknown substances contained within clear and translucent packaging, better protecting operators from potential exposure to toxic substances. Utilization of 1064nm Raman is proven to more accurately identify the chemical’s true spectral fingerprint, expanding identification/detection to include colored or degraded substances and colored substances within colored packaging and bottles, without fluorescence interference. It is non-contact and non-destructive, with little to no sample preparation or consumables required.
3. Why do you believe your products are essential to the law enforcement community?
Narcotics identification is a global issue and a rapid response time is often crucial for front-line officials. Traditional testing techniques for illegal and controlled substances can be time consuming and costly, with samples required to be sent to analytical laboratories. Laboratory analysis requires the use of trained personnel, costly analytical equipment and expensive consumables and chemicals. Results can take days to months holding up a possible conviction process.
The use of handheld Raman instruments has revolutionized field testing of narcotics and other illicit substances. Many issues associated with testing times and costs have significantly decreased. Even more importantly, handheld Raman analyzers provide a means for the officer to scan through packaging, reducing the risk of exposure to dangerous synthetics, such as fentanyl. By providing fast results for on-site narcotics identification in both bulk and trace amounts, law enforcement officials are able to resolve potential hazardous situations safely. Further, the U.S. Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG) recognizes Raman spectroscopy as a Class A analytical technique for presumptive field testing.
4. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Introducing the Rigaku brand to a new market sector has been a bit of a challenge, but has also been a great opportunity to show law enforcement a new, cutting-edge solution. We have been able to stand behind the Rigaku brand of bringing innovative, quality, analytical equipment to users and are pleased to have made an immediate impact on the response programs of our early customer champions.
5. What makes your company unique?
Rigaku was the first to introduce a 1064nm laser excitation in a sealed and ruggedized handheld platform for reliable analysis of the broadest range of materials. Traditionally, handheld Raman analyzers have been used to nondestructively identify materials in pharmaceutical manufacturing or academia where samples are very pure and thus clear or white in color. However, because Rigaku Analytical Devices utilizes a unique 1064nm laser excitation, our handheld Raman capabilities are expanded because of the instrument’s ability to identify colored substances or through colored packaging. These characteristics are more “real world” of what is typically found by law enforcement in the safety and security industry. Designed for routine response tactics, our handheld Raman analyzers meet the requirements of those responsible for protecting society from the ever-evolving chemical and explosive threats.
6. What do your customers like best about you and our products?
Our portfolio of handheld Raman analyzers are supported by our global sales and support distribution team offering 24/7 Reachback support, library updates and software upgrades – for the life of the analyzer.
7. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
We are extremely pleased to provide cutting-edge instrumentation to our law enforcement. We want to be sure our communities are equiped with the most advanced analytical equipment available to confidently and expediently identify threats and combat the opioid crisis.
8. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
Because the overall safety and security umbrella actually consists of many separate sub-sectors, the opportunities are numerous. Our portfolio of handheld Raman analyzers have the capacity to expand at-scene or downrange response using one device for easy, fast, accurate chemical identification. Therefore it is a solution applicable to the entire market, across the globe.