you the choice of software to drive your instrument...
At Stable Micro Systems we have
long recognised the need to constantly expand the wealth of
possibilities of testing, presentation formats and analytical
solutions in our Exponent software. However, we also recognise
that a considerable percentage of users require a simple test and
data analysis solution, that users may be testing in a
high-throughput production environment at varying skill levels, or
that users require a quick, easy to operate method on an infrequent
basis. For this reason we offer two software options:
Sophistication and Flexibility
This fully established software
package is set to continue to be the software of choice for the
professional or advanced texture analyst, those users requiring
long-term flexibility of operation and analysis and those users
requiring additionally synchronised data measurement alongside their
traditional texture analysis data.
Exponent software will
maintain its ongoing expansion of testing procedures, presentation
formats, data analysis features and enhanced security options. The
aim is to provide the most powerful and flexible testing analysis
solution available, which is of particular importance for those in
Research and Development.
This 'lighter' version of Exponent
software is well suited for simple texture analysis testing
offering flexibility and simplicity of use without loss of instrument
performance. Users at all levels will appreciate the minimum learning
and training required, whilst the package provides all of the general
capabilities you need to run tests quickly and efficiently to achieve
Exponent Lite provides the
same basic functions as Exponent but the complex
features required by advanced users or necessary for sophisticated
operation have been removed - straightforward texture analysis
without the 'bells and whistles'! Upgrading to Exponent is
possible at a later date if required.
- provides extra security and logging features
- provides templates or user-customisable layouts for reports
Functionality and Graph Calculation Ability for Data Analysis
Automated Project Loading
Help Files providing
Functionality - allows customisation of library tests
Testmaker - provides
ability to devise user-specific tests
Functionality - for manipulation of data and charting
Functionality - for manipulation of data
Full Automation Capability
Additional Data Capture options*
*e.g. Temperature, Acoustics,
Dough Inflation System, Powder Flow Analyser, Resistance, Video
Both software packages provide a
flexible graphical user interface to choose test settings and acquire
test data in a real-time graphical display with free download of
upgrades throughout the life of your instrument. Macro and
spreadsheet facilities are built-in to aid automated data collection
and analysis. The following presents a few highlights of the software
which can only be fully appreciated by a live demonstration.
and Force Verification
Making measurements with any
analytical method or instrument requires calibration to ensure the
accuracy of the measurement. Exponent and Exponent Lite
provide for the calibration of Force, Height and Stiffness and Force
Verification - simple procedures which take only a few minutes.
Calibration of both force and
distance is carried out in-house at the end of the manufacturing process.
Customers can easily re-calibrate
the instrument in their laboratories depending upon their good
The accuracy of all of our
instruments can easily be checked in terms of speed, distance and
force measurements to meet the more demanding regulations of certain industries.
Testing starts with your choice of
settings. This will depend on the type of test you wish to perform
and the properties which you wish to investigate. There are several
options for specifying the way in which the texture analyser is to
test a sample.
Loading a Test Project
The Samples directory
contains an ever increasing range of over 180 projects from which
users can select as a test starting point. At the click of a button
your chosen sample project can automatically transfer the required
test settings to the instrument and load the associated macro,
spreadsheet and report ready to analyse and display the results once
the test is performed.
Test Settings and analysis Macro
routines can be optimised to suit your particular applications and if
routinely required they can then be saved as user-specific Projects.
A Project combines all of the components required to initiate
a complete test and analysis procedure and is the basis on which a
user can centralise all files required for a specific product test.
Alternatively it is very easy for
you to write your own method for the particular analysis required.
from a Test Library
A series of classical Texture
Analyser tests are included from which simple or 'enhanced' versions
are available for selection. A TA Settings window is displayed
which allows the user to specify such parameters as speed and test
distance required for the test procedure. Advanced features within a
test can be hidden for simplification. All TA Settings
parameters have a caption which explains what each parameter does.
Tests and Collecting Data
Before testing, a Run a Test window
establishes test options and post-test parameters (e.g. file name,
probe used, etc.) Sample and attachment details can also be specified
for further analysis.
Data can be captured at high speed
which is a particularly important aspect when testing products that
fracture or require high speed separation such as during the testing
The ability to plug-in peripheral
instruments is present in the instrument design to provide multi-channel
data acquisition. This allows for many other measuring devices to be
connected to the Texture Analyser and their data simultaneously
collected, such as acoustic emission, temperature, humidity via Exponent
During testing of your sample,
force, distance and time values (and additional peripheral data
values if attached) are collected and the real-time data displayed in
a Graph window.
The Graph can be annotated to
highlight the areas of interest and its axes can be changed to
display the data in different X and Y combinations. Logarithmic and
second Y axes are also available to allow synchronous display of
additionally collected data such as temperature.
Graph files can include photos of
the sample tested, and can also be exported as .bmp or .jpg.
tests are done - now let's make sense of it all
Once data has been collected and
is displayed in a Graph window, there is likely to be a
requirement to analyse it in order to interpret the results and draw
conclusions. Exponent provides a wealth of analytical tools,
from the most basic option of collecting a single force value to more
sophisticated methods of curve smoothing or detection of inflection points.
Almost any feature of a data
characteristic can be recognised and recorded. Icons for the
calculations of such parameters as Area, Gradient, Time Difference,
Mean, Count Force peaks, Force Maxima/Minima etc. are quickly
accessible on the toolbar or minimised to only those required by the
user via the Customisable Toolbar option. Quick Calculations
are a selection of popular calculations that you can choose from that
will analyse the data to provide results in just a few steps.
A Macro simplifies
repetitive analysis and display. A set of instructions are listed and
executed which automatically collect data from the graph. Tests can
be automated with either intricate or simple macros, the latter being
ideally suited to a production environment.
At the end of each test, an
operator need only concentrate on the positioning of their sample and
starting their next test whilst the previous data is analysed in the background.
Exponent not only provides
an extensive library of macros that are ready to quickly analyse your
data once your tests have been performed, but enables the writing of
macros that can quantify almost any aspect of the data resulting from
the test. The flexibility to perform such a wide range of
sophisticated additional mathematical functions within the software
The analysed data is displayed in
a Results window in customised spreadsheet format and if
necessary extra calculations are made by the addition of more columns
to further manipulate your data or produce other parameters using
either your own or stored formulae e.g. Standard Deviation, Average
etc. Multiple worksheets are available to separate product parameters
from results and user data.
Spreadsheets, text or images can
be exported to other Windows applications for further specific manipulation/presentation
Once your range of tests are
performed the collection of parameters you have obtained can be
collated into a 'fingerprint' of each sample.
and Layout Options: Exponent only
Once data is collected in a
spreadsheet, charts in a multitude of formats can be automatically
displayed or designed to suit your data comparison needs.
A Chart gives a visual
representation of the data from the Results window to allow
easier comparison and interpretation. The Chart Designer
allows selection from 27 chart types (2D and 3D) and define rotation,
position, 3D lighting properties, legend styles, base and wall
styles, and axes types (stacked, normal and %).
A Report is a great way to
establish a strict format for presenting information for others. For
example, reports allow users to present hourly online test results to
their managers or to present well-formatted reports to marketing and customers.
Reports may include graphs,
results files, charts, pictures, logos, text, test settings, test
preferences, batch numbers, information about the products tested, etc.
A Report can be a user
formatted composed presentation of the complete analysis using the
WYSIWYG word processor type interface. Alternatively reports can be
automatically generated from active objects and fields when a report
template is open which can be set-up to print, save or email when
tests are complete. A Spell Checker, Thesaurus, adjustable fonts and
styles and support for tables, OLE objects and export to HTML are
Features: Exponent only
This allows total flexibility in the programming of the Texture
Analyser arm movement. New test sequences can be written to
accommodate sophisticated arm movement requirements, data capturing
options and control of peripheral measurements such as temperature modules.
Data Analysis: Exponent provides a wealth of
sophisticated analytical tools which are available for immediate use
and quick interpretation.
Mail To... At
the end of your test, you can send your data directly from Exponent
to your colleagues - a great feature for multiple location
synchronisation which simplifies the distribution of Exponent
files from one site to another.
Test Maker: This
is a useful facility which allows a user to simply build a
customised test from a selection of standard arm movements.
Macro Language: Access to advanced Exponent data
and commands provides the ability to automate certain actions or tests.
Automation: This offers an interface for easy integration
into many programming languages allowing total automation within a
bespoke system such as automated sample loading or complex data
to Graph files: The Project and the Graphs
have a place to enter notes to describe a test method or setup. Why
not add a photo of your test setup so it is easy to see how it was or
should be configured?
Test History Database:
This feature tracks when tests were run and where they have been
saved in the event that important data is misplaced.
can simplify the sending of analysis results to LIMS from most
companies. It comes in the form of a Macro command that can be easily
configured to export the selected results of the current product to a
file that a LIMS can read and delete.
Security Module: This additional module provides
additional security such as electronic record and signature
management if you need it or wish to run your instrument in
accordance with FDA CFR21 Part 11 guidelines.