A Spectroscopist’s impressions of IFPAC 2017: Bringing the spectrometer to the process

A Spectroscopist’s impressions of IFPAC 2017: Bringing the spectrometer to the process

One of the most interesting conferences on Process Analytical Chemistry is the annual IFPAC event which took place last week in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. It is a truly international forum, where close to half of the audience I met were from outside the USA. The conference also had a striking diversity of professions represented; process engineers, chemists, chemometricians, executives, and government regulators. This diversity indicates that the field is getting broader as more professional roles take an interest in process analytics and that the understanding of the potential in focusing on how processes and analytics can be developed to improve quality and efficiency grows.

As a spectroscopist, I was very interested in what developments in instrumentation have taken place in the process spectroscopy market space recently. Certainly, there has been an explosion of interest in using Raman spectroscopy in process control, judging by the number of Raman exhibitors present at IFPAC. Another trend I noticed is spectrometer miniaturization (which has been around for a while and still going strong). Both Viavi (their MicroNIR™ is featured in the picture above) and Spectral Engines displayed near infrared spectrometers that fit in the palm of your hand. Traditionally in spectroscopic process monitoring the sample is brought to the spectrometer via plumbing, or the electromagnetic radiation is brought to and from the process via fiber optics. These small spectrometers now allow bringing the spectrometer to the process. This means that rather than monitoring one place in a process it is now feasible to install and control spectrometers in multiple places in a process, giving a more accurate and clearer picture of the process. Yet, there is still demand for traditional spectroscopic process instruments, given the amount of near- and mid-infrared spectrometers on display.

Of course what ties this all together is the need for multivariate analysis (MVA) in process spectroscopy. Regardless of whether you are looking at near-infrared, Raman, or most any other type of process spectra, you are going to need quantitative and or classification models to make sense out of your data. Additionally, to monitor a process in real time you will need software that can take MVA models and apply them to multiple data streams to obtain an up to the minute accurate picture of a process. Several companies at IFPAC exhibited such software, including of course CAMO. In the end, I think the use of multiple spectrometers to monitor processes combined with MVA will give companies an even better and more accurate idea of their processes than is currently available.

Dr. Brian C. Smith, West Coast Business Development Manager, CAMO Software USA

We will talk even more multivariate analysis in 2017

We will talk even more multivariate analysis in 2017

Soon 2016 will be in the past and 2017 will be the number to crunch. As we put 2016 behind us we can see that multivariate analysis is a growing topic, and furthermore, moving to apply models in real-time and directly in processes is high in demand. CAMO has one of the most complete solutions in the market for process monitoring and paired with multivariate models coming from the long-time proven Unscrambler®, we can offer customers what they need to move into the next era of manufacturing and development processes. As our scientists continue to innovate together with our developers we would like take even more time to talk to customers and potential customers about how we can help. Hence, in 2017 we will be out to meet you in many places and we will host our own CAMO Futures event on the 31st of May to 1st of June in Glasgow, Scotland. Save the dates in your calendar and registration will be open shortly. You will also meet us at IFPAC in Washington D.C., EUROPACT in Berlin and at the ICNIRS in Copenhagen. See our event calendar here.

We look forward to helping you bring data to life in 2017!
Happy New Year!

The Multivariate World Is Expanding

The Multivariate World Is Expanding

The field of chemometrics has been around for quite some time now and has played its role in both research and industrial environments. While the multivariate research toolbox is well established and ever increasing, its industrial counterpart is only beginning to see widespread use in the last decade. This could be due to many reasons such as the advancement of industrial data management solutions, the semi-continuous financial crises that drive the industry to smarter manufacturing and the use of data to reduce costs and waste. Whatever the reasons, it is clear that chemometrics and multivariate analysis have a big role to play in connecting the dots between research and the new paradigm with advanced and more robust sensors, agile manufacturing processes and product quality control. Welcome to the multivariate world!

We believe that all processes or systems are multivariate in nature until proven otherwise and therefore they must be analysed, modelled and understood as such! There are two important aspects in any field that requires experimentation; the ability to understand the outputs of the experiment and the ability to put this newfound knowledge to use for future situations. Whether the experiment involves spectral measurements, sensory data, manufacturing process data or psychometric variables, the two main outputs everyone is looking for are; can I understand the process/experiment and how can I put my findings to good use. All you need is the right multivariate tools to understand the data and to generate valid and robust models. Then you are ready to apply these models in real-world situations.

While multivariate methods lend themselves well to empirical analysis of data sampled from science, technology and nature (i.e. any system with multiple underlying structures) there is nothing that prevents the use of the first principle models in combination with actual observations.

CAMO’s philosophy is not to describe all methods in the world or to include them in our software, but to provide methods that are versatile and suited for any kind of data, regardless of their size and properties. CAMO believes that the focus should be on graphical presentation of results rather than tables with p-values. This is related to the distinction between significance and relevance. With a high number of objects any test for significance between two groups or correlation between two variables will be statistically significant. Thus, a table of p-values does not show if the model is suitable for predicting selected properties such as the product quality at the individual level.

When this is said we realise that summarising the important findings from a project or study is often efficiently done with bullet points or univariate statistics. Our message is that multivariate methods provide the fastest insight into complex data to arrive at the correct conclusions and to avoid “searching for correlations”.

The situation is that even after 40 years of multivariate methods and in particular multivariate calibration, it is not known to the majority of people that selectivity is not needed to predict quality of a product or classify or identify samples such as raw materials.

Finally, being a data analyst is about practicing the methods and software on your own data.

I wish you all the best, and may your models be with you!






Dr Frank Westad, Chief Scientific Officer, CAMO Software


Can Assumption-Free Batch Modeling Eliminate Processing Uncertainties?  

Can Assumption-Free Batch Modeling Eliminate Processing Uncertainties?   

With Industry 4.0 around the corner and concepts like continuous manufacturing, the future is almost here. But not quite yet. In the meantime batch processes will continue to be a common practice in manufacturing.

For the longest time we have found that the multivariate modeling of batch processes has been imprecise and even inaccurate. Hence, we have invested time and resources in coming up with a new way of modeling that can bring us closer to the true batch trajectory. This breakthrough brings many benefits to our customers and can be translated into real return on investments. Some examples to mention are detecting and adjusting out-of-spec situations and events early, and predicting product quality at an early stage to comply with regulatory requirements. Finally, understanding the process and making it more transparent will give the ability to develop the process further and improve the operational efficiency.

The interest for this new solution has been great, and emphasizes that it is a real problem that many are challenged by. For a long time we have had to settle for estimates without knowing what the total impact would be, and as long as it looks like we are within our limits we have to assume it is all good. This new methodology represents a starting point to achieve new levels in  production processes and also a positive  step towards the Industry 4.0 paradigm.

New article about Batch Modeling applications available on Pharmaceutical Online

Partners for life and for greater value to our customers


CAMO Software recently hosted a Partner Conference for our European partners, where many engaging conversations took place over the course of the conference. One thing made clear was our joint quest on a mission to improve the experience for the end user, to reduce complexity and to add direct value to business critical units and operations. As much as I would like to believe that the world is full of data scientists that thrive on analysing data all day long, it is only a small portion of manufacturing companies or pharmaceutical supply chain players that do so. The reality is that we frequently get asked to provide plug-and-play solutions that customers directly can integrate in their infrastructure and they depend on us and our partners to provide expertise in multivariate analysis and chemometrics. I would go as far as saying that they expect us to provide not just the tool to analyse their data but also the means of putting our software to work.

The eco-system in the world of data analytics, and in particular the industrial usage of data analysis of processes, is where real customer value innovation will take place. We are driving on a road towards more open interfaces where it should be easy to combine hardware with software and connect data management systems with analytics capabilities. It is also a destination where customers are looking for greater value in the shape of training and consulting services, allowing the end users to focus on their core business while we offer the edge they need in an easily consumed package, to improve product quality, production efficiency and ultimately gain a competitive advantage in their respective market place.

There are many reasons why I think that our partners are a key asset not just for us, but also for the customers, who are looking for solutions to their specific requirements. The appetite for ready to use solutions is getting bigger and everyone is looking for means of bringing their data to life. As a result of the increasing demand for user friendly and easy to implement software that enable non data scientists to maneuver through the data analysis world, CAMO has introduced our multivariate process monitoring solution, Process Pulse II. This solution aims to fill the void between advanced analysis development and its application in a manufacturing environment. In this context it serves as a proof of the value we can add by reducing complexity and making a data scientists’ work applicable in a much wider spectrum of operations that will further enhance the value added to the end users. And that’s what both CAMO and our partners are set out to do – bring data to life for our customers to enjoy the benefits of multivariate analysis.

Are you interested in understanding more about our Process Pulse II?

Try Process Pulse II

Read more about Process Pulse II

Pittcon 2016 trends: Food safety, miniaturization of spectrometer technology, and software driven data collection


John Richmond, the CAMO Business Development Director for the USA attended the 2016 Pittsburgh Conference, held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, from March 5th to March 9th.   Pittcon is the world’s leading annual conference and exposition on laboratory science. Pittcon attracts more than 16,000 attendees from industry, academia and government from over 90 countries worldwide.  As CAMO Software is the leading provider of Multivariate Analysis software (MVA) with flagship products such as The Unscrambler® X and Process Pulse II, Pittcon is an important event for developing partner relationships and identifying new trends in the areas of both Laboratory and Process Analysis.  Many of the CAMO partners were exhibiting such as Viavi Solutions with their new MicroNIR spectrometers, MicroNIR PAT and MicroNIR OnSite.  The trend for miniaturization of spectrometer technology was evident with many other companies following in the wake of Viavi Solutions.  In the benchtop spectrometer area, amongst the new companies’ present was Galaxy Scientific (Nashua, NH) with their range of Fourier Transform Near Infrared spectrometers – the QuasIR series.

On the applications side, the conference highlights were food safety and the emerging opportunities in the legal cannabis market, which is projected to be a $10B market by 2018. Companies such as Sage Analytics are well positioned to take advantage of this with their recently released Luminary spectrometer series.  As the demand for the technology grows, stable, reliable, robust multivariate analysis methods, developed under the same regulatory requirements as the pharmaceutical industry, will be needed for the analysis of both major and minor components.

Software driven data collection and analysis along with new technology development promises a vibrant and exciting future for vendors and customers alike. With an annual data growth rate of 40% (source: IDC) the reality is that we have more data than ever to analyse and put into parctice to achieve long desired benefits to improve quality of products and efficiency of processes all together.

Take a look at http://pittcon.org/ to see more about the conference.

The NEW Unscrambler® X Multivariate Data Analysis and Design of Experiments software


The Unscrambler® X 10.4 continues CAMO´s tradition of delivering advanced multivariate data analysis software that is easy to use and offerings exceptional data visualization. It includes exploratory data analysis, regression and classification methods, predictive modeling, design of experiments and descriptive statistics. The Unscrambler® X is used by engineers, scientists, researchers and data analysts across R&D, QC and Production departments in a wide range of industrial sectors from life sciences to chemicals and food production as well as academia and research.

One of the main new features of version 10.4 is the replacement of the former Design of Experiments (DOE) module with Design-Expert® from Stat-Ease. Design-Expert® is the most complete and world-leading DOE software on the market, and provides a wide range of new designs and analysis tools. The new version of The Unscrambler® X is integrated with Stat-Ease’s new version of Design-Expert® version 10.

Furthermore, the new version offers several new methods, such as Moving Block Methods and Statistical Process Control for trending of process data, Piecewise Direct Standardization for calibration transfer, improved plotting tools, a number of changes to PCA/PCR/PLSR analysis dialogues and more flexible usage of outlier statistics.

Shirley A. Henshall, CEO of CAMO Software, says, “This Unscrambler® release provides a major advancement, as it is the first version that fully demonstrates the power of the collaboration between CAMO Software and Stat-Ease®. By combining the domain expertise from these two leading companies we are truly enhancing the offering to our customers and providing a comprehensive package for both Multivariate Analysis and Design of Experiments”.

Other key features included in version 10.4 are Sample Alignment for merging two or more data tables based on sample time stamps or category levels, and import from Design-Expert®, and many other data sources.

  • Current users of The Unscrambler® X are encouraged to upgrade to the new version.
  • A free 30-day trial version of The Unscrambler® X 10.4 is available for download from www.camo.com.



CAMO Software partners with key reseller in Puerto Rico


CAMO Software Inc. (Woodbridge New Jersey) are pleased to announce that they have appointed IBS-Caribe as their reseller in Puerto Rico. As well as selling CAMO Software’s state-of-the-art software products such as The Unscrambler® X and Unscrambler® X Process Pulse II, IBS-Caribe will also offer technical support, training seminars and workshops to existing and prospective customers. John Richmond, USA Business Development Director for CAMO Software Inc. states “Puerto-Rico is an important market for CAMO particularly due to the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. This strategic partnership with IBS-Caribe is part of CAMO’s efforts to offer our products and services on a much wider basis than before and we are excited to work with the local experts in the field”. Manuel Hormaza, President of IBS-Caribe states “CAMO’s software products fit perfectly with our vision of to establish process understanding by connecting analyzers and sensors at the shop floor, in real-time. CAMO’s software is innovative, easy to use and is well accepted by customers in Puerto-Rico”.

About IBS-Caribe
IBS Caribe, Inc. is a growth oriented company, founded in 2004, to provide innovative solutions to the regulated Life-Sciences manufacturing industries in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. IBS main customers are Life-Science manufacturing companies that introduce innovative process monitoring and control systems, such as vibrational spectroscopy analyzers and automation systems. IBS has developed partnership agreements with selected major suppliers to promote, sell and service PAT Products in Puerto Rico and extended Latin America. IBS provides a project lifecycle approach which includes applications support, feasibility studies, IQ/OQ and Maintenance.

Product Release: The Unscrambler® X Design-Expert® Upgrade


The Unscrambler® X Design-Expert® Upgrade

CAMO Software and Stat-Ease are pleased to announce the release of a new product bundle; The Unscrambler® X Design-Expert® Upgrade.

This bundle combines CAMO’s leading software for multivariate data analysis, The Unscrambler® X and Stat-Ease’s acclaimed software for design of experiments, Design-Expert®.

The Unscrambler® X offers advanced multivariate methods, data visualization tools and the ability to cut through large data sets. It is used in the pharmaceutical, food & beverage, chemical, energy, mining & metals, paper and agriculture sectors.

Design-Expert® enables users to make breakthrough improvements to a product or a process. One can not only screen for vital factors, but also locate ideal process settings for top performance and discover optimal product formulations.

Together, the product bundle will provide customers with access to two world-leading software packages providing advanced data analysis in one solution.

Read more about The Unscrambler® X Design-Expert® Upgrade here.

CAMO will together with Stat-Ease arrange a training course in Oslo, Norway in November, and you can already sign up here.

Our friends in the US can sign up for Stat-Ease training courses in September and November, read more here.

Product Training: Experiment Design Made Easy (EDME)


Date: November 04-05, 2015 | Oslo, Norway

Find out how to make breakthrough improvements using powerful design of experiments (DOE) techniques. Start with our Experiment Design Made Easy workshop to learn about using factorial designs for finding which factors you need to focus on. Discover previously unknown interactions that often prove to be the key to success. Learn how to use powerful ANOVA analysis methods that give you confidence in your findings.

Experiment Design Made Easy covers the practical aspects of DOE. (Students may purchase the optional “DOE Simplified” book for reference.) You learn all about simple but powerful two-level factorial designs. During this introductory DOE workshop, you will discover how to effectively:

  • Understand the motivation for factorial designs
  • Implement the DOE planning process
  • Interpret analysis of variance (ANOVA)
  • Discover hidden interactions
  • Capitalize on efficient fractional designs for screening or characterization
  • Use power to properly size designs
  • Determine when to use transformations
  • Explore multilevel categoric factors
  • Set up split-plot designs
  • Follow the strategy of experimentation from screening to response surface methods

Click here for details.

Sign Up



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