A new series of miniature near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers is said to offer a cost-effective tool for inspecting incoming raw materials and product quality control. Compact, battery-powered Model 5030 ATOF-NIR Portable Analyzer from Brimrose Corp. of America, Baltimore, allows laboratory tests to be performed anywhere in a plant environment. The instrument, which sells for $28,000 (compared with $40,000 for larger units), is reportedly insensitive to ambient light, vibration, dust, and dirt. Its design allows for quick switchover from solids to liquids, and results appear instantly on its LCD. Applications include material identification or measurement of moisture content and active-ingredient levels. Once the instrument is calibrated, it reportedly can be used by an inexperienced operator.