Spectroscopy Since 1975

Sampling Columns


Kim Esbensen has enlisted the support of another doyen of representative sampling, Pentti Minkkinen. In the commercial world, the reason for analysis comes down to money: whether ensuring you are getting what you paid for, but not providing more than necessary, or in regulatory compliance and the avoidance of fines. Kim’s Column has been pushing the importance of not overlooking the sampling step since its beginnings, and this edition provides clear examples where the consequences are costly; very costly.

Issue 33/5 (2021)

Many of you will be working in the cancer field, whether in diagnosis or research, in which case you will be very interested in this Sampling Column. Even if this is not your field of work, you will be interested from a personal point of view! It presents a fascinating idea and solution to improving the identification of different parts of a tumour and, thus, to provide better personalised treatment. “…in solid tumour oncology, representative sampling is truly a matter of life or death…”

Issue 33/4 (2021)

This cannot be true—surely sampling and weighing are different activities. Well yes—and no! Sampling and weighing of traded metal, mineral and agro commodities are different activities—but at one or several stages in the supply chain they will come together in a single focus point, which is value ($, EUR).

Issue 33/3 (2021)

The Sampling Column provides some easy-to-understand examples of what sampling errors are, what are the consequences of them and what can be done about them. Particular examples from pharma, PAT and NIR spectroscopy are provided.

Issue 33/2 (2021)

Oscar Dominquez here presents the critical role of QM in the mining sector, where everything is BIG: tonnages, challenges, environmental impact, profits, risks—illustrating how proper sampling is a major critical success factor also here. But the mining sector view is not unique; the QM prerogatives can be carried over to very many other sectors as well.

Issue 33/1 (2021)

There is hardly any other application field where correct sampling is as critically important than for Gold mineral resource estimation, because of the very low grades and the extremely irregular mineralisation heterogeneities encountered.

Issue 32/6 (2020)

The sampling of particulate matter is all too often performed without consideration of the importance of representative sampling and the Theory of Sampling. This second part compares grab sampling with composite sampling further illustrating this important issue, and again using the example of contaminated soil which often has a very complex nature.

Issue 32/5 (2020)

Sampling particulate matter is in many fields performed without a scientific basis, mostly because its critical role is ignored, or at best, misunderstood, and because of an unawareness of, sometimes a disregard for, the Theory of Sampling. This two-part column illustrates this important point using experience in the field of geo-environmental engineering.

Issue 32/4 (2020)

Previous Sampling Columns have dominantly focused on the technical issues of representative sampling. This column addresses sampling from the complementary point of view: “What is the economic and commercial impact from non-representative sampling on management decisions and in boardrooms?” We have invited two experienced business consultants to help scope out an outline indicating powerful opportunities for added value and for substantial savings.

Issue 32/3 (2020)

Kim Esbensen outlines questions you should ask before buying any sampling equipment, and points out areas of responsibility.

Issue 32/2 (2020)