Chemical Imaging Technology

NIR/SWIR hyperspectral imaging cameras

LLA Instruments GmbH & Co. KG provides high-speed analysis technology for sorting processes in plants as well as quality control applications in laboratory, science and R&D.

KUSTAx.xMSI - NIR hyperspectral imaging cameras for recycling

KUSTAx.xMSI Hyperspectral camera for analytical imaging
KUSTAx.xMSI Hyperspectral camera for analytical imaging

High-speed identification and analytical imaging in sorting processes

The hyperspectral cameras KUSTA1.7MSI, KUSTA1.9MSI and KUSTA2.2MSIsens (KUSTAx.xMSI) are designed for the identification and the subsequent sorting of materials from waste collections (recycling).

KUSTA1.7MSI and KUSTA2.2MSIsens are particularly suitable for the identification of fine grained materials (flakes, agglomerates, granulates) of a few mm in diameter on fast moving conveyor belts. Whether the hyperspectral camera KUSTA1.7MSI or KUSTA2.2MSIsens is proposed depends on the NIR absorption characteristics of the material to be analysed.

The high sensitivity of the hyperspectral camera KUSTA1.9MSI permits applications like:
■ PVC elimination of PET-flakes
■ Identification of thin foils in mixed plastics
■ Detection of additives in plastics
■ Paper analysis

Schematic illustration of a sorting plant using pneumatic ejection units

The sorting material is moving on a conveyor belt with a speed of up to 2.5 m/s towards the hyperspectral camera KUSTAx.xMSI. The material is analysed passing below illumination unit and hyperspectral camera. The analysis result is forwarded to process control which controls the nozzles located at the end of the conveyor belt. Depending on the identification result, the material is passed through or ejected by the nozzles.

Schematic illustration of a sorting plant with KUSTAx.xMSI

Schematic illustration of a sorting plant using robotic arm technology

LLA offers suitable special applications for sorting using robotic arm technology, which enables a precise control of the object's center.

Schematic illustration of a sorting plant with KUSTAx.xMSI and robotic arm sorting

Technical specification KUSTA1.7MSI / KUSTA1.9MSI / KUSTA2.2MSIsens

  KUSTA1.7MSI KUSTA1.9MSI             
Sensor InGaAs photodiode array
Wavelength range 0.95 µm – 1.7 µm 1.32 µm– 1.9 µm 1.62 µm– 2.19 µm
Spectral resolution < 8 nm
Entrance slit 50 µm (30 µm or 100 µm optional)
Distortion error No astigmatism
Scan rate Max. 270 frames/s full frame,
5000 frames/s with smallest ROI modes
Max. 795 Hz,
ROI modes not available
Possible integration time range Min. 100 µs,
max. 5 s
Min. 1 µs,
max. 10 ms
Typ. value for PMAmsi illumination 2100 µs 300 µs 450 µs
Number of measurement tracks Max. 320 Max. 192
Dispersion/ Pixel 3.61 nm 6.0 nm
Digital resolution 14 bit 16 bit
Lens Zeiss F2.4 / 10 mm, NIR corrected
Power supply camera 24 V, 2.5 A
Environmental operating temperature 0 °C to +50 °C 0 °C to +45 °C
Environmental operating humidity range 20 % to 90 %
20 % to 80 %
Weight camera 16.8 kg
Chassis dimensions camera (LxWxH) 295 mm x 166 mm x 345 mm
Chassis dimensions camera incl. mirror unit (LxWxH) 400 mm x 166 mm x 345 mm
Illumination unit PMAmsi with reflectors LR30 or LR50
Distance camera - belt Width of conveyor belt x 1.04
Conveyor belt width 500 mm – 2800 mm 500 mm – 2000 mm
Vertical clearance 300 mm (LR30) or 500 mm (LR50)
Conveyor belt speed Up to 2.5 m/s
Particle size sorting material 2 mm - 40 mm
Process interface TCP/IP or UDP protocol
Connection Push-Pull plugs, 1Gigabit Ethernet
Protection level IP67
Optionals Mirror unit, installation bridge, control cabinet with control PC and power supplies

Product pictures

Imaging NIR hyperspectral camera KUSTAx.xMSI NIR hyperspectral cameras KUSTAx.xMSI Setup imaging NIR hyperspectral camera system KUSTAx.xMSI object-related


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uniSPECx.xHSI - NIR hyperspectral imaging cameras for science & industry

Hyperspectral cameras for chemical imaging
uniSPECx.xHSI - Hyperspectral cameras for chemical imaging

High-speed real time analysis and chemical imaging

The high performance hyperspectral cameras uniSPEC1.7HSI, uniSPEC1.9HSI and uniSPEC2.2HSIsens are predominantly used in industrial applications for quality control.

The cameras are characterised by their high analytical precision and can therefore be used for a variety of demanding identifications like analytical tasks of small grained materials (> 2 mm) or chemical imaging of objects with structured material composition. Semi-quantitative analysis in minerals industry, quality control of food and monitoring of coating processes are further applications of LLA high performance hyperspectral cameras.

Further, scientific applications are possible, i.e. uniSPECx.xHSI may be used in R&D.

Additional equipment is listed below.
Suitable software for LLA NIR technology is described here.

Technical specification imaging spectrograph

Product pictures

Imaging NIR hyperspectral camera KUSTAx.xMSI NIR hyperspectral cameras KUSTAx.xMSI Setup imaging NIR hyperspectral camera system KUSTAx.xMSI object-related

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uniSPEC0.9HSI - Ultraviolet-visible hyperspectral camera for analytical imaging

uniSPEC0.9HSI - imaging UV-VIS hyperspectral camera
uniSPEC0.9HSI - imaging UV-VIS hyperspectral camera

The ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) hyperspectral camera uniSPEC0.9HSI is the latest member of LLA´s product line of hyperspectral camera systems uniSPECx.xHSI, especially designed for applications in the ultraviolet and visible spectral ranges.

Using this new CMOS-based technology, it is now possible to perform analysis in a wavelength range from 350 nm to 950 nm. The camera was developed for a multiplicity of applications, ranging from industry to scientific laboratory experiments, such as:

■ Analytical measurements (color-analysis, process and quality control),
■ Identification of minerals,
■ Food inspection and sorting YouTube clip,
■ Life Science (fluorescence, screening, ...)
Additional equipment is described below.
Suitable software for LLA UV-VIS technology is available here.

The UV-VIS hyperspectral camera uniSPEC0.9HSI is equipped with a configurable CMOS sensor and can be operated in several different measurement modes, hence matching the camera´s spatial and spectral resolutions to the requirements of any application.

Furthermore, the UV-VIS hyperspectral camera uniSPEC0.9HSI is available in two versions:
■ uniSPEC0.9HSI_w  -  enhanced spectral resolution version, 600nm effective spectral bandwidth, reduced number of spatial tracks and
■ uniSPEC0.9HSI_s   -  reduced spectral bandwidth of 400 nm, high spatial resolution version

The UV-VIS hyperspectral camera uniSPEC0.9HSI can be combined with the NIR-hyperspectral cameras uniSPECx.xHSI, providing coverage of the full wavelength range from UV to NIR. The data format and user interface are similar to those already used in LLA Instruments´ NIR hyperspectral cameras; hence, the new UV-VIS hyperspectral camera uniSPEC09.HSI can easily be integrated in pre-existing systems.

Technical specification uniSPEC0.9HSI

Parameter Value
Sensor type CMOS
Sensor temperature stabilisation Active, by peltier element
Entrance slit 50 µm (optional 30 µm and 100 µm)
Lens Standard lens F1.9 / 10 mm
Further focal lengths on request
Power supply camera 24 V, 2.5 A
Environmental operating temperature +5 °C to +45 °C Max. rel. humidity 90 % (non-condensing)
Weigth camera 16.8 kg
Dimensions camera (L x W x H) 295 mm x 166 mm x 345 mm
Dimensions camera incl. deflexion unit
(L x W x H)
400 m x 166 mm x 345 mm
Illumination unit PMAmsi with reflector LR30 or LR50 (depending on vertical clearance)
Distance camera - belt uniSPEC0.9HSI_s: Belt width x 1.08
uniSPEC0.9HSI_w: Belt width x 1.89
Conveyor belt width 500 mm — 2000 mm
Vertical clearance 300 mm (LR30) or 500 mm (LR50)
Conveyor belt speed Up to 2.5 m/s
Particle size sorting material 0.5 mm — 40 mm
Process interface TCP/IP or UDP protocol
Connection Phoenix sockets (M12) for power supply and ethernet connection
Protection level IP67
Optional Deflexion unit, installation bridge, control cabinet wit control PC and power supplies

*: uniSPEC0.9HSI_s

Technical Data for uniSPEC0.9HSI (s- and w-version)

Parameter Full Frame 3 x 3 5 x 5 6 x 6 10 x 10
Exposure time Min: 22 µs
Max: 30 µs
Min: 4 µs
Max: 10 ms
Scan rate [Frames / s] Max. 20 Min: 96
Max: 230
Min: 158
Max: 579
Min: 158
Max: 579
Number of tracks (spatial)





Number of pixels in spectral dim.





Dynamic range 12 bit 14 bit 15 bit 16 bit 16 bit
Signal limit (overflow) 4095 12287 20479 49151 65535
Spectral resolution
(linear dispersion per pixel)
0.365 nm 1.1 nm 1.83 nm 2.19 nm 3.66 nm
Wavelength range

Δλ=400 nm, selectable within 350 nm – 950 nm
350 nm – 950 nm
Effective pixel size 5 µm 15 µm 25 µm 30 µm 50 µm

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Optical Equipment

Optical equipment for KUSTAx.xMSI, uniSPECx.xHSI, uniScanRGB

To ensure the maximum performance of LLA cameras, we recommend the usage of our optical equipment:

■ Illumination unit PMAmsi-230V,
■ Installation bridge MB,
■ Calibation unit CLm/ CUa
■ RGB line scan camera uniScanRGB and
■ Valve control for pleumatic ejection units.

The line scan camera uniScanRGB can be equippend optionally with calibration unit, installation bridge, illumination unit and valve control.

All information regarding these accessories are listed below.

Illumination unit PMAmsi

Illumination unit PMAmsi

INFORMATION: The LLA illumination units are not subject to the guidelines for determining ecodesign requirements for light sources!

The illumination unit PMAmsi is used in combination with a hyperspectral camera for the identification of diffuse reflecting NIR materials in online process control. The system is suitable for both non-transparent and non-black material as well as only partly reflecting material.

The illumination unit is installed above the conveyor belt which carries the sorting material. The measurement distance of 500 mm is suitably for larger pieces. A second version with a distance of
300 mm is available for the sorting of smaller particles e.g. PET-flakes.

The contact free measurement is performed while transporting the material below the illumination unit. The illumination unit can be combined with an installation bridge for an easier setup and adjustment of camera and illumination unit.

Components and customisation

The illumination unit PMAmsi consists of two parallel illumination rows (LU) which are slightly tilted towards each other. The double-sided illumination unit reduces shadow formation on the input material stream, leading to an enhanced identification rate. The internal NIR halogen light bulbs generate a single, focused light beam across the conveyor belt. Both illumination rows are connected to each other by mounting plates.

The illumination unit is available in the standard versions given below:
■ 1000 mm, 1600 mm, 2000 mm and
■ 2800 mm in combination with two NIR cameras
■ Customised lengths between 500 mm - 2000 mm in a 200 mm scheme on request
(Product description, e.g. PMAmsi1200 refers to effective measurement width)

The following models are available:
■ Linear reflector LR50 for 500 mm measurement distance or LR30 for 300 mm measurement distance
■ Additional cover and connectors for air cooling recommended for environmental temperature > +45 °C
■ 115 V version available

Illumination PMAmsi
Characteristics Double sided, light focused on plane of measurement
Measurement width 500 mm to 2800 mm
Illumination area in 500 mm distance 40 mm x measurement width
NIR sources Linear halogen light bulbs, 230 V or 120 V version available
Protection level IP65


Product pictures

Illumination unit for NIR hyperspectral imaging camera KUSTAx.xMSI NIR hyperspectral camera KUSTAx.xMSI

Installation Bridge

Installation bridge for imaging NIR hyperspectral cameras

The installation bridge was developed for an easy setup and adjustment of the KUSTAx.xMSI and uniSPECx.xHSI cameras regarding the illumination unit PMAmsi.

The installation bridge is mounted onto the lateral panels of the illumination unit PMAmsi. For a flexible adjustment of the field of view (FOV), two different vertical adjustments (coarse and fine) are integrated. The camera is mounted on an especially developed installation plateau. The installation plateau is adjustable in three dimensions for exact positioning of the camera.

The installation bridge is available for subsequent versions of PMAmsi illumination units:
■ Length: from 800 mm to 2000 mm
■ Measurement distances of 300 mm (LR30) or 500 mm (LR50)
■ Detection on belt or in free-fall mode

In case a package consisting of hyperspectral camera, illumination unit PMAmsi and installation bridge is purchased, the assembly and camera adjustment for the required FOV will be performed prior delivery. The complete setup can be easily integrated into sorting machines and sorting facilities. The complete setup is secured by bolts with integrated damping (buffer) which are included in the scope of delivery.

Calibration CUa and CLm

Calibration CUa
Calibration CUa

Exceptional results require exact measurements. A periodical calibration of the measurement system is necessary to maintain high quality results.

The calibration can be done manually utilizing the calibration line CLm. The CLm consists of an aluminium frame which holds the calibration material. Handle bars are integrated for easier handling.

The illumination unit PMAmsi can be equipped with the automatic calibration unit CUa for the automation of the calibration. The calibration unit CUa includes two support arms, the calibration line CLa, a motor and the electronic control unit. The motor-driven support arms move the calibration line into the calibration plane. This process takes only a few moments. The CLa is moved back into the protected parking position after calibration.

Dependent on the brightness of the sample material, three different calibration materials are available:
■ Version Bright - suitable for standard applications in paper and plastic recycling, and bright (white) materials in general
■ Version Medium - suitable for darker materials such as gray rock
■ Version Dark - suitable for dark to black materials

RGB line scan camera

RGB line scan camera uniScanRGB for NIR cameras KUSTAx.xMSI / uniSPECx.xHSI
RGB line scan camera uniScanRGB for NIR cameras KUSTAx.xMSI / uniSPECx.xHSI

The hyperspectral imaging NIR cameras KUSTAx.xMSI and uniSPECx.xHSI can be combined with the RGB line scan camera uniScanRGB. The RGB line scan camera is mounted directly on the NIR camera by adapting plates. NIR- and colour information are combined as one identification result in the control and analysis software. Additional equipment for synchronisation or triggering between both cameras is not necessary.

For further information regarding technical parameters please check the following link to the stand-alone version of the RGB line scan camera uniScanRGB.

Valve control for pneumatic ejection units in sorting machines

Valve control for pneumatic ejection unit; Software KustaMSI
Valve control for pneumatic ejection unit; Software KustaMSI

The NIR hyperspectral imaging cameras KUSTAx.xMSI can be optionally equipped with a valve control for pneumatic ejection unit in sorting machine systems. In addition to the standardised device control software, a complete solution for machine builders is available to realise sorting processes much easier.

The valve control unit consists of an ethernet fieldbus coupler, digital output modules of each 16 single channels are mounted side by side. Depending on the required configuration level, up to 1024 fast-switching-air-valves can be controlled. Fieldbus coupler is directly connected to a control-PC of the process spectrometer via ethernet interface.

According to device control software KustaMSI, all functions to communicate with the valve control unit is already given. An individual material identification method can be loaded and sorts to be eject can be chosen in the sort table. The device control software transmits corresponding signals while sorting process to the valve control unit in real-time. The software evaluates important parameter for valve control such as e.g. time delay between identification and ejection (delay) as well as the adjustment of the close-open times of the valves.

Technical specification

Ethernet fieldbus coupler

Connection 2 x RJ-45
Transfer rate 10/100 Mbits/s
Voltage supply 24 V DC (-25 % ... +30 %)
Input current max. 280 mA at 24 V DC
Max. number bus modules 64
Protection level IP 20

16-channel digital output module

Number of outputs 16
Voltage via power jumper contacts 24 V DC
Output current per channel max. 0.5 A
Cable cross-section Unifilar:
0.08…1.5 mm²
Finely stranded:
0.25…1.5 mm²