About Me

My photo
Narich specialises in creating simple solutions for sometimes complex problems using non destructive light and spectral techniques

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dear Customers, Colleagues, Principals, Suppliers and Partners, we wish you all a safe and sacred Holiday Season and look forward to being with you all again in 2014

Richard & Natalie Majewski and all of us at Narich (Pty) Ltd

Friday, November 1, 2013

How the senses affect taste perception

I came across this great article in FOOD PRODUCTION daily.com which is worth sharing, particularly with reference to our interest in colour. See the article here: Taste beyond flavour: How colour, texture and environment influence taste perception written by Caroline Scott-Thomas

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Warranty Policy - Konica Minolta Instruments - South Africa, SADC countries and Nigeria

A lot of publicity has been given to new Consumer Protection Legislation which does not necessarily relate to Industrial customers. To clarify our Warranty Policy for Konica Minolta Sensing in our region, the procedures are as follows:

When the instrument is delivered and installed, typically an Implementation Completion document is signed by the customer. This serves two purposes. 1) That the customer is happy that all is up and running as expected and no parts or accessories are missing and 2) The 12 month warranty period offered by Konica Minolta time period is initiated.

Narich (Pty) Ltd monitors these dates, and towards the end of the warranty period, typically a reminder is sent to the user. Please keep us updated of User Detail changes.

Each Instruments history is recorded in detail, recording Calibration Services and any other repairs or maintenance issues.

In the event of an instrument failure within the 12 month period, proceed as follows:

  • Securely pack the Instrument and all accessories in the ORIGINAL PACKAGING (or suitable alternative) and ship the Instrument to 21 Clare Street, Gardens, cape Town South Africa.
  • Shipping is at the customers cost.
  • Narich Service will carry out a diagnostic routine and confirm the issue, as well as if it is a warranty claim or not. this service is billed for.
  • If the Instrument is found to be defective  and a PART is at fault, the PART will be replaced free of charge. Labour will be billed.
  • The Calibration Certification will be renewed - No Charge
  • The Instrument will be returned to the customer at Konica Minolta's expense.
  • The same procedure is followed should in extreme cases the Instrument is required to be sent to Germany or Japan for more extensive repairs.
  • The repair is warranted for another six months.
Depending on the actual customers circumstances and the actual fault at the time, we reserve the right to change this procedure. This is usually in favour of the customer. Konica Minolta fiercely protect their brand.

Friday, September 27, 2013

SpectraMagic NX - Why the Dongle - Can it Network - I can't Connect to Windows

Konica Minolta's brilliant Quality Assurance and Analysis software is easy to use, reliable and affordable with over a 100 local implementations. Its Windows based and follows Windows look and feel, so its fairly easy to learn. Over the years, three questions come up quite often, and we answer them here:

Why do we use a USB Protection Dongle instead of a software licence?

SpectraMagic NX is essentially a free download from Konica Minolta. (See this link) (http://www.konicaminolta.eu/en/measuring-instruments/products/colour-measurement/software/spectramagic-nx/introduction.html)

To enable the software use with an Instrument, and to activate all the features, a protection Dongle (Hasp) has to be purchased. It is therefore intended that wherever you wish to use an instrument, the Protection Dongle must be present as well. You are free to load the software on multiple computers, but Instrument activity will only take place when the dongle is on that same computer. The advantage of the dongle system is that you do not require to pay annual licence fees or top-ups to keep your software  as long as you have a dongle you can download the latest version free.

Can I Network the software?
the DATA from your readings is stored in any windows format, and can be on a Network, while the Dongle feature is NOT Networkable, it must be local. If you have ONE Dongle, you can Connect ONE instrument per PC with a dongle, but you are free to move that instrument to multiple sites, along with the dongle.

What happens if the Dongle is lost or stolen?

Treat the Dongle the same as an Instrument. In fact keep them together. USB devices tend to go missing when IT decides to upgrade or change your PC and they are blissfully unaware of the value of the Dongle. Insure it and care for it as you would the Instrument.

In the event of a genuine theft or loss a new dongle can be purchased at a reduced price if accompanied by a Police Affidavit to that effect. The reduction in price is however not more than 30%

If you loose a dongle, you DO NOT loose the data.

I Cant Connect My Instrument to NX?

As long as the instrument is powered ON and switched to REMOTE, the cable is not damaged
and it is inserted into a working local USB port, only one other issue causes failure to connect, and that is the incorrect COM PORT allocation. Windows dynamically allocates port numbers and sometimes if an instrument is reconnected via a USB port or port adaptor (Usb to 232) a new port number can result.

To rectify this:

Open Device Manager
Select the device and see which port number has been allocated
On the NX Menu select Instrument / Communication Setup
select the port number as per the device manager allocation
Press OK (All the other settings are by default correct)
Press the blue Connect button
Either the calibration icon will show, or the software will ask you to now calibrate the instrument

When in doubt NX has interactive help (The blue I button) and a PDF Format Manual which you can word search for the correct answer.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Guidelines to Calibration

Pre-emptive maintenance is often seen as a "grudge purchase" or a necessary evil like insurance. In the following article, I would like to cover the basic approach users should take to the reasons why, and frequency of calibrations.Firstly, what is calibration?

  • Factory Calibration
  • Certification Calibration
  • On Site Certification Calibration
  • Service Calibration
  • User Calibration
Factory Calibration is carried out during manufacture of the instrument to ensure that the instrument adheres to the specifications and standards as laid out if the technical data sheets for the particular instrument. Unless your instrument suffers serious damage, particularly to the Sphere (If it is a sphere based instrument) it is unlikely that you will ever have to have this calibration carried out. If you do, these are carried out either in Service Japan or Service Bremen Germany, and by nature can be quite expensive.

Certification Calibration is carried out at your nearest service centre (Narich (Pty) Ltd). There is no REQUIREMENT to have a Certification Calibration other than to assure both internally and externally (Customers and suppliers) that your system is certificated with traceability to provide the measurements according to its specifications. The Instrument may be in perfect working order before the certification is requested, to comply with your own internal (ISO) standards. Pricing for this process is managed by Konica Minolta.

On Site Certification Calibration is carried out at the customers site, particularly if a large number of instruments are in one place.It must be noted that the Quality and Accuracy requirements for On-Site calibration is lower that Service Centre calibration. It is also not possible to carry our repairs on site.
Pricing is the same as for Certification Calibration with the ADDED expense of the cost of travel and accommodation for a Service Technician. One Site Certification Calibration is only carried out by special arrangement. We will not carry out on-site calibrations for single instruments at a site.

Service Calibration is carried out when an Instrument repeatedly displays error messages (See manual for these) and in effect, the instrument needs to be repaired. The instrument will always be calibrated after a repair to ensure optimum performance.
Pricing for a Service Calibration is the same as for a Certification Calibration with the ADDED expense of parts and labour.

User Calibration This is routinely carried out b the user on start up, when changing conditions, during the start of a new shift etc. If performed without an error message, none of the above category of calibration is REQUIRED

How Often is a Certification Calibration required?.A Company or Organisation will apply their own standards, but typically an annual calibration is required. This is particularly so if you have a mandated certification period acceptable to a user group, industry or by agreement with customers and suppliers.
Technically, if NO ERROR messages are being displayed, there is no TECHNICAL reason to calibrate the instrument.
Clean environment laboratories may get away with 2-3 years without any attention being required, a dirty production environment could require intervention every six months.

How Long does a Calibration Take? Calibrations are carried out under strict conditions and require 2-4 days. Parts and diagnostics may add weeks to this however. Certification Calibration Tiles are also required to be certificated centrally on an annual basis, so no work can be carried out for 4 -6 weeks while this procedure is being carried out.

Warranty The process is warrantied for 90 days

User Data Customers are responsible to back up all user data that may reside in an Instrument Firmware Memory

FAQ's To ensure the most efficient Calibration Procedure, answers to a number of FAQ's may assist you. For instance, when sending an instrument in for repairs, also send cables, AC power adaptors etc as these may have failed, not the actual instrument. See FAQ's here

Traceability Our Certification Process adheres to the Konica Minolta Traceability Rules as seen here

Book a service here

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reseller Policies

Narich (Pty) Ltd is the sole distributor for Konica Minolta Sensing Instruments and accessories, as well as Ocean Optics products for South Africa and all SADC States as well as for Nigeria.

In terms of our agreements with our Principals, we do not have permission to appoint resellers. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • Product Knowledge and Expertise
  • Application Knowledge
  • Brand Protection
  • Brand Support by marketing, Shows, Advertising and other requirements
  • Warranty Issues
  • Support Issues
  • Legal Issues
Reseller Discounts

As we do not appoint resellers, we do not offer reseller discounts. We will quote ANY company that asks for a quote as long as we are told who the end user is, and what the application is, but the end user will receive the same quotations.

Should a Reseller have a special relationship or requirement to be a "turn Key" supplier, we will agree to supply the Reseller on the condition that we know who the end user is, and the application. The Reseller will take over the Installation, Implementation and Commissioning process. We will retain the Warranty terms for the End User subject to misuse of the supplied good resulting from inadequate 
 Installation, Implementation and Commissioning process.

A Reseller may NOT sell into an area other than that designated to Narich (Pty) Ltd

Instrument Installation and Implementation Policy

As suppliers of Scientific Instruments and Software customers often ask us what charges to expect, or what hidden costs will raise their heads after delivery. To help allay these fears, I would like to outline our general policy in the following manner:

Warranty - Instruments
Typically if an Instrument fails and the customer is reasonably sure that its not due to user error, the instrument is required to be shipped to our service centre. After inspection, the instrument is  officially pronounced a warranty claim, or not.

If the claim under warranty, we undertake to replace all faulty parts and return the instrument at our expense to the customer. This process does NOT include free labour. This will be charged for at normal labour rates, in line with standard practice in our type of industry.

If not deemed a Warranty Claim, a quotation is submitted to the customer and no work will be carried out until an official purchase order is obtained.

Warranty - Software*
Typically on all software, bugs are repaired free of charge
Modifications and customisations, where allowed, will be charged for at standard rates.

Warranty - Computers
If we have supplied a PC or Laptop, it is usually subject to the manufacturers standard support terms and conditions. The customer is obliged to ascertain these terms and conditions, and take appropriate action. Typically we only supply reputable makes that come with 1 - 3 year "Walk In" support.

All of the above are always open to discussion, and case by case other decisions may be made. Our experience is that our Principals go a long way to support their brand, and usually exceed customers expectations.

Delivery and Installation - Instruments

Instruments delivered have typically been checked on arrival in South Africa at our Service Centre and are ready to run. Complex Instruments may need a commissioning process and this will have been highlighted and already catered for in the original sale negotiation. The majority of our Instruments are "Plug and Play" so typically we do not highlight an extra cost. "Plug and Play"  systems can typically be user installed. During this phase, we offer the local sales representative, backed with Skype, Team View, YouTube videos or similar digital support. Should a "Plug and Play" Instrument fail to install, support will be provided on a pay as you use basis, unless a warranty issue arises.

Delivery and Installation - Software*
All our software, whether provided on CD, DVD, USB Storage or Downloaded from the Internet is "Plug and Play" installable. The site IT manager should find no difficulty with this area.  During this phase, we offer the local sales representative, backed with Skype, Team View, YouTube videos or similar digital support. Should a "Plug and Play" Instrument fail to install, support will be provided on a pay as you use basis, unless a warranty issue arises.

Delivery and Installation - Computers
Computers can easily be installed by the site IT manager or even users as long as the required permissions are on hand. During this phase, we offer the local sales representative, backed with Skype, Team View, YouTube videos or similar digital support. Should a "Plug and Play" Instrument fail to install, support will be provided on a pay as you use basis, unless a warranty issue arises.

Implementation - Instruments
Complex Instruments may need an implementation process and this will have been highlighted and already catered for in the original sale negotiation. Typically, most instruments need only be installed and setup up initially, and no further implementation is required.

Implementation - Software*
All software supplied is support by a Tech Support service from our website, mail or phone / Team View support.. Depending on the degree of complexity, especially where customisation is required, charges for the above services will be levied at an hourly rate. Large implementations are usually budgeted for up front, and customers who refuse to agree to such charges may be denied use of the software, unless it is agreed that the customers in-house competency does not require further assistance. We will take no responsibility for failed implementations due to lack of implementation support, or the use of third party un certificated support.

Implementation - Computers
Typically nothing is required in this regard. We have access to a wide range of IT support expertise, and will charge at an hourly rate to assist site IT managers to integrate our products with their Networks and other Protocols.

Training - Instruments
All Instruments come with extensive manuals, videos and other training material. During Installation, basic training is given, and a revision training is available free of charge after a few weeks when the users become familiar with the procedures. RETRAINING will be charged for at hourly rates.

Training - Software*
All Software comes with extensive manuals, videos and other training material. During Installation, basic training is given, and a revision training is available free of charge after a few weeks when the users become familiar with the procedures.
Complex Software requires formal training, charged at hourly rates, and this is usually highlighted in the sales process and budgeted for.

RETRAINING will be charged for at hourly rates.

Training - Computers
Little or no training is required for computers. Typically whatever is required is carried out by the site IT manager. We are happy to offer suitable support at hourly rates if required.

On Site Calibrations/Service/Support/Training
We are happy to offer on site support on the understanding that all charges related to getting a person to a site is paid for by the customer. An hourly rate is also charged to carry out the on site task. Typically we require an official order number and at least 60% advance confirmed payment. We however try to avoid on-site activities wherever possible, to reduce the cost of ownership and reduce down time, by implementing as many remote support protocols as possible.

* Software is understood to be current Licensed Legal versions. No support will be given for unlicensed software.