Fast, accurate, reliable and repeatable elemental analysis of lead and its alloys is crucial in the production of high-quality grid alloys for lead–acid batteries. Whilst there are several spectrometric methods available, the most widely used tool is an Optical Emission Spectrometer (OES) that uses an arc/spark-excitation technique. Sample preparation and full elemental analysis can be completed on a solid lead material within minutes. Recent innovations in the design of the Thermo Scientiﬁc ARL iSpark Metals Analyzer OES have resulted in signiﬁcant reductions in the time taken for sample analysis, together with concomitant improvements in sensitivity, precision, accuracy and instrument maintenance. This presentation presents the fundamental benefits of the OES technique and an overview of the latest innovations in the instrument design. It is also shown how the consequent enhanced analytical performance delivers cost and productivity benefits.