An apparatus and method are disclosed for separating articles from a group of articles. The apparatus includes a container for containing one or more articles coupled to a suitable fluidizer for suspending articles within the container and transporting articles to an induction tube. A portal in the induction tube introduces articles singly into the induction tube. A vacuum pulls articles through the induction tube separating the articles from the group of articles in the container. The apparatus and method can be combined with one or more unit operations or modules, e.g., for inspecting articles, assessing quality of articles, or ascertaining material properties and/or parameters of articles, including layers thereof.