How Walkaway Lab Solutions Can Improve Productivity

Automated analyzers allow laboratories to expand their testing capabilities and improve their overall output.

Environmental samples, such as water and soil, must go through a routine set of analytical tests to detect and measure contaminants and toxins to comply with regulatory standards.

How walkaway lab solutions can improve productivity

Image Credit: KPM Analytics

For example, nitrate and nitrite testing of drinking water is vital for ensuring public and environmental health. Additionally, analyzing soil for its macronutrients like phosphorus and calcium, or micronutrients like boron and manganese, can go a long way in maximizing crop yield. 

However, conducting these tests can be tedious and time-sensitive, leading to the possibility of unintentional errors or miscalculations. This can result in the need for repeat testing, which is both time-consuming and costly.

To reduce laborious tasks and accelerate timelines in analytical laboratories, it is helpful to incorporate convenient and walkaway automated analyzers. These analyzers are specifically designed to eliminate the burden on operators in busy analytical testing labs while maintaining data quality and meeting regulations.

Streamline Operations to Increase Productivity

There is a trend of industrial and research laboratories becoming more specialized in certain areas rather than generalists. As a result, many resources are being directed toward specific, high-end applications that require specialized skills and trained personnel.

For instance, sub-parts-per-trillion techniques are becoming increasingly common in these types of labs. To become specialized in a particular area, research labs are seeking ways to streamline their operations to best utilize their highly skilled technical staff.

When running analytical tests on water or soil samples, the primary focus is often on improving data accuracy and method reproducibility rather than staff productivity. Most laboratories may not even realize the number of steps it can take to run just one sample from start to finish, and this can add up to a significant amount of time, depending upon the number of samples being tested.

The time and operator burden can be significant, even for routine tests, as each individual is often juggling multiple tasks such as preparing calibrators, maintaining experiment logs, performing instrument maintenance, generating reports, and running analytical tests.

Implementing automated, discrete wet chemistry analyzers into the workflow can significantly improve the overall productivity in a laboratory.

For example, if the standard operating procedure for a test requires making five repeats for each calibration point. When done manually, this process can take up to four hours before the first sample is even run. However, with automated analyzers, the operator can simply set it up, start the process, and let it run all day.

SmartChem® Analyzers

How walkaway lab solutions can improve productivity

The SmartChem®600 automates photometric and electrochemical analysis and optimizes laboratory operation. Image Credit: KPM Analytics

The SmartChem® analyzers from KPM Analytics use a single platform to manage various tasks, including running samples, managing calibrations, standards, maintenance, and operator training.

This allows scientists to focus on higher-value tasks and increase overall efficiency. These analyzers can also significantly increase the testing capacity of a laboratory by enabling dozens of tests to be run in parallel.

For example, the SmartChem®210 can run up to 210 tests, the SmartChem®450 can run up to 450 tests, and the SmartChem®600 can run up to 600 tests in one hour, with 60, 100, and 200 sample positions, respectively. Click here to see the many approved methods run by the SmartChem® ready-to-use reagents.

Automated analyzers can be particularly useful in situations where a large volume of samples must be promptly tested without errors, such as during a geological expedition where scientists collect ice samples to analyze for potential contaminants.

One key attribute of automated, discrete wet chemistry analyzers is their ability to operate with minimal human intervention, allowing for “walk-away” operation.

The SmartChem® analyzers are equipped with built-in cuvette washing stations and use reusable cuvettes, eliminating the need for scientists to load, wash and reload consumables during the analysis. 

Special wash rules can also be programmed for specific methods. Many discrete analyzers use disposable cuvettes, which can create a bottleneck in testing as they must be reloaded intermittently, requiring timely attention.

On the other hand, the ability to reuse cuvettes and perform multiple analyses at once allows the SmartChem® analyzers to maximize the walkaway experience and expand the scope of research, offering value-added services to customers.

Implementing application-specific add-ons can also increase output with minimal effort and enhance safety in a laboratory.

For instance, adding a cadmium column module to the analyzer to automate nitrate reduction to nitrite saves time by removing that step from the operator’s hands and minimizes the handling of a highly carcinogenic agent, hydrazine.

From a lab management perspective, it is important to allocate funds responsibly and invest in versatile automation solutions that can serve a wide range of end applications. Thanks to its intuitive interface, only minimal training is required to operate SmartChem® analyzers; no specialized education or background is necessary. 

The SmartChem® analyzers are an ideal option that can be used in a wide range of end applications, including natural water monitoring, wastewater contamination control, seawater testing, nutrient monitoring in agricultural areas, and contamination tests in mining sites, among others.

Automation can optimize laboratories by improving workflow productivity and ensuring repeatability, traceability, and regulatory compliance.

About KPM Analytics

KPM Analytics is a global leader in scientific instrumentation that enable companies to effectively manage product quality and brand value. We are focused on serving craftspeople in the food, agriculture, clinical and environmental sectors, offering a comprehensive range of products and services to analyze critical parameters in their process and solve their unique challenges. As a partner, we provide key metrics and intelligence to reduce waste and costs, increase energy efficiency, improve quality, and protect their brands.

Our product brands include AMS Alliance, Bruins Instruments, CHOPIN Technologies, EyePro System, Process Sensors, Sensortech, Sightline, and Unity Scientific. Each has a long history of delivering advanced and reliable analysis solutions to ensure product quality and optimize process efficiency.

For more information, visit www.kpmanalytics.com

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Last updated: Jan 16, 2023 at 10:40 AM

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