Analytical Instrumentation

  • Visionary solutions for smart labs.

Visionary solutions for smart labs.

Jun 14 2019 Read 123 Times

What makes a business – or a laboratory – "smart"? Smart businesses use cyber-physical systems in their workflow. Analogously, smart labs use automatic analytical instruments and connections. A good example of a modern and automatic analytical instrument and an ideal choice for “smart” labs is AMETEK Grabner Instruments' MINIVAP VP Vision. Part of the Vision line, which also includes the flashpoint tester MINIFLASH FP Vision and the FTIR fuel analyser MINISCAN IR Vision, MINIVAP VP Vision measures the vapor pressure of petroleum samples between 0-2000 kPa. If required, the highly precise instrument can fully connect to the Cloud and allow mobile analyser access, anytime and anywhere.

According to a survey conducted by the business consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, smart businesses have registered up to US$ 421 billion in efficiency gains. Laboratories for petroleum testing also have profited from the digital revolution. As with many other human activities, fuel monitoring and quality control measurements are now digitised.

Laboratories that use automatic instruments, such as Grabner Vision analysers, differ from those using non-automatic instruments and connections in their ability to correlate information. The smart lab captures, processes and integrates data independently, or with minimal human intervention.

Organisations, such as ASTM International and ISO, decide on the standards and procedures that make laboratory work comparable, accurate and repeatable, independent from the operator and the location.

Automation and digitisation make it easier for lab managers to comply with ASTM and ISO standards by reducing operator bias and safeguarding the quality of fuel measurements.

Keeping up with the smart lab trend and aiming at easing the roll-out of quality assurance programs in laboratories of all sizes, Grabner Instruments released in April 2018 a PC software for statistical quality control. COCKPIT SQC lets lab managers evaluate the performance of MINIVAP VP Vision vapour pressure testers. The software is fully compliant with the ASTM-D699 requirements, being capable of plotting measurement data in I-charts, moving range of two-charts and normal probability charts, as required.

The lab of the future is mobile
Mobility is another identifying characteristic of the lab of the future. Transporting samples between a gas station and a testing facility is impractical and time-consuming, whereas on-site measurements allow immediate evaluation of sample quality, without delay.

Such on-the-spot measurements require analytical instruments that are small and easy to operate, even by untrained professionals. MINIVAP VP Vision is portable and weights just a little over 10 kilos. Its full-colour touch-screen and app-like interface make it possible for field personnel to run tests in accordance to ASTM and EN standard practices.

The new COCKPIT SQC also fits the mobility trend. Using the software, lab managers can store and evaluate measurements obtained from different analysers and at different locations in one central database. Grabner Instruments' compact analysers and software for statistical quality control reinforce Grabner’s position as an ideal partner for equipping mobile laboratories with state-of-the-art fuel testers.

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