Automating Chromatography Method Development

Martin Perkins

21st June 2010

The GERSTEL MPS PrepStation isn’t just our most important product, it is also a vital tool for our own laboratory and the fact that we almost always use it in any application study that we undertake, is one of the reasons that we get so much done.

It is tempting to think that automation is only relevant to routine labs. The fact is that even in a lab like ours that is involved in analytical development work, every instrument (both GC and LC) has a PrepStation on the front, This means that we apply automation to every job we undertake. It may take a few days at the start of a project to configure the PrepStation and programme the prep sequences, but even with quite short projects, lasting just a week or two, this is worth doing as we can keep the instrument running around the clock. Equally important we know that by eliminating the human element, we will get very consistant results as a matter of routine.

Both Element and GERSTEL continue to develop new accessories and applications for the PrepStation gets increasingly capable, PrepStation is morphing into a general purpose automation tool, that can be usefully applied to any and every new application that comes along.

The great thing about the workstation concept is that is so easy to justify. Not all laboratories have enough of any one type of sample to permit a sound financial case to be made to automate the sample preparation with a dedicated robot, however, when the justification is that the instrument can automate everything that you do on the instrument, that is a very different matter.

I┬ádon’t think that we make enough of this.