Plant Construction & Process Technology

South African Analytical Lab Optimizes Pipetting

07.05.2015 -

Regen Waters, an accredited analytical laboratory based in Witbank, in the South African province of Mpumalanga, has been performing chemical and bacteriological analyses since 1986. Areas of application include among others organic analyses of contaminated soil and water as well as comprehensive inorganic analysis. The laboratory also maintains and operates wastewater treatment plants for the industrial sector or mining companies. A main focus is therefore on the study of water samples, which require specific control services concerning their chemical and bacteriological quality.

As part of the microbiological tests, the experts identify any impurities. The procedure is important for sewage plant effluent discharges. This can effectively help prevent environmental damages that occur because of unsuitable water usage or discharge. Thus the water quality is checked on a regular and defined basis, with the view to record, for example, the effectiveness of plant performance.

Pipetting Stations Reduce Error Rate

Modern laboratory equipment is a must have to ensure reliable studies. In order to reach the best chemical dosage of the water samples, laboratory managers began to search for instruments that always allow the same fluid volume intake and discharge in the shortest possible cycles, without leading to a high error risk for the user.

The semi-automatic pipetting station Microlab 300 from Hamilton Bonaduz was able to fully meet the requirements of the laboratory. A fast and especially secure handling of the liquids is necessary to obtain and record accurate results. Microlab 300 offers features that significantly reduce the occurrence of human error, such as reading errors for example or inaccurate pre-configurations of the pipette.

Thanks to the intuitive operation via touch screen, the technical staff at Regen Waters can program time-efficient, even complicated pipetting steps and link them together. The pipetting station combines the performance of a fully automated liquid handling platform with the flexibility and affordability of a manual solution. Especially in situations where fluids must be frequently pipetted in succession, there is quickly a risk of fatigue and loss of concentration. These issues have been targeted and resolved optimally. Even intermediate steps, such as changing pipettes, are superfluous since the pipetting station covers a volume range of 1 µl to 1000 µl.

Simple Handling Leads to Effective Workflows

Thanks to the so-called "wizards", users at Regen Waters are also offered higher levels of flexibility. Preferred settings are saved and subsequently accessed at the touch of a button. Frequently used parameters, such as mixing ratios, serial dosing, dilutions or even reverse pipetting modes, can thus be quickly applied. Essential liquid properties are taken into account in the pre-stored and editable categories of liquids for aqueous, volatile and viscous fluids, which helps dispensing also fluids that are challenging and pipetted with difficulty.

Additionally, the memory function of the device offers the possibility of seamless recording of operations that have already been performed. Users at Regen Waters have thus access to the date, time and past pipetting operations. An optimal traceability is thus ensured and frequent repetitions and accurate processes are performed.

According to Ludolf Uys, the owner of Regen Waters, Microlab 300 is an excellent instrument to ensure accuracy and repeatability in laboratory practice.