Monthly Archives: October 2016

Remove Peak Tailing with Elevating Dedicated Lab Furniture

elevatorAs an LC/MS researcher, you know that diffusion, void volume and the resultant peak tailing are some issues that can cause your test results to fall short of perfection. You don’t want to undo the good work of your liquid or gas chromatography by having a long transfer line between your HPLC and your mass spec. We’ve designed the IonBench dedicated lab furniture to assist your CE or LC in getting “up close and personal” for mass spectrometry that’s as close to performance perfection as possible.

Raising Your Mass Spectrometry Results to New Heights

The classic configuration between LCs and mass spectrometers involves placing them on a single piece of dedicated lab furniture. Then a transfer line that can be as long as three feet is stretched from the column effluent of the LC or GC to the inlet on the mass spec. During those three feet, the column separation begins to diffuse, and nobody wants that.

This is why we designed our HPLC-UHPLC lab bench with adjustable height ranges. You can place your LC on this separate bench and move the LC up or down in order to make the column effluent and source as close together as possible. The adjustable heights of our standard benches range from 45 cm or 17.7 inches all the way up to 97 cm or 37.7 inches. We can also craft custom dedicated lab furniture configurations upon request, if these heights will not work for your perfect scenario.

Our HPLC-UHPLC Lab Bench Gets Around

We also put our HPLC-UHPLC bench on caster wheels to make it easy to maneuver. This means that, in addition to raising your LC to the perfect height, you can also move it closer to your mass spec, further minimizing the diffusion that comes from void volume in your transfer line. In fact, test results have proven that you can optimize the performance of your LC/MS combination by adjusting position X, Y and height H, so that the column is as close as possible to the mass spectrometry source. With this optimization, we have seen void volume decrease from 50 µL to just 10 µL, for a 25% improvement in throughput and an astounding 50% improvement in resolution.

There are other reasons why putting our lab bench on casters will make sense in your lab. Perhaps you need to run the same sample on a Triple Quad and on a TOF or Orbitrap to get a more qualitative result. Rather than restarting the entire process on another LC, you can simply slide the first LC over to the other mass spec, hook it up, and be injecting in just ten minutes.

Additional Reasons for Investing in Dedicated Lab Furniture

Beyond improved performance, safety is another reason for investing in our lab benches. When it’s time to service your LC, reaching the top of the chromatograph can prove difficult—and hiring former basketball players as lab techs isn’t always an option! Rather than dragging a stepstool out of a nearby storage room or standing on a desk chair (perhaps even one on wheels, yikes!) to reach the solvent reservoir, you can easily lower the HPLC-UHPLC bench and keep your feet firmly, and safely, on the floor.

The lockable caster wheels on our lab benches also make it easy to reconfigure your lab when new test sequences are needed, or additional mass spectrometry tasks performed. No backs will be strained or injured, and you won’t need to schedule downtime in the lab to move the furniture around. Simply unlock the casters and easily move your machines.

To learn more about the time and energy-saving benefits of IonBench dedicated lab furniture, contact us today.

Minimizing Mass Spectrometry Vibrations for the Life of Your Machine

vibrationsWe’ve heard a lot of interesting stories in the years we’ve been selling lab benches. Some of them make a really good case about why you need dedicated lab furniture. For example, we recently heard from a service tech about a lab that was located near an active rock quarry. The vibrations from the blasting in the quarry affected the mass spectrometry, actually shortening the life of the machine itself.

Fortunately, most labs don’t have to address that problem. Even jackhammers come and go, creating only temporary issues for sensitive mass specs. But with mass spectrometry, there is no such thing as good vibrations, which is why we have worked hard to create dedicated lab furniture that will dampen roughing pump vibrations by 99%.

Roughing Pumps and Turbopumps

As you know, not all pumps are alike. Vacuum pumps are a critical component of mass spectrometry, but no one’s been able to create a cool and quiet one yet. Roughing pumps are like the jackhammers of the MS world, doing the initial hard work without any finesse. This means that they generate lots of vibration, heat and noise. Unfortunately, that vibration, heat and noise pose a serious threat to the turbopumps—which in a perfect world, would operate within a vacuum as well as create one. They’re like a master jeweler who needs a quiet, sterile, vibration-free environment in which to make delicate, precise movements.

Vibration-Free Mass Spectrometry

This is why we designed our IonBench dedicated lab furniture to minimize vibrations, block noise and evacuate heat from MS vacuum pumps. We’ve created special enclosures that ventilate the heat away from the mass spec. We’ve also crafted patented springs that support anti-vibration platforms for those pumps. We request detailed information on our clients’ mass spec models and then install specifically calibrated springs to match the exact weight and distribution needed. In this way, we can reduce forepump vibration by 99%, creating a vibration-free zone in which the turbopumps can work.

The Cost of Vibration

There is a big reason that we go to all this trouble when we create our customized IonBench dedicated lab furniture for you. Turbopumps are expensive, and generally have to be replaced every one to three years. Those same techs who told us the quarry story say that repairs for turbopumps cost about $5,000, and a new one will set you back around $20,000. There are other factors that determine the life of a turbopump, including the kind of samples you’re working with and how frequently you’re using your mass spec. But again, there is no such thing as good vibrations when it comes to turbopumps. Reducing vibration can extend the life of the pump, which can save you as much as $20-30,000 over a five-year span. Use the wrong lab furniture and that’s a significant chunk of change for any lab to absorb.

This is yet another reason why it’s always a good idea to invest in IonBench dedicated lab furniture. If you’re investing hundreds of thousands in a mass spectrometer, it makes sense to invest in the right lab bench to keep that MS working at peak efficiency for as long as possible. To learn more about our commitment to minimize vibrations, contact us today.