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2014 HPLC System Product Survey Results

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is, for many scientists, an essential chromatographic technique. HPLC systems used for the separation, identification, purification and quantification of various chemical and biochemical solutions are composed of a pump, a sample injector, a separation column, a detection unit, and a data-processor.

Trevor Henderson, PhD

Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an HPLC System

  1. How flexible is the system? Can the system be optimized to meet your laboratory requirements?
  2. What tubes, vessels, and vials can it accommodate? Can components (such as additional detectors, valves, etc.) be upgraded in the future?
  3. Is the software easy to use and operate? Can a demo version be put in place to get a feel for how the software functions for your laboratory’s workflow?
  4. How is the system (not just components) qualified during installation to meet manufacturer performance expectations? 
  5. Who provides the support and service for the product? Is it the manufacturer or a third party service group? If it is a third party service group, are they factory-trained? 
  6. Finally, ask about the total cost of the purchase—not just the price of the product being installed— but the total cost of ownership, which includes price, service expectations, warranty, etc.

Types of HPLC systems used by survey respondents:

Analytical HPLC 53%
Preparative HPLC 11%
Ion Chromatograph 13%
FPLC/Bio 4%
GPC 4%
Other 1%

HPLC separation modes used by survey respondents:

Reverse Phase 26%
Normal Phase 14%
Ion exchange 13%
Ion chromatography 8%
Size Exclusion (SEC) 8%
Hydrophilic Interaction (HILIC) 6%
Ultra-high performance (UHPLC) 6%
Affinity 5%
Gel Permeation (GPC) 4%
Gel Filtration (GFC) 4%
Chiral 3%
Ion Exclusion 3%

Nearly 28% of respondents plan on purchasing an HPLC system in the next year. The reasons for these purchases are as follows: 

Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Upgrading existing HPLC system
Setting up a new lab
Require shorter run times / increased lab throughput
Require more sensitivity
Require higher quality data
Trying to reduce operating costs
Scaling up to preparative

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing an HPLC system

Accuracy 100%
Ease of Use 100%
Maintenance 100%
Quality of data 100%
Precise and accurate flow rates 99%
Price 98%
Sensitivity 98%
Service and support 98%
Resolution 97%
Availability of supplies and accessories 96%

Completed Surveys: 236

For more information on HPLC systems, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit 

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