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Purchasing Guide

When Should You Replace Your Gas Chromatograph?

Top 5 Signs that You Should Replace Your Gas Chromatograph

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Top 5 Signs That You Should Replace Your Gas Chromatograph

The regular servicing and the cost of service are increasing.The GC system is designed to last 10+ years; however, there will come a point when normal wear-and-tear will make it very difficult to maintain acceptable performance. You will be able to track this by the increasing number of service calls and the cost of that service. Add those costs to lost productivity, and the solution is replacement.
The GC system is not able to keep up with increasing regulatory requirements. It is rare when regulatory requirements become easier to meet. There are a lot of method parameters that can be adjusted on a GC to meet the increasing requirements. However, the accuracy and precision of the old equipment will not be able to meet new requirements no matter how you adjust the method. A new GC can be used to meet the current requirements and will allow the laboratory to meet future requirements.
There is a drift in the method performance of the system. This drift can be in the form of method calibration or retention time. Calibration drift is generally due to the fact that the detector is no longer able to maintain a consistent current, plasma, or connection depending on the detector technology. More frequent re-calibration may be able to compensate, but this means lost time and productivity. Drift in retention times is generally due to the carrier gas control. If there is electronic control, the EPC may have a leak or is just no longer able to sufficiently control the pressure. This will be seen as randomly changing retention times. If there is a leak deep in the system you will be losing carrier gas, most commonly helium, potentially costing the lab large amounts of money.
The laboratory is not able keep up with the projects and sample load. Every laboratory is asked to do more, respond faster and operate with less staff. New GC systems incorporate advances that allow reduced sample preparation, faster analysis and less operator attention. In some cases, the new GC can take the place of two or more systems, which also frees bench space for other functions. In this case the older equipment can be relegated to other less critical analyses, used as parts for other equipment, or retired.
Software upgrades, service contracts, and replacement parts are no longer available. As a GC system reaches 10 years of operation, repair parts are more expensive and difficult to locate. In turn, the cost of service increases, and service contracts may not be available at all. The latest software may not be compatible with older communication boards or not compatible with older PC hardware and operating systems. A new PC may not be an option either without costly upgrades of software. These hardware and software incompatibilities can lead to communications errors, failed sequences and lost samples-and lost laboratory efficiency.

Top 6 Questions That You Should Ask When Buying a GC System

What factors come into play when determining the GC system specifications you require in terms of cycle time, enhanced operator benefits, increased productivity and flexibility for specific applications
What differentiates the vendor’s GC system from others offered, in terms of performance?
How do you validate the specification claims presented by the vendor?
Has the data processing software been designed for enhanced analytics, with workflow in mind and does it support critical compliance requirements?
What are important price points to keep in mind when selecting a GC system?
Laboratories need fast and effective services, including an effective distribution of instruments, spare parts, education, and service personnel. How does the company serve these needs worldwide?

Recently Released GC Systems

Master GC

  • Decreases sample run times in a wide range of GC applications
  • Modular design allows the user to easily change or upgrade to any GC configuration
  • Includes a complete range of injectors
  • Features a user-friendly touchscreen interface and DPC-patented digital flow control
  • Also includes a one-year warranty, GC start-up kit, and more

GenTech Scientific

7890B GC

  • Offers improved performance specifications with advances in numerous detector modules
  • Features lower operating costs and eco-friendly operation with power/gas management and sleep/wake modes
  • Early Maintenance Feedback enhancements help minimize downtime
  • GC calculators, integrated within Agilent data systems, optimize methods and even auto-transfer new values to the method editor


AccuTOF GCv|4G GC-TOF System

  • Offers even faster data acquisition rates and higher resolving power than its predecessor
  • Features a maximum data acquisition rate of 50 spectra per second and a resolving power of 8000
  • Makes it possible to acquire high-resolution mass spectra in combination with third party two-dimensional GC (GC×GC)
  • Provides sensitivity of S/N >100 at OFN 1 pg/µL


GCAP™ Gas Chromatography Device

  • Flexible, versatile architecture, based on high-density silicon columns and sensors, means GCAP can be configured to perform in a number of different modes, including conventional, multi-dimensional or concurrent analysis
  • Features the ability to work with a number of different carrier gases
  • Separates and precisely quantifies individual molecules among hundreds of interfering substances, depending on architectural configurations


GC  Systems Manufacturers



Buck Scientific

CDS Analytical

Forston Labs






OI Analytical

Parker Balston




Teledyne Tekmar

Thermo Fisher Scientific