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Cell culture dishes in an incubator

Making the 'Smart Choice' for Cell Culture

Being Scientific's product line provides economically priced, high-end, and high-performance incubators that meet your lab's cell culture needs

by BEING Instruments
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Designed for culturing cells, incubators are workhorses of the biotech and pharma industries. BEING Scientific's broad portfolio of incubators are suitable for labs of all kinds. In this interview, BEING Scientific's sales director Frank Brombley discusses what sets BEING's incubators apart and what buyers have to look forward to in their 2024 lineup.

Frank Brombley
Frank Brombley
Credit: Frank Brombley

Q: Please tell us about your journey and career so far as well as your role at BEING Scientific.

A: My career started around 35 years ago as a regional sales rep for a French company called Jouan. The company’s product line focused on incubation, centrifugation and other laboratory equipment. In time, I became vice president and general manager of their distribution division—Precision Scientific. As VP, I was able to work with many of the largest distributors in our industry. After our company was acquired, I decided to transition into consulting for companies outside the US trying to establish their products and grow their brand internationally. Many international companies outgrow their domestic market and feel that they can easily transition to the international arena thanks to their previous success within their own country. They quickly realize that this transition is not easy. The North American market remains the most competitive in the world and success requires more than just the product. It requires the marketing, packaging, warehousing, revision/translation of manuals, and customer/technical support. All these elements must come together to compete. When I was asked by BEING’s parent company, Yiheng Shanghai, in 2017 to help them promote and grow their international brand “BEING Scientific” here in North America, I was convinced by their CEO that these requirements mentioned above would be resourced. Our office and first warehouse were opened outside of Los Angeles in 2018. Over the last six years, BEING Scientific has grown considerably. We have a large dealer network that promotes our product line all over the US, Canada, and Mexico. In addition, we now have a second warehouse outside of Savanna, Georgia to better support this dealer network and their customers.

Q: Can you describe to us why, and how, incubators play a key role in the biotech and pharma industries?

A: Incubators are designed and engineered to mimic what goes on in life in terms of cell growth. This growth requires a controlled environment of various parameters such as temperature, humidity, and gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Sometimes light control also must be regulated for plant growth research. There are various types of incubators. Microbiological incubators are designed mostly for growing microbes. These can be found in clinical labs in hospitals and those doing research on bacteria and viruses. Cooling incubators allow control of temperatures above and below ambient room temperatures in a lab. These are often used for studies with either microbes or animal cells that live in cold environments. CO2 incubators are designed primarily to mimic the environment of cells in warm-blooded animals, where not only temperature has to be precisely regulated, but also humidity and the percentage of CO2 that maximizes cell growth. Lastly, plant growth chambers are another variation of an incubator used predominantly in food science and agriculture. Here, the incubator monitors not only temperature but also light across a spectrum of wavelengths for optimal plant growth. All these types of incubators are important purchases for universities and bio/pharma companies doing life science research and drug therapy.

Q: What characterizes an ideal incubator?

A: We can begin by asking what will go into the incubator—the nature of the samples and their size. For example, Bacterial Oxygen Demand (BOD) incubators are built to host samples involving wastewater in large glass vials. So, size is among the first criteria evaluated by the buyer and the researcher when it comes to incubators. Second would be the ability of the unit to accurately maintain temperature at a specific setting. Temperature uniformity within the chamber of the incubator is also an important criteria. The controller of the incubator performs this function of temperature and time regulation. Programmability is a feature some controllers offer as well. This allows researchers to share one incubator or multiple incubators and run various protocols for a range of temperatures and varying periods of time. Safety is also a prime consideration for users when it comes to purchasing an incubator. A proper shut-off mechanism to the heating element is important in case of controller failure. Reliability based on quality engineering is an important factor for selection, of course. The warranty that supports the unit while in operation offers insurance for repair or replacement when necessary.

Q: Why are BEING Scientific’s incubators the smart choice? What do they have to offer?

A: It is a competitive market for lab equipment and there are lots of options from many companies to consider when making decisions as to which incubator to buy. BEING Scientific has become a strong choice for those purchases by having a broad portfolio of incubators with varying sizes, features, and price ranges. Our incubators incorporate key features like excellent specification, quiet operation, stackability, and accessory ports. These features offer critical solutions to issues surrounding noise, lab space, and the versatility to add a shaker or rocker inside the unit. Our 2024 incubator portfolio will include fully programmable, color touchscreen controllers with USB data collection capability. These controllers will further enable users to document what is going on inside the incubator as it pertains to conforming to various government regulations for lab equipment used for certain types of life research and drug discovery. All the above help BEING Scientific offer lab equipment with a high value quotient. That is, our incubators offer many desired features and benefits priced reasonably. This high value quotient of quality over price makes selecting one of our many models of incubators the “smart choice” versus our competition.

Q: What is next for BEING Scientific and the brand’s future goals in this industry?

A: One of the key goals for our company is to introduce more new products for cell culture research. BEING currently hosts a line of CO2 incubators and is well on its way to becoming the first major company out of China with a high level of engineering capability to do so. The BIO series of CO2 incubators will be complemented by the introduction of our cold storage product group and high-capacity, stackable CO2 incubated shakers. These new product introductions, along with our current lab equipment lineup, will help buyers choose BEING Scientific for even more smart choices in the future for their lab-equipment-buying needs.

Frank Brombley has worked for over 35 years in the laboratory equipment industry. The last 23 years of his role has been that of a senior sales executive/consultant helping manufacturers of laboratory equipment establish and increase their presence in global scientific markets. Since 2018, Frank has been the sales director for BEING Scientific headquartered outside of LA in Ontario, CA.