Before analysis, samples must be prepared so they can be observed by the instrument properly. There are a variety of methods for preparing samples for different applications, from complex processes like microwave digestion to simpler processes like milling and liquid handling. Automated sample preparation systems have numerous benefits, such as increasing lab throughput, lessening the margin for error, and minimizing risk of staff developing repetitive strain injuries. Browse manufacturers of sample preparation equipment at LabManager.com/sample-prep-manufacturers
5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Sample Preparation System:
- How much time are your staff spending preparing samples manually? Spending too much time doing repetitive tasks can lead to repetitive strain injury. Automated sample prep systems could alleviate the risk.
- Are your staff having trouble keeping up with daily sample throughput?
- Do you have a consistent throughput of samples prepared the same way every day?
- Which step in sample preparation would be easiest to automate?
- Are more complex, higher-value projects being put on hold because your lab staff do not have the capacity to pursue them?
Selecting the Right Particle Reduction Method
There are several methods of particle size reduction suitable for different types of samples. For hard, brittle, dry samples, look for a grinder that employs pressure, impact, or friction grinding. Soft, fibrous, elastic samples should be prepared with shearing or cutting grinders.
To keep your sample prep equipment in top condition, it should ideally be cleaned after each sample run. Parts such as seals and blades or beaters should also be checked weekly for wear and replaced as needed. Not regularly cleaning the unit may lead to seal failure corrosion.