Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business
Lab Manager Analytical Product Survey

Top Features to Consider When Purchasing an HPLC System

Find out our readers’ most common HPLC applications and more from our latest survey results

by Shane Downie

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.

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 HPLC89%
Preparative HPLC20%
Ion Chromatograph19%

HPLC separation modes utilized by survey respondents:

Reverse Phase71%
Normal Phase37%
Ion Exchange30%
Ion Chromatography Size Exclusion (SEC)26%
Ultra-High performance (UHPLC)23%
Hydrophilic Interaction (HILIC)23%
Ion Chromatography21%
Gel Filtration (GFC)9%
Gel Permeation (GPC)7%
Chiral 6%
Ion Exclusion3%

Nearly 41% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new HPLC system. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase

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

Quality of data93%
Precise and accurate flow rates72%
Availability of supplies and accessories60%
Service and support58%

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

See previous survey results: