Pittcon 2019 New Product Highlights: Part 1

Atomic Spectroscopy

Advion introduced the SOLATION ICP-MS system, which offers multi-element analysis for diverse laboratory applications in a variety of industries, including environmental, food, pharmaceutical and clinical. The instrument features a 90o quadrupole deflector that prevents contaminants from entering the analyzer, and offers both pulse and analog detection modes with seamless transmission in a single analysis. The system is delivered with a suite of software, including ICP-MS Express, which allows the user to quickly set up runs, control the instrument peripherals and optimize data collection. The instrument began shipping in January for a price of around $130,000.

Bruker’s S2 Polar, unveiled in October 2018, was featured at the booth of Bruker’s US partner, Quantum Analytics. This system is a benchtop ED-XRF designed specifically for petrochemical applications. While it is engineered to meet certain specific measurements for ultra-low sulfur, the system is not specific to sulfur and can measure other elements of importance to refineries or in the study of wear metals in lubricants.

Discussed at Bruker’s press conference, but not on display at the booth, was the G6 Leonardo, launched in January. The system is designed for measuring trace oxygen, nitrogen or hydrogen primarily in metal samples, such as steel. The system uses inert gas fusion, and utilizes non-dispersive IR for the oxygen measurements, and thermal conductivity for nitrogen or hydrogen analysis.

Xplorex showed off the Planet, a portable XRD instrument designed primarily for on-location examination of mining and geological samples. The wheeled system is in a ruggedized case and weighs 52 lb (24 kg). The 30 W x-ray tube allows a complete analysis in 15–20 minutes. The system is priced at €70,000­–€80,000 ($79,545–$90,909 at €0.88 = $1). Xplorex is a joint venture of HUBER Diffraktionstechnik, Focussing BV and AJK Analytical Services.



Shimadzu previewed its upcoming project, which involves a partnership with the Enabling Technologies Consortium (ETC), to develop a new preparative SFC system with a focused application in the pharmaceutical industry. The system offers high-performance semi-prep purification with faster run times and is a less costly alternative compared to regular prep HPLC in terms of solvent consumption. The prep SFC system also features a gas-liquid separator for a higher recovery ratio and lower carryover compared to earlier SFC systems. This new system is expected to hit the market by summer 2019.

Shimadzu also announced the new Hemp Analyzer, a complete HPLC system dedicated specifically for quantitative determination of cannabinoid content in hemp. Just like the firm’s Cannabis Analyzer, this system includes all required hardware, software, consumables and analysis workflow tailored for hemp analysis. This complete system promotes ease of use even for non-chromatographers, while maintaining analytical results.

CRS Scientific brought a lab-scale Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC) to Pittcon 2019. The Unique AutoPure FPLC system is specifically designed for protein purification with biocompatible/metal-free components. It offers two different flow rate/pressure specifications: 25 mL/min flow rates for media screening and 100 mL/min flow rates for larger scale-up operation. The company has been around for 2 years and is mainly based in China, with around 100 units sold in China last year.



CEM unveiled Disposable Glass Liners designed for use with CEM MARSXpress Plus vessels in MARS 6 microwave digestion systems. Designed to address the problem of the vessel handling and cleaning bottleneck in microwave digestion systems, these thin-wall glass tube products are designed to be inexpensive, disposable, and eliminate static during the weighing process.

DWK Life Sciences made Pittcon the scene of its debut of the Kimble GLS 80 media bottle and multiport cap system. The focus of the product is as a laboratory-scale bioreactor, with sizes ranging from 250 mL to 20 L. The bottles are composed of inert borosilicate glass and can be clear, amber or provided with a protective coating. The caps allow up to 4 ports to accommodate 5 different tubing sizes.


General Analytical Techniques

Sartorius launched its newest line of balances, the Cubis II, at Pittcon this year. The Cubis II line is completely modular, allowing users to configure the balance to meet their needs and workflows. The balances include features like complete integration with LIMS, motion controls, a static ionizer, and support for 21 CFR part 11 and EU Annex 11 compliance. The Cubis II also includes QApp software that is also configurable to users’ needs and comes with future software updates. The Cubis II price ranges from $4,000 to $30,000, depending on the configuration.


Lab Automation and Software

ACD/Labs introduced its Katalyst D2D web-based application designed for supporting high-throughput experiments by offering automated planning, execution and analysis. The application features a single interface and integration with third-party systems in order to eliminate manual transcription. Additionally, the Katalyst D2D app enables multi-technique, vendor-agnostic high-throughput analysis utilizing the ACD/Spectrus Platform.

LabVantage Solutions released its LabVantage 8.4 software platform in February, which includes LIMS, ELN and LES capabilities. New and updated features of the edition include a new work assignment and resource planning module, updated data privacy provisions and enhanced data protection, a new Master Data Navigator for enhanced ease of use, bulk data import functionality and automated issue tracking and submission. 

Sirius Automation displayed its MiniTasker General Purpose Modular Laboratory Robot Platform which became available last year. The MiniTasker can automate common laboratory tasks such as weighing, sample ID, sorting, dilutions, internal standard addition, standard prep, and capping and uncapping. Additionally, the system features a compact footprint and compatibility with LIMS systems. The MiniTasker is priced at $40,000–$50,000.


Lab Equipment

Boekel Scientific displayed two incubators that started shipping over the last few months. The new products, part of the GEN2 series, including a CO2 incubator for cell culture applications and a Peltier-cooled refrigerated incubator for microbiology. The touchscreen-controlled systems can be programmed for temperature ramps, and have internal electrical outlets that can be controlled by the system to turn shakers or other equipment on and off. The list price on the refrigerated incubator is about $4,500, while the CO2 incubator is less than $6,000.

GATE Scientific introduced the smartSENSE pH. The smartSENSE pH is an upgrade of the current smartSENSE product line, adding a real-time pH measurement feature in addition to temperature and rotational speed measurements. Users can observe the data from their PCs or smartphones through a wireless monitoring and control system. The pH measurement functionality is suitable for fermentation applications in bioprocessing, pharmaceutical, and the food and beverage industries. The product is currently still in the development stage and will be available for shipment by the end of this year.

Roughly six months ago, IKA began shipping its T25 easy clean disperser/homogenizer. The easy-clean feature is due to a unique snap-open design of the disperser element allowing rapid access for cleaning purposes. The unit also features an RPM gauge, temperature monitor and a timer to help scientists adhere to methods. The base unit is priced at about $2,200 without a dispersing element.

MilliporeSigma showed its next generation Milli-Q IQ series of water purification systems, comprising the 7003, 7005, 7010 and 7015 models (with the last digits referencing the flow rate in liters per hour). Changes over the previous generation include a mercury-free lamp with a longer life and an improved plastic material. The systems have been shipping for about six months, and are priced from approximately $15,000 to $20,000, including the installation costs and reservoir.


Life Science

Bioptic showcased the QSep1 portable capillary electrophoresis system, which was first released in the second quarter of 2018. The compact unit utilizes fluorescence detection and has a maximum capacity of eight samples. It currently sells for about $15,000.

Bioptic also introduced the Qamp Mini PCR thermocycler, which was also first released in the second quarter of last year and costs about $1,500. The Qamp Mini is a miniature, portable device that can be used in the lab or in the field.

Shimadzu showcased its PPSQ-51A single-reactor protein sequencer and the PPSQ-53A triple-reactor protein sequencer, both of which use an automated Edman degradation reaction method for amino acid sequencing. These systems offer isocratic or gradient separation modes and replace the PPSQ-31A and -33A models, which only offered an isocratic method. These models were first released about six months ago and currently sell for a price between $100,000 and $150,000.

Waters introduced the BioAccord LC-TOF MS, a small-footprint system which pairs the ACQUITY UPLC I-Class Plus with the new ACQUITY RDa mass detector.The system is designed with ease of use features, and is optimized for routine QC and late-stage R&D applications in biopharmaceutical labs, initially drug stability testing, glycan analysis and modified peptide monitoring. The ACQUITY RDa detector utilizes SmartMS capabilities, which allow for automated set-up and self-diagnosis. It offers a mass resolution greater than 10,000 FWHM and a mass range up to 7,000 m/z. The system was released in January and sells for approximately $300,000.


Materials Characterization

Anton Paar showcased its new ViscoQC 100. The ViscoQC 100 is designed to be an intermediate product between complex high-end viscometers and inexpensive viscometers with limited capabilities. This product is available in three version: the L-version for lower-viscosity measurement, such as juice and shower gel; R-version for medium-viscosity products, such a paints and coatings; and H-version for high-viscosity measurements, such as chocolate and balm. Utilizing Anton Paar’s Toolmaster system, the spindle for this viscometer is magnetically coupled with no screw required and equipped with a chip to detect which spindle is present (L-, R- or H-version). This instrument also features TruMode measurement, which will automatically set the ideal rotation speed and recommend the most suitable spindle for each sample. Introduced in May 2018, the ViscoQC 100 is available for shipping.

LECO introduced the TGA 801, an automated macro TGA suitable for measuring moisture, ash and volatile content in various industries such as cement and fuels. The TGA 801 is designed to maximize a user’s productivity through automated batch analysis with up to 19 samples per cycle. This product features Cornerstone software for instrument control, result analysis, diagnostics and reporting. The software also offers a mobile option which provides access to instrument status and analysis results from smartphone and tablet. TGA 801 was launched in November 2018 and is now available for shipping.

TA Instruments introduced a new addition to its Discovery product line with the TMA 450. This TMA system features a high resolution, up to 15 nm accurate, dimensional-change measurement and a wide range of temperature condition from -150°C to 1000°C. It also provides a modulated TMA with heating cooling testing–mode interchange. TMA 450 can be applied to research and QC purposes in a wide range of industries such as semiconductor, electronics and aerospace. TMA 450 will be available for shipment starting in the second quarter with a slightly increased price of around 3% compared to previous model.


Molecular Spectroscopy

The Agera color spectrophotometer, set to be released in April, was featured at the Hunterlab booth. The Agera will replace the Labscan XE and has new features like an LED light source, a large measurement spot and an integrated 5 MP camera. The Agera can simultaneously measure gloss and reflected color, and includes new software and data management options. The instrument will be priced at about $20,000.

CRAFT (Complete Reduction to Amplitude-Frequency Table) was showcased by JEOL at its press conference. Introduced in November 2018, CRAFT is a software tool for processing NMR data. It forgoes the traditional FT of NMR data and directly analyzes the time-domain NMR data to avoid issues with baseline and phase. CRAFT is integrated into the latest version of JEOL’s DELTA NMR software, version 5.3.0.

Pendar Technologies introduced the X10 handheld Raman instrument. The X10 features a noncontact, stand-off design with the ability to analyze unknown substances from a range of 1­–3 ft (30–91 cm). Designed for security and safety applications, the X10 offers minimal ignition risk to explosives and an expandable chemical identification library. The price was not disclosed.

Renishaw featured a number of its Raman instruments at Pittcon, including the RA816 Biological Analyzer which was released last November. Following the release of the RA802 Pharmaceutical Analyzer, the RA816 Biological Analyzer is designed exclusively for biological and clinical research. The Bio Analyzer is a compact benchtop Raman imaging system that requires little to no sample preparation, and features easy-to-use hardware and software. Pricing was not disclosed.

Thermo Fisher Scientific introduced the Nicolet Summit FTIR spectrometer at Pittcon, a replacement for the Nicolet iS5. Designed for QA/QC laboratories, the Summit is an entry-level FTIR spectrometer featuring a fully integrated Windows PC and the new OMNIC software.

Thermo Fisher also featured the Nicolet iS20, which was released in November 2018, featuring a redesigned optical system.

Thermo Fisher additionally featured BeerCraft Software, a new software package designed for craft brewers, with the ability to analyze over 20 different attributes of beer. This package is for use with the GENESYS 50 and GENESYS 150 UV/Vis spectrophotometers.

WITec debuted a new particle analysis software tool, ParticleScout, for its alpha300 Raman microscope series at its press conference. It allows researchers to classify, identify and quantify particles quickly and easily. The new tool is designed for a wide range of industries including pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics and environmental testing. The software locates particles in the field of view and classifies them by various geometric features, such as area and minimum and maximum diameter. Users can configure Boolean operators on these parameters, so that the system will automatically analyze only the particles of interest using the Raman spectrometer to perform chemical analysis for identification.


Surface Science

Bruker presented its JPK NanoWizard ULTRA Speed 2 AFM system, which was released in January. The system is the first new product following Bruker’s 2018 acquisition of JPK Instruments (see IBO 7/15/18). The NanoWizard ULTRA Speed 2 features advanced bio-imaging capabilities for life science applications, a 10 frames per second scanning speed and atomic resolution.

JEOL introduced its fourth generation benchtop SEM, the NeoScope JCM-7000. The system provides magnification up to 100,000x, large depth of field, a large sample chamber, and low- and high-vacuum modes. Additionally, the new NeoScope features secondary and backscatter electron detectors, real-time 3D imaging and fully-embedded EDS with real-time “live” analysis capability. The NeoScope JCM-7000 is priced between $70,000 and $115,000 depending on options and configuration.

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