Lab Utilities Make the Grade
A systems approach is transforming delivery of the key raw materials
necessary for scientific research.
All types of research laboratories rely on a set of core utilities to enable and support work functions. These are often overlooked as a commodity called “consumables”, but in reality they are indispensable nutrients that vary greatly in quality and reliability.
Just as a human can’t exist without water, oxygen and food, the research
facility cannot make do without water, gas, air, lighting and, increasingly,
In today’s laboratories, much thought is given to workflow. And in
designing and outfitting a laboratory, whether it’s a fresh, new facility or
a much-needed makeover, attention must be paid to how researchers will
attain fresh air to breathe, and pure water and gas for running scientific
experiments and reliable vacuum powering instruments.
These can all seem straightforward on their own, but as the types of
instrumentation and scientific methods expand in both quantity and sensitivity, attention must increasingly be
paid to finding and delivering innovative solutions that ease the pain of managing all of these resources at once.
Through a blend of new software,
customer interaction, electronics and new
thinking, vendors are approaching challenges by looking at the system of utility service in
Pure lab water supply is among the most important
and fastest growing of the laboratory utilities industry.
The proliferation of life science research applications
has a lot do with this growth, and a recent survey
in Laboratory Equipment shows that nearly half of
researchers who use lab water plan to make a purchase of a new system, or
systems, within the next year.
These new acquisitions are not necessarily the result of inadequacies of
prior lab water solutions, which by nature tend to be highly accessible and
easy-to-use, whether installed as benchtop supply or centralized distribution.
Rather, the increasing number of applications that require Type I,
or ultrapure, research-grade water is growing quickly. Elga Lab Water,
Wood Ridge, Ill., which manufacturers a comprehensive line of lab water
supply equipment, has observed significant growth in this area, particularly in molecular life science and environmental areas.
Two recent customers include an Italian research consortium doing
work in Antarctica and the Molelcular Genetics Laboratory at MGL at
Sheffield Children’s Hospital, U.K. These customers, according to Elga
Lab Water, highlight the different research applications that need ultrapure water solutions.
Like so many research facilities engaged in genomics and proteomics
research, the work at MGL involves a tremendous volume of samples,
According to Matt Boeck, product manager for
the research market at Elga Lab Water Global Oper-
ations, Elga’s new PURELAB Chorus was developed
in part to meet the needs of this type of customer,
which requires multiple types of easily accessible lab
water—most of it high-purity—to accommodate
rapidly evolving science.
Launched at Pittcon 2014 in Chicago in March,
To better inform the user about the function of the system, Elga has
designed Chorus to utilize its Halo Dispense solutions. These include a
fixed-position dispenser and a handheld dispenser. An advanced version
of the fixed dispenser offers a clear water purity readout and a color-coded
“Halo” glows to alert the user of changes in system status. The dispensing
itself is controllable and can be variable and automated. Finally, data can
be captured via USB for system performance validation.
An alternative to conventional laboratory air change solutions, the Halo uses
the same Neutrodine molecular filtration system technology contained in
Erlab’s ductless fume hood products.