Dr. Stephen Heffernan, Batch Chemistry Technical Applications Specialist, Syrris
The pressure to produce reproducible chemistry is a daunting task for any chemist. You’re eager to produce the best chemistry you can, but on top of deadlines, dangerous chemicals, juggling various projects, and budgetary constraints, it’s hard to monitor your manual reactions closely enough to replicate them again and again.
We don’t like to admit it but lab work tasks can be tedious. Your time is too important for it to be spent watching an hour-long experiment just so you can manually adjust the temperature at the exact moment you need to. It’s frustrating and prevents you from fully focusing on anything else at that time.
With modern technology, you can automate your entire lab if you wanted to, from automated liquid handling and motorized pipettes through to robots labeling your samples. But the easiest place to start is the source of your reactions – your jacketed reactor.
With automated jacketed reactor systems, intuitive software controls the experiment variables (temperature, stirring speed, dosing, etc.), logs data for you and displays it graphically in real-time. Some automation systems can even configure almost all your existing 3rd party lab equipment (with RS232 connectivity). This control brings many benefits to the user and the business.
Automated chemistry systems are available as purpose-built automated jacketed reactors, while your existing manual jacketed reactors can be upgraded to full automation using a hardware and software solution. Both options can control and monitor virtually every conceivable experiment parameter you might require.
Read on for our top 5 reasons to switch to automated chemistry systems.
1. Increased productivity
Chemistry experiments often involve lots of small adjustments throughout. Automated chemistry systems make these adjustments for you, enabling you to get on with other priorities or experiments. Create complex multi-step recipes to tell the software exactly when you want the temperature, stirring, dosing, or other variables to change. Save your recipes for re-use and standardize your workflows.
Set-and-forget your experiments on a Friday afternoon and let them run safely over the weekend. Built-in safety features monitor your reactions letting the automation software become your weekend chemistry assistant.
“With Atlas, we can leave experiments running all night and get a good result the next day, freeing up time to do other tasks.
The system is easy to use and reliable – we know that when we move from the Atlas system to the large-scale plant we will get very similar results – and the software is just beautiful.”
2. Reliable results
Chemists are judged on the quality of their chemistry. Automated chemistry systems enable you to precisely control reaction conditions, reducing the risk of human error and giving you greater confidence in your results.
Automation software tracks every variable of your experiment, giving you a wealth of data. This is then presented graphically making it easier to interpret and share.
Atlas PC Software 1 is an easy to use, PC-based application for the control and analysis of experiments. Systems, including Syrris equipment and most RS232 controlled apparatus, can be configured and automated.
3. Safer working conditions
Automation reduces the risk of accidents in your laboratory. Set limits that allow the system to shut down automatically if conditions are exceeded and set alarms to warn you when there is a risk of an accident. The software won’t make dangerous mistakes because it’s tired or had to go to the loo!
4. Save money, time, and lab space
Automated chemistry systems cost more than manual systems and some are put off by that. But chemists who look beyond the initial expense are often convinced a switch is the right choice because they ultimately save money, time, and lab space.
Syrris automated software, easily installed on a laptop, is user-friendly and requires minimal training. It doesn’t need specialists to run the equipment, leaving your specialist skills to be used for more complex, important tasks. Your reactions operate with fewer errors, maximizing utilization. Waste is also reduced by using lab reagents more efficiently.
The flexibility of automated jacketed reactors usually means they can be used for a range of chemistries, reducing the number of reactors a lab needs. When you consider this with time savings, more highly engaged lab staff, and improved experiment accuracy, automated chemistry systems aren’t expensive at all.
5. Valuable walk-away time
You became a chemist because you love chemistry but sometimes you really want to get away from your bench to catch up on those publications or Application Notes you’ve been meaning to read. Automated chemical reactors help you set-and-forget your experiment, giving you the freedom to step away from the lab and enjoy some walk-away time while still conducting your chemistry.
Choosing the right chemistry automation solution
Interested in how chemistry automation could benefit you and your lab? Discover the range of Syrris chemistry automation solutions, or get in touch using the form below to speak to a Syrris chemist about your automated chemistry needs.
About Dr. Stephen Heffernan
As a Batch Chemistry Applications Specialist for Syrris, Stephen is responsible for many technical pre-sales inquiries, producing applications notes, and performing feasibility studies for potential customers. Stephen is also the Product Manager for the Atlas HD family of automated chemical reactors at Syrris. Read Stephen’s bio here.
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