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Improved efficiency with new iPad® control
Expanding HPLC network functionality
- Monitor and control ability from an Apple iPad wireless device
- iPad enables a variety of tasks to be performed
- Need for more efficient maintenance management in many industries
Shimadzu, one of the worldwide leading manufacturers in analytical instrumentation, has expanded the network functionality of the Nexera and prominence HPLC systems, enabling monitor and control ability from an Apple iPad wireless device. Instruments with these features have just been exhibited at Pittcon 2011, the world's largest analytical equipment show, hosted this year in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This new technology builds on the existing web interface used in current Shimadzu HPLC systems and provides additional management options.
When the iPad is used together with workstation PCs, it is possible to simultaneously monitor and control the operating and usage conditions of multiple HPLC systems within a single network. Many tasks that previously required a trip to the lab can now be performed wirelessly via the iPad. The mobility and document browsing features of the iPad can provide additional gains in laboratory efficiency through quick and easy access to important information. The upgradable nature of Shimadzu modular HPLC design allows these new functions to be used by existing Nexera and prominence series equipment as well.
The following improvements in task efficiency can be achieved using the new functionality:
- Improved efficiency through equipment status monitoring With multiple HPLC systems on the same network, batch monitoring of analysis conditions and operating status, including error reporting, is now possible. The status of equipment in the analytical laboratory can be checked quickly from remote locations. If an error occurs, equipment instruction manuals loaded into the iPad can be referenced immediately, enabling rapid troubleshooting and response. The result is more reliable execution of analysis tasks and overall improvement in task efficiency.
- Improved efficiency in equipment maintenance tasks With multiple HPLC systems on the same network, consumables usage status and other data necessary for equipment maintenance can be swiftly obtained, improving the efficiency of equipment control versus conventional system-by-system control. Since the consumable information is incorporated into each Shimadzu modular HPLC unit, this information can be easily obtained even in mixed-vendor systems.
- HPLC system and analytical column cleaning In addition to monitoring, equipment control is also possible. Cleaning of equipment and analytical columns, required either before or after analysis tasks can be done through iPad control. By enabling this control from the iPad, sample pretreatment, processing of analysis data and other tasks can now be performed while working away from the HPLC equipment. In this way, overall improvements in laboratory workflow are achieved.
In analytical work, equipment maintenance is essential in order to obtain highly reliable data. In an increasing number of industries such as the pharmaceutical industry, proper maintenance validation is a requirement for regulatory compliance. With increasing demand for regulation and validation in the pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and nutritional supplements industries, there is a need for more efficient maintenance management that allows for multiple instrument inspection from a single platform.
In the HPLC laboratory, many tasks (and not just collection of analytical data) need to be done at once. By enabling access via wireless networking from the iPad, a variety of tasks can be performed with the flexibility to move easily between different lab stations or locations. This freedom allows other necessary jobs such as sample preparation, system equilibration and report creation to be done while maintaining connection with vital HPLC analyses, increasing the overall efficiency of the analytical laboratory.
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