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Tales from the development team: Lightening your analytical load

15 September 2011 No Comment

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Hi! I’m the software development team leader at Malvern Instruments and, as such, spend much of my time ensuring that you – as a customer – can control your testing and manipulate your data without restraint and with as much ease as possible. We aim to help you carry out efficient and effective laser diffraction particle size analysis and translate your data into profitable scientific and business intelligence.

We thought long and hard so you can choose not to

As a software engineer I thrive on logic, order and analytical aptitude. My job is to produce software that uses algorithms to process as much data as you can produce, in as many different ways as you might conceive. The only issue is that sadly I am unable to predict absolutely everything you might want in the future. To get around this, when designing the Mastersizer 3000 we applied the concept of systemics; building a robust framework into which blocks of code could then be slotted in almost any order to create a new whole. This delivers user flexibility, enabling you to be as straightforward or as creative as you need to be.
Don’t panic!
Despite sounding potentially complicated, there are several reasons why this approach actually makes your life a whole lot easier – as well as a whole lot more useful.

System measurement manager

Firstly, as a user you can either elect a complete, fully structured pre-existing process or be guided through each step while selecting your own, more specific, process. Either way the system supports you at every step. Once set up, the system can then be run as an operator-independent measurement tool, freeing up your time to carry out other tasks. Alternatively, you can also manipulate both dry and wet dispersion parameters, in real time, during analysis.
Improved results handling
Also, when it comes to interpreting your data, the open structure of the analytical tools means you can search through, arrange, compare, graph and report your data in whichever way your application demands. Improved results handling from collapsible grouping, sorting, over-plotting from multiple files and flexible merging, enables you to draw as much information from your data as possible.
Bespoke reporting and analysis
The new report designer that we built into the Mastersizer 3000 software delivers improved report editing features with the ability to create custom reports in only a few minutes, without having to leave the software. With real-time trend plotting, to confirm measurement to pharmacopeial and industry standards, and the addition of special reporting widgets called RSD calculators, the edit-in-place report designer presents all the information you need in the format you want.
Built in expertise
All in all therefore, we’ve made sure to build in as much functionality and flexibility into the Mastersizer 3000 software as possible. Every bit of expertise we have gathered throughout all our collective careers – much of which was informed by customer feedback from laboratories and manufacturing plants across an enormous range of industries and scientific fields – has been fed into this project.
I look forward to hearing how you put the new system to good use and your ideas for future improvements, as well as novel applications and specific reporting.