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Tales from the development team: The art of accessorizing

21 September 2011 No Comment

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As Project Manager Accessories/ Manufacturing Engineering Manager, I have been responsible for optimizing all the Mastersizer 3000 accessories, which includes the Hydro range of wet dispersion units and the revolutionary new Aero S dry dispersion system.
Having worked on the Mastersizer 2000 range I can really appreciate the design ingenuity and engineering expertise that has gone into creating the accessories range for the new Mastersizer 3000, not least because the team has succeeded in reducing the size of each one to around a quarter of the size of the Mastersizer 2000 units.
 
Innovation is all
Injecting a high level of commonality between the units has been especially important in enabling the modular concept of the Mastersizer 3000 system to work at its best. Sample dispersion is critical for successful laser diffraction analysis and in the Hydro units we’ve worked hard to maximize dispersion performance through extending the range of solvent capabilities without the need to change the accessory, better ultrasound performance, and temperature sensing as standard.
The entire Aero dry dispersion unit is completely new and reflects state-of-the-art dry dispersion knowledge. Users can measure materials from cement to coffee, robust minerals to fragile pharmaceuticals, in the dry state. It is both rapid and efficient, and is supported by the fastest data acquisition rates available. Dry measurements become stable more quickly, and even challenging samples with very wide size distributions are measured accurately.

Yes we can!
What’s been interesting is that our initial aim to meet the tight physical size reduction requirement has changed our way of working. Our initial reactions to this was ‘It can’t be done!’ But over the course of the project this perception has completely changed and we’ve been able to address this major challenge using simplified design and clever layout.
As well as having produced a remarkable product in the Mastersizer 3000, throughout the project the development team has gained enormous expertise in making things smaller and more efficient – expertise that is already paying dividends elsewhere in Malvern.