For the first time ever, Analytica 2012 featured completely equipped labs with daily live demonstrations. From sample preparation and measuring to evaluating the results, visitors had a chance to see the latest techniques and have new products explained during actual operation and discuss individual applications in practice with a selected group of leading international manufacturers.

The goal was to show which combination of systems can be used to test complementary parameters in a comprehensive characterization lab for specific applications. In addition 3 times a day well known polymer researchers gave talks about polymer testing topics.

Since Malvern is well known for its leading position with Zetasizer for polymer molecules and colloids testing and for its Mastersizer for particle analyses of additives, we had been chosen to cover the particle characterization part in the live lab for plastics/ polymer analysis. It was a difficult decision – what to have on display – the Zetasizer or the Mastersizer, since we have been allowed to show just one.

Finally, since the Mastersizer 3000 is new, we decided to show this new laser diffraction system.
Retrospectively was the right decision. The Zetasizer was mentioned in so many talks given close to the live lab from several famous plastics / polymers researchers that it became very clear to the audience that it is the instrument most widely used and state of the art when it comes DLS measurements for molecular size and molecular weight. And I must admit seeing so many results produced by Zetasizer I felt very good to be a “Malvernite”.

But when we came back to the bench after the lectures there was another thing which made me proud – the ease of use of the Mastersizer 3000. Why?

There were 7 different sophisticated methods to characterize plastics or polymers and of course an employee from each company was here to explain the system. But I thought back to my times as a lab technician, a long time ago. And I was sure that to operate all those systems and understand how the results are interlinked would have been a challenge.
This it reminded me immediately to the words of our Managing Director Paul Walker during the launch of the Mastersizer 3000. “Few people now have the luxury of becoming specialists in a particular laboratory technology, and the smart approach of the Mastersizer 3000 means you can make accurate, reliable measurements whether you are a complete novice or a particle sizing expert.”

After the live lab days at Analytica this became even more obvious to me.
I look forward to the next live labs at next Analytica – probably for a different application of our material characterization systems.