One of the benefits of having a long-running blog (or perhaps one of its risks!) is that you have the opportunity to look back at predictions you have made over the years. For me, this includes blogs that were written when I was looking forward to the launch of the Mastersizer 3000 – the system Malvern Panalytical launched in 2011 as the replacement for the Mastersizer 2000. At the time, this was a huge leap for our company, as the Mastersizer 2000 was the most widely used laser diffraction particle sizing system globally. It was a very tough act to follow!
Luckily for me, and hopefully for you as our customers, some of the predictions I made have come true. As we enter a new decade, Malvern Panalytical continues to manufacture materials characterization systems, applied by an ever-increasing number of customers engaged in product research, development and manufacturing. Mastersizer does not stand alone, but is part of a portfolio of solutions which, in combination, enable our customers to succeed with their own product launches. This capability is delivered by a group of experts driven by their scientific curiosity and desire to ensure our customers gain maximum value from the systems we create. This team provides our eyes and ears on the ground – indeed, it is what enabled us to understand what the Mastersizer 3000 needed to achieve, in order to build on the legacy of the Mastersizer 2000.
Of course, there are some changes I could not have predicted! 10 years ago, I did not know that Malvern Instruments would merge with its sister company PANalytical to create Malvern Panalytical, providing our customers with access to a range of new solutions and expertise relevant to their workflows. I also missed the rise of data analytics – machine learning and artificial intelligence – and its application in generating insight from the data that systems like the Mastersizer produce.
There are also those changes we could see coming, but did not want to think about at the time. Launching a new Mastersizer meant that one day we’d stop producing the Mastersizer 2000. This happened in 2015 and, as a result, almost a quarter of a century after its launch, the groundbreaking Mastersizer 2000 will reach the end of its formal support life in April 2022.
So, what does this all mean for you, our customers? Well, it is becoming increasingly urgent to plan to upgrade your Mastersizer 2000 systems, especially if you’re working in a regulated environment or rely on the system to support critical QC activities. However, this is not something you have to do alone! Malvern Panalytical’s experts are available to provide support. In addition, throughout 2020 we are running a series of webinars which will show you the positive difference that upgrading to the Mastersizer 3000 can make to your laboratory, how painless method transfer really can be, and how other users have found the experience. The first of these airs on Tuesday, 21st January, with laser diffraction Application Specialist Anne Virden discussing Mastersizer upgrade and the method transfer process, swiftly followed by Segment Leader Steve Ward-Smith’s webinar on the customer experience of transferring methods (complete with case studies!) on February 16th.
And my predictions for the next decade? Well, I still expect Mastersizer to play an important role in delivering value to both Malvern Panalytical and its customers. If Mastersizer 3000 keeps going as long as the Mastersizer 2000 then we’ll still be building them at the eve of the next decade in 2029 – I hope I am still around to see that! Beyond this, I’m not sure if I trust my crystal ball as much as I did back in 2011. Instead, I’m going to start looking for an AI engine which can deliver some data-based predictions!