I’ve just returned from an incredible experience meeting hundreds of scientists and industrial professionals at Analytica, the International Trade Fair for Laboratory Technology, Analysis and Biotechnology in Munich, Germany. It’s never simple to compete against 1,100 exhibitors. However, it’s a little easier when you are in the country of the Hoffbrauhaus… I always underestimate how much scientists love their beer!
1. Occupational Health and Safety in the Laboratory Highlights from the show:
The theme at Analytica was “occupational health and safety in the laboratory.” I applaud Susan Grödl, Exhibition Director for Analytica, quoted as saying, “Whether in research or industry, the safety of laboratory employees is extremely important. Until now, none of the world’s trade fairs for analysis and laboratory technology featured a special show on the topic.” This is something Kett has always taken into consideration when designing test instruments. For example, measuring friction on various floors and pallets of stacked packaged goods plays a big role in taking steps to prevent worker injury. Portable friction analyzers like the H94ai and H37 3D are designed specifically to help plant managers identify and reduce dangerous slippery surfaces.
2. The Shift Towards Sustainability
I noticed a significant new dynamic in the European trade show atmosphere toward a focus on environmental sustainability at all levels of industry and laboratory testing. Analytica conducts annual “Live Labs,” where visitors can experience first-hand demonstrations at three fully equipped laboratories. This year’s “Live Labs” focused on three major industries: Food and Plastics Analysis, Genetic Analysis, and Bioanalysis. Of these, the most interesting has been the new laser-like attention to food quality and safety, particularly in regards to testing for toxic ingredients. European legislation has set the world standard for regulating ingredients and consumer protection. Moisture and composition testing are often just precursors to further complex analysis. The discussions focusing on food analysis reported on the latest developments in higher testing to identify pesticides, mycotoxins and antibiotics in foods.
3. Re-discovering a Universal Need for Moisture & Composition Testing
Analytica has been a great opportunity to demonstrate the Kett line of NIR moisture and composition analyzers to a fresh audience. One of the best things about selling test instruments is their universality. I have visited the peasant rice fields in China, giant food manufacturing plants in Columbia and traveled to pastures in India. Nearly every industry and agricultural sector, worldwide, has a need to test the moisture and organic composition of their products. No matter what show we’re attending, visitors at our booth are simply there to understand how an investment in new testing technology is worth the time and resources to make the shift from established methods. It’s been incredible to assist companies transition their entire processing line to NIR technology after using inaccurate, inefficient methods for decades. I’m excited to see where these new relationships will lead in Europe.
4. Encouraging Scientists to Experiment
It turns out, even those trained in the art of experimentation have scarcely done so with their own measurement equipment. I rarely encounter individuals who have already embraced the best technology for their applications. In fact, it’s astonishing how few industry analysts have even encountered NIR technology as a viable alternative to existing methods or considered this type of analysis for an additional test instrument. I want to encourage all scientists to apply the same thought process you’d put toward optimizing your product to your testing process. Kett even offers a Rent-to-Own program for scientists to try an instrument for 90 days without making a commitment.
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