Instrument intelligence and sustainability for the future of mass spectrometry​

Laboratories are facing increasing pressure to improve productivity. In a survey with 700 lab managers from Europe, Asia, and the USA, 45% stated that they are under significant pressure to process more samples to improve their efficiency and throughput. With a large number of these lab managers reporting that productivity is impacted by both scheduled maintenance and unplanned downtime, there is a clear need for innovations that can support laboratories through a reduction in downtime and improvements in workflow efficiencies. Developments in instrument intelligence can be utilized to streamline equipment function and improve laboratories’ experiences.​​

As well as focusing on efficiencies in workflows, laboratories are also paying increasing attention to the sustainability of labs, their equipment and their processes – 85% of laboratories surveyed in a global lab managers’ survey have sustainability goals in place.​​

With laboratories focused on these problems simultaneously, instrument manufacturers need to do the same. Agilent is working with laboratories to provide instruments and application solutions that support them to improve their workflow efficiency while reducing downtime and also reducing their impact on the environment.​​

Instrument intelligence​

Instrument intelligence is a growing function of laboratory equipment, with manufacturers utilizing advances in technology to improve instrumentation, workflows, and equipment maintenance protocols. These advances have come a long way in recent years. Dr. Shane Tichy, Associate Vice President of R&D MS Quadrupole Instrumentation at Agilent Technologies discussed the trends and challenges in instrument intelligence in a recent interview with SelectScience®.​​

Improved instrument intelligence should focus on supporting efficiencies in laboratory workflows. For example, in a pesticides analysis workflow, the intelligence in the Agilent 6475 Triple Quadrupole LC/MS supported an automated workflow and increased quantitation abilities. Transfer from a legacy system was also easy with no need for re-optimization, making the system simple and efficient for users to establish, as well as bringing benefits to their workflow.​​

The Agilent 6475 Triple Quadrupole LC/MS was designed with instrument intelligence to support and improve workflow efficiency and reduce downtime and ensure any lab can stay ahead of increasing sample throughput and productivity demands. Its on-board intelligence supports with workflow optimization, data analysis support to provide assurance that results are valid, and provides maintenance feedback so that unplanned disruptions don’t slow labs down.​ Some of the efficiencies that can be realized through instrument intelligence can also lead to improved sustainability, helping laboratories to realize additional goals.

Laboratory sustainability

Improved sustainability of laboratories is important for many reasons and goes beyond energy use – there are many factors within workflows, and equipment use and production that contribute to the environmental impacts of laboratories, including water consumption, waste production, and recycling.​​

Agilent has committed to improved sustainability across their instruments and workflows, and their entire organization. This includes a commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, improving recycling, reducing both hazardous and non-hazardous waste, and reducing water consumption. These efficiencies are passed to customers with more sustainable laboratory equipment, including improved workflows as a result of instrument intelligence.

A key aspect of Agilent’s commitment to sustainability is their sponsorship of My Green Lab® – they were the first institution to undertake a ‘Transformation Level’ sponsorship.​

My Green Lab

​​My Green Lab is a non-profit organization that supports scientific researchers in laboratories to improve their sustainability, by developing standards and inspiring behavioral change. The organization is “fundamentally and permanently improving the sustainability of scientific research” by “help[ing] people rethink the 'way things have always been done' to identify new approaches that also reduce the environmental impact of their work.”  ​​

One piece of guidance My Green Lab provides to support researchers are Accountability, Consistency, and Transparency (ACT®) Environmental Impact Factor Labels. These are “designed to address the need of both scientists and procurement specialists for clear, third-party verified information about the environmental impact of laboratory products.” They can support purchasers to make informed decisions about the sustainability of their equipment, helping them to meet their own sustainability targets and goals.

Manufacturing impact reduction
​Improving sustainability relates to the product manufacture too, and is reflected in Agilent’s commitment to sustainability, which in turn supports laboratories in their sustainability goals​

Product lifetime
​It is easy to think of sustainability in terms of a snapshot of usage. The Agilent 6475 Triple Quadrupole LC/MS has a low environmental impact over its entire lifetime, supporting laboratories in their sustainability goals way beyond initial purchase and set-up​

Responsible chemical management
​Chemical waste is a problem for many labs. The Agilent 6475 Triple Quadrupole LC/MS receives a score of 1.0 – indicating the lowest environmental impact for chemical management with this system.​

Environmental impact factor
The lower the number, the lower the overall environmental impact of the equipment​

Meeting your laboratory goals with Agilent triple quadrupole LC/MS

The 6475 triple quadrupole LC/MS employs several technological advances to improve both instrument intelligence and sustainability. As well as still being the reliable workhorse that customers trust, it can also support laboratories to perform analysis more efficiently and sustainably – helping them to meet their goals and expectations.

Sophisticated, yet easy-to-use onboard intelligence supports immediate validation, speeds up analysis to improve throughput, reduces unplanned downtime through its prediction of maintenance needs, and improves automation to increase efficiency. Instrument intelligence has been used to improve what matters to laboratories – increased throughput and higher efficiency, with minimized downtime.

The 6475 triple quadrupole LC/MS also helps laboratories to meet sustainability goals, providing transparent data on sustainability and improving efficiency, supported by Agilent’s commitments to sustainability for all their equipment.

Find out more about the Agilent 6475 Triple Quadrupole LC/MS and request a price today.

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