New automated particle counting system to analyse large sample numbers

The newly developed Pamas AS3 autosampling system analyses several hundred samples per day with unattended operation

Many laboratories are using automatic particle counters to determine the solid contamination within their fluid samples. In most cases, standard sample systems are sufficient for everyday laboratory measurements. Difficulties arise when a high number of sample measurements are required daily. 

Standard systems cannot cope with the sheer volume of samples, so laboratories analysing these very large numbers are forced to use multiple systems in parallel. This creates a higher cost for the companies and the numerous units use up a larger amount of space.

For laboratories with high sample quantities, Pamas has designed the new AS3 autosampling system. The system incorporates an automatic measuring process, so that several hundred samples can be analysed per day.

The new Pamas AS3 autosampler offers improved key features in relation to reliability, sample preparation, sample handling, flushing and sample dilution.

The new autosampling system is designed to provide sample analysis of several hundred samples per day, with unattended operation.

The new AS3 system includes a sample preparation probe that breaks all agglomerates in the fluid before analysis. The ultrasonic probe is located on the robot and prepares the subsequent sample whilst the current sample is being analysed. The sample preparation device is cleaned between samples to minimise cross contamination.

The new system has a standard XYZ stage, operating with samples on trays as this is the most widely used method in high volume laboratories. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) or barcode systems can be used to automatically identify the trays.

The system can be linked to an existing LIMS (Laboratory Information Management system). If the existing LIMS system can forward sample IDs based on tray number and X/Y position within the tray, no individual sample identification procedure is necessary.  If the samples carry RFID or barcode labels, samples can be identified with an attached reader. Sample identification enables correct handling of individual samples. Integration with a  LIMS helps to request information about samples. It is possible to transfer special conditional options for samples using the LIMS. For example the LIMS can be set up for “necessary dilution factor 9:1” or “average value of the last five results”.  The new AS3 handles this information accordingly.

The system can be built to match existing trays. Large systems with several hundred samples to analyse, allow continuous unattended operation (three shifts within 24 hours).

The system is servo motor driven. This increases the speed of operation and generates less noise than normal stepper motors.

The system table has an integrated drain trap that collects any spillage. A drainage system can be connected to feed the spillage to a central collection system. The auto-sampling system is also equipped with an intelligent flushing device which optimises the sequence of samples.