New particle counting system analyses high quantities of samples

PAMAS AS3 offers reliable and trouble-free operation

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

For laboratories with high sample quantities, PAMAS, a German manufacturer of particle counters, has designed the PAMAS AS3 autosampling system, which incorporates an automatic measuring process, so that several hundred samples can be analysed each day.

The new PAMAS AS3 autosampler offers improved reliability, sample preparation, sample handling, flushing and sample dilution.

Users of particle counters cite system reliability and trouble-free operation as the two most important features for automatic particle counters.

The PAMAS AS3 system is built using high quality components that are readily available and all service personnel maintaining these systems will require training at a PAMAS facility to ensure a consistent service of the system can be maintained at any location, worldwide.

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

The AS3 has a XYZ stage, operating with samples on trays. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) or barcode systems can be used optionally to identify the trays.

PAMAS particle counters analyse fluid contamination via optical sensor technology. The advanced and highly sophisticated particle sensors (see cross-section of sensor measuring cell in this picture) are developed and manufactured at the company plant in Germany

The system can be linked to a LIM (Laboratory Information Management) system. If this 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. It is possible to transfer special condition options for samples using the LIM system.

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 also servo motor driven, which increases the speed of operation and reduces the noise level below that of stepper motors.

A system table has an integrated drain trap that collects any spillage and a drainage system can be connected to feed the spillage to a central collection system.

The PAMAS AS3 is also equipped with an intelligent flushing device which optimises the sequence of samples.

Some samples may either be too dirty or too viscous or may contain undissolved additives or undissolved water. In this case, sample dilution with low viscous solvents helps to get reliable measuring results. The new system has an automatic dilution system that adds a programmable amount of solvent online to the raw sample. The system’s inner structural design ensures that the solvent and sample fluid are thoroughly mixed.