A Balancing Act: Integrating Weighing Systems into your Workflow
According to expert Celedonio Sainz De Urquijo, Regional Business Manager in APAC for Lab Weighing for Sartorius, based in Singapore, it is important to understand that a microbalance is “an instrument, not a tool.”
“Any industry where you are measuring, data integrity is of crucial importance,” he explains. “Violations of data integrity have led to severe regulatory actions, import alerts, consent decrees and fines. So, from a security perspective, weighing can be not only a scientific methodology, but also a legal branch,” elaborates Celedonio.
Sartorius has been designing high-precision weighing instruments for over 150 years, developing close relationships with all the Metrology institutes around the world. If there is any wonder about how the size of a kilogram, a metre, or a minute of time is determined, these organisations keep the patterns for universal measurement.
When it comes to product, “There are less than five manufacturers of high-precision weighing instruments in the world, and we are one of the largest,” says Celedonio. “In 1972, our balances were used for measuring the samples from the moon landing.”
Sartorius supplies the full Cubis® II laboratory balances portfolio to Thermo Fisher Scientific, from ultra-micro to high capacity that can be integrated into any laboratory weighing workflow, offering customised packages for applications in pharma, quality control, food testing, chemical and research labs.
Workflow can be standardised by configuring software to follow a certain procedure like a QC laboratory SOP, which can be programmed to align with certain tasks or user profiles. From this, a weighing profile emerges and can be saved as a protocol for future weighing tasks.
Regardless of the industry, the Sartorius Cubis II range allows users to weigh in on large-scale problems with a small-scale operation by extracting data seamlessly to any LIMS system.
The Cubis II series includes individual sample holders, motorised automatic levelling, an integrated ioniser for elimination of electrostatic charges, and gesture-controlled draft shields. The control centre displays readings, warnings, errors, and environmental conditions.
A universal weighing system
The modular Sartorius platform offers a broad selection of capacity and readability options, draft shield types, and weighing pans. The software applications are also modular, built into the Cubis II instrument to communicate the weighing procedures, so that correct data can be integrated into any LIMS system through common IT standard interfaces.
“If a customer has a very specific workflow, we can integrate that workflow and the instrument will guide the user step-by-step in order to complete the task,” says Celedonio. “The balance handles the front-end of the workflow with the user. Then the balance will send all the required data to the final LIMS system.”
“This is big advantage of our product because there is no required software between our balance and the LIMS system,” he enthuses.
Cubis II has a variety of different modular combinations that can be tailored to suit the user’s preferred individual setup, while ensuring ease of use and simple workflow.
“We have created QApps to fit any industry,” explains Celedonio. “For example, we have the Pharma Package with all the compliance and applications for the pharmaceutical industry, such as Tablet Checker and USP/EurP Minimum Sample Weight.”
“If we are selling to the Food and Beverage industry, we can include other packages or specific applications. We have more than 70 different software applications for different workflows that can be installed on the balance,” he says.
“The team at Sartorius are dedicated to supporting Thermo Fisher in all aspects of our weighing portfolio, which can include assisting Product Specialists in training Thermo Fisher Scientific customers,” he adds.
Thermo Fisher Scientific supplies premium Sartorius Cubis II balances that fall under six categories of weighing capacity and performance capabilities.
Designed for reading the tiniest samples from 0.1 microgram, up to 2 grams.
Unique design to read 1 microgram with maximum capacity between 3 to 10 grams.
These balances have a capacity to read between 120 and 220 grams, as low as 0.01 milligram, and are the best choice for small footprint areas.
These balances are a step up in range of capacity, with a maximum of between 120 and 520 grams, by 0.1 milligram.
These top-loader design balances are capable of reading from 1 milligram to 100 milligrams, up to a range of 320 grams to 14,200 grams.
Designed to weigh between 11,200 and 70,200 grams, with readability of 100 milligrams to 1 gram. These balances can measure a higher volume of materials.
A fully integrated platform
The Cubis II platform can be fully integrated with an organisation’s domain and management systems, with options for SSO (single sign on), company-specific password policies and full control of user management.
Once the web interface is integrated into the company’s network, it can be accessed by an authorised user with a standard web browser using an encrypted https connection. The web application can be used for reviewing the audit trail data or the alibi memory.
Every audit trail is a computer-generated, tamper-protected, time-stamped, electronic data file that traces events related to the creation, modification, or removal of records.
In addition to this, the Cubis II’s automatic backup and archiving function ensures data is preserved using an alibi memory that automatically stores up to 150,000 datasets. In case of disaster, configuration files are stored in a system specific way for recovery, while datasets are stored as PDF files.
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