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Many industries today are facing vast challenges in the time spent on sample preparation tasks and the poor quality of test results. Many assume that having new technology or new equipment alone will help to reduce the time taken for the testing process. However, in most cases, the preparation of the sample is the most time-consuming step and can significantly affect the analytical quality.
In addition to these challenges, the increasing demand for better research data accuracy is also resulting in the need for stricter quality control in various markets. We will look at the trends and developments of four major industries including life science, automobile, environment and construction in Thailand and its impact on sample preparation and testing.
As samples in biological testing are highly sensitive and require specific sample pre-treatment steps such as stirring, shaking, aliquoting, diluting, protein precipitation and extraction, the process of sample preparation in life science testing is twice as complicated as in other industries.
Laboratories are moving toward automated sample preparation methods while instruments for automated nucleic acid purification and isolation, optional robotic functionality for general-purpose pipetting and library preparation for next-generation sequencing are gaining popularity. With the right equipment, time spent in sample preparation can be reduced by at least 50 percent or more.
These instruments enable system adaption, high-performance flexibility and can deal with the wide range of required vessels simultaneously, providing up to 25 percent more precision as compared to the manual procedure.
In addition to delivering higher-quality prepared samples, advantages of these systems over manual tasks include the reduction of human error, the significantly less hands-on time required, speed, increased throughput, reproducibility, reliability and increased laboratory efficiency.
Electric vehicles (EVs) differ from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in that the electricity they consume can be generated from a wide range of sources, including fossil fuels and renewable sources such as solar power, wind power or any combination of these.
According to the Thailand EV action plan from the Ministry of Energy Thailand, the next two years will be a period of intensive research and development, especially in battery efficiency, motor performance as well as vehicle and charging station standards. Examples of testing required for EV include engine tests, electrical components testing, cooling system simulations and thermo shock testing.
Many of these processes are new to the local automobile industry and would likely require help from a well-equipped testing lab to move further. It is essential for the industry to adopt new methodologies of sample preparation and testing solutions to overcome the challenges in the development of EV.
Environment incidents regarding microplastics is a growing concern around the world. Thailand is no different as researchers recently discovered microplastics in the stomach of mackerels in a southern province of Thailand. This is another wake-up call for society to take responsibility and for scientists to prepare for more precise testing related to microplastics.
While mostly found in water, microplastics come in all shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of different materials making their detection in water treatment systems particularly challenging. Furthermore, different sample treatment processes may affect different types of plastics in different ways.
To combat this and to identify the types of plastic mix in the samples, researchers need to carefully adopt sample prep and testing methods such as particle size analysis that cannot be altered by the diverse nature of microplastics. Only by doing this can we eventually reduce potential threats to the environment and ecosystems.
The current method for paving roads in Thailand is using asphalt. However, this material is very sensitive to temperature and pressure; hardening when the surrounding temperature is low and softening when the temperature increases.
As such, asphalt roads in Thailand tend to have a short life span of around three to five years, mainly caused using the same AC60/70 asphalt roads across the country even though there are huge temperature gaps between the country’s northern and the southern regions.
To address this, the government will soon use the performance graded (PG) system in grading which type of asphalt to use. According to the new system, AC60/70 is PG64-22 which means the maximum temperature it can endure is 64 degrees Celsius and the lowest is -22. This is not the ideal temperature range. The better option is PG72-10 which can handle up to 72 degrees Celsius and down to -10.
To achieve this, asphalt manufacturers and relevant research centers need to make sure they have the right equipment to prep the property of asphalts to meet this new standard. There are instruments with a built-in global standard which is perfect for asphalt binder and bitumen testing.
With sample preparation technologies evolving quickly, it is advisable to first consult with an expert before you adopt any methodologies to know which one is suitable for your business and product needs. DKSH, the market leader for scientific instrumentation in Thailand has a wide range of instruments and industry expertise for sample preparation and testing.
Drop me your thoughts below on the challenges you may be facing regarding sample preparation and testing equipment in your industries.
Jareuk Meekhanthong joined DKSH in 2001. With more than 18 years of hands-on experience in working and leading a variety of businesses such as scientific instruments, precision machinery, hospitality and heavy machinery, Jareuk sees the necessity of technology and knowledge to win in the highly competitive market like Asia. In his current position as Vice President of Business Line Scientific Instrument, Business Unit Technology, he continues to expand DKSH business focuses on innovative products and applications related to the growing need for advanced equipment in the scientific instrument industry.