Jun 25 2007

Author: Dr Martine Barnes on behalf of Amoeba Sciences Ltd

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Ergonomics seems to remain something suppliers have yet to consider integrating with respect to the use of analytical instrumentation in laboratories. Laboratory benches were traditionally built with bunsen burners, storage of glassware and use of solvents in mind, rather than bulky instrumentation. Whilst many laboratories have undergone refurbishments, such as the incorporation of fume hoods, this has primarily been responsive to the needs of heath and safety in the workplace, as well as improving outdated décor. Little attention has generally been given from suppliers in the laboratory market to the integration of analytical instrumentation with its surroundings ? especially from an ergonomic perspective. Instrument manufacturers have focused over the last five to ten years on the development of walk-up ?bench-top instruments.? The purpose to provide instrument access to all analysts. Previously, analytical instrumentation such as mass spectrometers, required highlytrained analysts and considerable floor space for the large console. Facilitated by the ease of use, cheaper production costs and compatibility, analytical instruments are nowadays designed for, and marketed as ?bench-top?. Strange, because using an analytical instrument on a bench-top is not really that convenient for analysts.

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