• Laboratory vs. process analysis: Key factors for informed decision-making

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Laboratory vs. process analysis: Key factors for informed decision-making

Feb 21 2024

In the industrial landscape, decision-making for managers is a constant challenge, especially concerning the placement of analytical instruments for process monitoring and quality control: should they be online/inline, (integrated directly into the process) or offline (stationed in a laboratory facility)?

Ultimately, every process is different and requires customised analytical solutions – which is what Metrohm offers.

Read on to learn more about the most important factors that should be considered before deciding to implement an online/inline instrument, or whether to use an offline laboratory instrument.

Data Traceability and Communication:

Efficient management of data across a production plant is paramount. Metrohm's IMPACT software streamlines data collection and analysis, enabling real-time insights and prompt corrective actions to maintain process integrity.

Analysis Frequency:

The frequency of measurements influences the choice between online/inline and offline instruments. For processes requiring continuous monitoring and rapid feedback, online/inline instruments excel, offering real-time results that enhance process control and minimise downtime. Metrohm's process analysers are adaptable, optimising efficiency by adjusting analysis frequency based on changing process conditions.

On the other hand, if certain parameters need to be measured once per production shift or day or even less frequently, using a laboratory instrument makes more sense for quality control purposes Offline laboratory analysis, while not without its challenges, still offers valuable insights into the process. It is true that manual sampling might introduce some errors, but these can often be mitigated by following careful protocols and using well-trained analysts.


In hazardous environments, minimising human intervention and exposure to dangerous chemicals is critical. Online/inline analysers reduce manual handling and associated risks, promoting a safer working environment. Metrohm offers explosion-proof process analysers designed to operate safely in hazardous areas, ensuring process continuity while prioritising personnel safety.


The location of analysis can significantly impact the choice of instrument. For on-the-spot analysis of raw materials or quality control at various process points, handheld devices like Metrohm's Instant Raman Analyser offer unparalleled efficiency. Conversely, for comprehensive process monitoring across multiple locations, online/inline analysers provide a cost-effective solution, optimising resource utilisation and streamlining workflow.


Space constraints in industrial plants can pose challenges for instrument installation. Metrohm addresses this issue with flexible solutions such as remote cabinets and inline sensors, allowing for efficient sampling and analysis even in confined spaces. The integration of Metrohm's analysers into existing infrastructure is seamless, ensuring minimal disruption to operations during implementation.

In conclusion, the choice between online/inline and offline analytical instruments depends on various factors, including data traceability, analysis frequency, safety considerations, location requirements, and implementation constraints. Metrohm offers a comprehensive range of solutions designed to meet the diverse needs of industrial processes, ensuring optimal performance, efficiency, and safety, whether in the laboratory or directly integrated into the process environment. With Metrohm's expertise and innovative technologies, plant managers can make informed decisions to enhance process control, quality, and productivity.

Interest in implementing inline/online monitoring? Contact Metrohm

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