Thursday, July 17, 2008

Small Victories.......

I just managed to get the Auto-sampler to work on the GC !!!! This is cause for MASSIVE celebration because it just makes everything GC related much easier and AUTOMATED :)
For the last 7 odd months it has been possessed by the devil. It just wouldn't work and when it did work all it would do is stick up it's electronic middle finger at me and say "Screw you pal!!!". Well it has now, like many things and people before it, been bent to MY will and is now a slave to MY bidding!! **Cue Maniacal Laughter**

Now, so you can all share in the euphoria rather than just go "What The...?" and go looking for LOLcats ...let me explain what an Auto-sampler is and what it does.
A Gas Chromatograph is a pretty common analytical tool in the Pharmaceutical or Chemical industries and to automate what the GC does and allow it to merrily potter away with minimal human intervention a GC is commonly coupled with an Auto-sampler.

Here is my GC (A Thermo TraceGC Ultra, below left)with it's rather phallic Triplus Auto-sampler attachment (below right).

The auto-sampler is, in non-scientific terms, a "roboty thing-a-ma-jig" that injects the samples you want to test in the GC.The Auto-sampler makes it possible to queue up literally hundreds of samples for analysis and lets the operator press "Start" and go away and make sure that more important things get done. See...there's got to be a hundred or so little sample spots on this one! I've actually only got 19 vials I am using, plus one with a blue lid just in the tray for aesthetics.

The Auto-sampler itself consists of a incredibly accurate electric motor system that is so precise it can accurately measure volumes as small as 0.1┬ÁL consistently. This is why the company I work for has them...because we make incredibly accurate syringes...for pretty much every company that makes auto-samplers and GC's. Here we see one of our syringes living the syringe equivalent of "The Good Life". Look at's actually smiling.

Now, as you can imagine, having something that makes a mundane task (such as my job on most days :)) need less human intervention is a great thing. If you have a dish washer think how crappy it would be if you personally had to wash up everything you used to cook with? This is exactly the relief an auto-sampler brings to the everyday chemist. I have loaded this baby up with 19 samples and configured it to measure them all and then...well...just sit there until someone comes looking for the results. Each sample takes 45 minutes to run so automation is good. Just because you've read this far and haven't wandered off to find something much more exciting to is the "pizza resistance" of this blog.... a video of the Auto-sampler

This blog entry, and all it's associated geeky-nerdiness and boredom inducing lameness, is made possible today because SOMEONE has been neglecting their scrabby!!!! Honestly..what am I meant to do to fill out the day when this happens ???


Rachel said...

Well, there's one minute 25 seconds of my life I can never get back again. Note to self: play more scrabble. :P

Michael Field said...

Yeah, you need to get your priorities straight missy! Don't make me come over there!!