‘Look inside, it’s different’ Thermo Fisher launches HPIC system

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Dionex Integrion HPIC system
The Dionex Integrion HPIC system

Related tags: Chromatography

Thermo Scientific has launched a High-Pressure Ion Chromatography (HPIC) system to bring additional features to a mid-tier platform.

The Dionex Integrion HPIC system delivers features previously available only on high-end systems, including high-pressure capability and optional electrochemical detection.

It has a flow-based plumbing layout and features including whole-system smart monitoring, offering fast run times in a robust and reliable system, said the firm.  

Application notes in food and beverage include sugars in soft drinks, functional drinks, sparkling wine and balsamic vinegar and carbohydrates in coffee.

The mid-tier Dionex Integrion will replace three platforms: the ICS-1100, ICS-1600 and ICS-2100. The Dionex 5000 remains the flagship product.

Upgradability option

Anton Mayer, European, Middle East and Africa area regional marketing director for CMD, said a major reason was to bring the upgradability aspect to the routine market.

“We saw people were locked into certain technologies and if they wanted to move up to a different technology they had to buy a new system,” ​he told FoodQualityNews.

“So the Integrion essentially takes all of these features, some people might use it, some people won’t, but it always leaves the door open for this upgradability to technologies which were only really realised in the high-end portion of ion chromatography.

“Mid-tier means essentially means price to performance that is how we balance it out. The Dionex Aquion IC system was the entry level system, it won’t do everything for everybody but it is the first platform especially for the water industry with simple separations.

“If you want to move into the RFIC (reagent free ion chromatography) element generation aspects, electrochemical detection, things like that, Integrion is the platform that covers that wider spectrum of use.”

Thermo Scientific said PEEK Viper Fittings minimize peak dispersion and band broadening—ultimately improving chromatographic resolution and the thermally regulated detector compartment provides extended life to consumables.

Matrix interference

Mayer said ‘challenging lab workflows’ in the food analysis industry include when looking at the matrix of particular foods being analysed those matrix can be interfering with the analytes of interest.

“Not only the separation but also the quantitation of that so sample preparation is very important in that aspect as part of an entire workflow. But it’s also the more information you are expecting to get out, not just two or three sugars but seven sugars, the better separation and selectivity you need," ​he said.

“Ion Chromatography is a very important part of sugar analyses in food products. Beverages, and were not just talking about your typical fruit juices, but also energy drinks, isotonic drinks and distillers are more and more interested in what are the residual sugars there from one lot to the next, are we reproducible and is it the same quality. 

“IC is a complementary technique in many areas, if you’re looking at pesticide analyses you’re talking about GC-MS, LC-MS but for anionic pesticides like glyphosate or the ionic pesticides. Ion chromatography is a very good complementary technique, so I would say in many applications it doesn’t replace but it does have its strength in certain areas as opposed to liquid chromatography or gas chromatography.”

Customer input

Work on the machine started by getting the ‘voice of the customer’ - visiting different labs from the different markets that ion chromatography fits into and talking to them to see what was important.

“Some of them were users of our systems and some were users of competitors systems and seeing what they liked and did not like and what would help them do their job better in a new system,” ​said Mayer.

“We took those ideas and then we had beta testers around the world and each one with a little bit different expectation and different viewpoint on what is important to them and then going back if refinement was necessary on the software or the system layout itself so there was customer interaction before we came out with the launch of Integrion.

“We were thinking of launching Integrion earlier but we took those extra months and put that to good use so everything was ready for a launch that contained the material and the system itself.”

The Dionex Integrion HPIC system features a detachable tablet that allows access to IC controls while away from the instrument, with the possibility to use a smartphone to communicate with the machine coming shortly.

It also has Thermo Scientific Dionex Chromeleon Chromatography Data System (CDS) software to streamline workflow from samples to results.

It’s a software database where we have more than 10,000 users and it is a unified chromatography or M/S data system,”​ said Mayer.

“It’s not one particular software for chromatography and one other particular software for M/S we’ve combined the Chromeleon base for MS and chromatography systems. Also, many laboratories have a mixture of instrumentation and we can control those other systems.”

Thermo Scientific said the Dionex Aquion IC system is also new to the portfolio, which brings the simplified operation needed for routine IC analysis. 

Based on the company’s ICS-1100 platform, the system features electrolytic suppression for consistent performance, an optional column heater for better reproducibility and an optional vacuum degasser for improved baseline stability.

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