Skalar’s sophisticated SP2000 robotic platform offers dedicated and flexible automation solutions for routine analytical testing. Automation is available for a variety of applications including: BOD; COD; Test kit applications (ST-COD, TP, TN etc.); pH; Conductivity (EC); Alkalinity; Carbonate/Bicarbonate; Turbidity; Colour; Ion Selective Electrodes (ISE) applications and Particle size distribution analysis in soil; Automatic weighing and filtration of the sample; Automatic sample pipetting etc. Combinations of analyses or custom-made applications are also possible. All applied methods are in compliance with international regulations ISO, EPA, Standard Methods, DIN etc.
The modular design and flexible user-defined automation allows the instruments to meet your exact requirements resulting in increased productivity and accuracy of results, while reducing the sample turn-around time, costs per sample and eliminating errors and operator/sample interaction.
The instruments can be built with one or two robotic arms giving a total of eight independent movable manipulators. With the second arm it could be possible to increase the sample throughput by using multiple probes, or to perform two applications at the same time such as BOD and COD or other combinations.
The SP2000 platforms are upgradeable and can be modified according to your changing needs, making your initial investment even more valuable.
Biochemical Oxygen Demand
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) analysis is one of the most common applications for water laboratories. The test is used as an indication of the organic quality of water. With the SP2000series Skalar introduces the most flexible Robotic BOD platform available today. Besides the modern design and latest technology innovations, it has a flexible set up from 18 up to 198 BOD bottles. The analyser is developed to fit your exact laboratory requirements with respect to sample throughput, level of automation, sample capacity etc. Analysis are carried out in accordance with all (inter) national regulations such as EPA 405.1/ISO 5815-1/ EN-1899-1/2, Standard Methods 5210 B, DIN 38409 etc. as well as customer specific methods.
Samples are pipetted, either manually or automatically into the BOD bottles and the identity and the dilutions are entered or downloaded from LIMS into the sample table. Bottles are placed in the racks and placed on the Robotic Analyzer. The Analyzer is started by the operator. The bottle is de-capped and filled with Nitrification inhibitor (ATU) and/or seed and dilution water. The sample is then stirred and the initial Oxygen value is measured. The bottle is capped and the Oxygen probe and stirrer are rinsed before going to the next sample. The same procedure is followed until a value is recorded for all samples. The sample racks are placed in a 20°C incubator for five days. After incubation the racks are placed on the Robotic analyzer. The operator starts the analyzer again. The bottle is de-capped. The sample is stirred and the final Oxygen value is measured. The BOD value is calculated. The bottle is capped. This procedure is repeated until all samples are measured. The data can be presented on screen, printed or converted to a file compatible with other software and LIMSs.
If there is a requirement for other analyses such as pH, Conductivity, Alkalinity and Turbidity then these methods can be combined with BOD on the same robot.
Chemical Oxygen Demand
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) analysis is commonly used to determine the amount of organic pollutants found in surface water and waste-water. The COD value is a useful indicator for measuring the water quality. Skalar’s SP2000 analyzers can be configured to automate COD according to the sealed tube (ST-COD) method ISO 15705 and EPA 410.4 or to the classical titration method ISO 6060.
1. ST-COD according to ISO 15705 / EPA 410.4
The ST-COD method is based on exactly the same reaction as described in the classical method, but instead of titration, a photometric detection is used. An advantage of the ST-COD method is the use of pre-prepared tubes, which minimise handling of toxic and hazardous reagents.
The analyzers can be used with commercially available or self-made COD reaction tubes and is compatible with several photometers. Besides single test kit analysis, the same platform can be used to combine COD analysis with other test kit applications such as Total Phosphate, Total Nitrogen etc. For example a combination of 48 COD, 24 Total Phosphate and 12 Total Nitrogen tubes in one batch.
2. COD according to ISO 6060
The SP2000 analyzer provides the automation of the classical COD method. After refluxing, the samples are cooled and are automatically titrated with iron-ammonium-sulphate to determine the excess of an oxidising agent.
After digestion, the operator can place the interchangeable racks with the digested samples directly onto the SP2000 Robotic analyzer. This saves the operator time and avoids sample handling with dangerous reagents. The identities and the dilutions are entered into the sample table. The analyzer is started by operator. The sample is stirred and automatically titrated against ferrous ammonium sulphate until the equivalence point is reached. The burette tip, probe and stirrer are rinsed and go to the next sample and the same procedure is followed until a value is recorded for all samples. The COD value for each sample is calculated. The data can be presented on screen, printed or converted to a file compatible with other software and LIMS.
pH /EC /Titrations /Turbidity /Colour /ISE
The Skalar Robotic Analyzers can handle the automation of pH, conductivity, titrations, turbidity and colour combined into one system for sequential or simultaneous analysis. Custom-made configurations are available to meet the requirements of any laboratory. These include the choice of various applications, the running sequence and the integration of a variety of sample racks and sample beakers.
When the system is configured for the analysis of drinking water, pH, EC, Alkalinity and Turbidity, it can be user-defined whether the applications are required to run simultaneously or sequentially. The system also allows the selection of the analysis performed on each individual sample.
This flexible design of the Skalar SP2000 Robotic Analyzers allows combinations of various applications like Alkalinity, Dissolved oxygen, Conductivity, Colour, pH, Hardness, Turbidity, Titrations, Ion Selective Electrode (ISE) in one economical system.
The pH of soil influences the availability of minerals for the plants. Each plant has a certain pH at which it is optimally grown and produced. The pH analysis is the most common parameter carried out on soil samples. Specialised laboratories analyse the soil and provide farmers with the required information. Based on the analysis results, the best method can be selected to improve the soil quality resulting in increased crop quantities and cost reduction.
The SP2000 pH-soil analyzer
The Robotic Analyzer can be configured for measurement of soil-pH in water extracts as well as in KCl, CaCl2 or other extracts. The analyzer can have a capacity of up to 792 containers (50 ml). For extremely large batches, the analyzer can be configured with two robotic arms each with multiple pH electrode configurations, up to a total of eight electrodes.
In addition to pH analysis, also parameters such as conductivity (EC), can be added to the soil-pH configuration.
Classification of soil is important for environmental control and construction purposes. Soil classification is based on several factors such as absorption, the ability to shrink or swell, water retention and permeability. Most of these factors independently correlate with the particle size of the soil. The clay fraction, the smallest fraction (0-2 micron), is indispensable in assessing soil quality. The clay fraction could be measured according to ISO 11277 and allows the soil to be categorised within stated classes.
Skalar has developed a concept to automate this process using a Skalar Robotic analyzer. Automation of these steps is of particular interest because they can now be carried out fully automatic and with precise timing and pick up heights.
This procedure can also be performed unattended allowing for overnight operation. In addition, it is also possible to determine other fractions.
RoboticAccess™ is designed as a flexible and multitasking program for controlling the Skalar robotic analyzers. While analysing the samples, already obtained results are processed and new analyses can be prepared and scheduled. An access code and password are required before operation to prevent unauthorised operation and data modification.
The application files, which contain the instructions for the analyzers to perform the specifications, are pre-set in the software by Skalar, according to (inter) national regulations or can be in accordance with user defined requirements.
Results can be printed in user defined print reports and exported to a txt, excel or LIMS. Finished runs can be archived as well as backed up and restored later.
Integrated Quality Control features assure accurate results and full compliance with required regulations. QC samples can be analysed and Quality Control charts together with other valuable statistical information can be created. Also CLP protocols can be included, which allow automatic actions of the Robot analyzer itself if QC and CLP limits are exceeded. This guarantees the production of highly accurate results and automatic quality control on the Robotic analyzer’s performance.
For more information, presentation, discussion and quotation on the Skalar SP2000 Robotics Systems, please contact the official distributors and service providers for all Skalar products in South Africa.
Unit 6, Oxford Office Park
3 Bauhinia Street, Highveld Technopark
Centurion, Gauteng, 0157
Tel: +27(0)12 940 5921
Fax: +27(0)87 231 7500