In this interview, Jim Williams, Account Manager at Specac, talks to AZoM about the new simpler, easier and faster way to analyze liquids with the Pearl by Specac.
BE: Could you please introduce Specac and the industries that you work within?
JW: Specac, based in Orpington, a short distance from London, are a leading manufacturer & supplier of scientific accessories designed primarily for the FTIR and XRF markets. We manufacture an extensive range of products from polarizers and pellet press products through to ATR, specular reflectance, diffuse reflectance, liquid transmission and gas transmission products.
Our products are used in various industries including forensic, life science, pharmaceutical, food, research & quality control application industries as well as academia & healthcare.
BE: You recently launched a new product, the Pearl Liquid Analyzer. Why did you decide to develop this product?
JW: In our view, we have launched Pearl with the intention of entering the product into a brand new place in the market. It incorporates the high quality British engineering that Specac has become renowned for, and has been designed to provide a more accurate pathlength than can be achieved using a traditional liquid transmission accessory.
For the modern day scientist, speed and ease of use is vitally important. We have created a product that is 4-5 times quicker than other products on the market, and these benefits can bring nothing but positives to our customers. The Pearl is the first accessory of its type on the market, and it is set to revolutionise the way in which routine liquid transmission analysis is carried out.
BE: What are the key applications of the Pearl?
JW: We see the Pearl as the ideal product for in-service oil analysis, quantitative and qualitative analysis, adulterated edible oil analysis and analysis of any highly viscous samples such as grease. The Pearl can handle volatile samples with ease, and we believe that we have created a product that is ideal for liquid transmission analysis of any samples.
The whole process of running a liquid transmission measurement has never been easier than with the Pearl.
BE: What are the main benefits of the Pearl compared to traditional liquid cells?
JW: The Pearl has been designed with quality, speed, ease of use and flexibility at the forefront of our thinking. The Pearl is 4-5 times quicker than a traditional liquid cell and is also more accurate and more repeatable.
Using a Pearl, users will achieve a greater repeatability of pathlength than ever before, to within significantly less than 1 μm. The Wedged Cell option completely eliminates troublesome fringing and different pathlengths and window materials can be changed in a matter of seconds.
The whole process of running a liquid transmission measurement has never been easier than with the Pearl and we believe the time saved by users can be hugely beneficial.
BE: You are advertising the Pearl as being ‘simpler, easier, faster’ – what makes it so much simpler to use?
JW: Use of a traditional liquid cell involves completely dis-assembling front and back plates, removing the two windows and spacers and cleaning before re-assembling, and then running another sample. This process can take up to 5-10 minutes for users, and at times when high volumes of sample need to be analysed, can be a real painstaking process.
The Pearl’s innovative design means that a sample is simply applied to the lower window or injected through a syringe port. When closed, the innovative hinged lid creates an enclosed environment of fixed pathlength, trapping mobile or volatile samples inside the cell.
The sliding drawer assembly is then closed to position the liquid sample into the beam path. The innovative way in which the Pearl has been designed has resulted in a process that is fast and impressively efficient.
Pearl Launch Party London / SpecacVids / Youtube
BE: What other equipment do you need to use the Pearl?
JW: Once the Pearl is placed into your FTIR through use of our Benchmark Baseplate system, and your liquid sample is prepared, all that is needed is a pipette or syringe to apply your sample, and a tissue with cleaning solvent to wipe away your sample post analysis. It really is that simple.
BE: Are there any recent case studies that you are particularly proud of?
JW: We have seen the Pearl used for analysis of adulterated edible oils, and in the pharmaceutical industry for analysis of pharmaceuticals and any contaminants that may be present.
We believe going forward that the Pearl can play a huge role in the motor industry for the analysis of oils and any contaminants that may be found in engine oil as well as food, oil & gas, petrochemical, quality control and assurance, and also in healthcare and academia.
The beauty and flexibility of Pearl means that it can handle a broad range of liquid samples that can be transferrable to a wide range of industries.
BE: Where do Specac currently operate, and do you have plans to expand?
JW: We are a global company with offices in the UK and USA, and we export products to well over 70 countries worldwide with a presence in every continent. We have an ambitious management team, and our success has been achieved via a three part strategy focusing on key customer partnering relationships all over the world, with a focus on new product development and emerging economies.
We have ambitious expansion plans that involve an increased sales and support presence in both the UK and USA, and further penetration into emerging economies in new markets and countries as we aim to cement our position as market leaders — the go-to company for IR accessories.
About Jim Williams
Jim works for Specac Ltd. who are a leading Manufacturer & Supplier of Scientific accessories focusing on Forensic, Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Research and Quality Control application industries as well as Academia & Healthcare.
In recent years, Specac have focused much of their effort on meeting the needs of customers in the emerging markets of the world, principally China, India and Singapore as well as developing and executing sales strategies to continue growth in the UK, Europe and USA.
Jim's time is spent working strategically to increase the awareness and use of the company's products, and identifying opportunities for business growth.
Jim works closely with universities, end users, and distributors in the UK and further afield, with the intention of helping the scientists of today and tomorrow with their work.