Insights from industry

Spectrometer for QA/QC and Academic Teaching Laboratories

In this interview, Matt Gundlach, Product Manager of the Routine Spectroscopy division of Thermo Fisher Scientific, discusses the capabilities of the Thermo Scientific™Nicolet™ Summit FTIR Spectrometer, a spectrometer for QA/QC and academic teaching laboratories.

Can you please tell us about yourself, your company, and the products you produce.

My name is Matt Gunloch, and I am an FTIR product manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific. We have recently launched the new Thermo Scientific™Nicolet™ Summit FTIR Spectrometer. It is a fast analytical tool used to help understand more about the organic content in a variety of different samples.

The Nicolet Summit Spectrometer has been built with innovations to help users in QA/QC and academic teaching laboratories work faster by working smarter.

What is innovative about the Nicolet Summit Spectrometer?

The innovation on the product starts with something that you cannot see. Built directly into the instrument is a fully integrated Windows® 10 computer, which powers both the hardware and the software.

The computer makes the instrument a truly smart, standalone device and provides advanced connectivity to modern labs through Wi-Fi and ethernet connections. As the computer is built into the instrument, there is no need for a separate laptop or workstation to control the device. Users can either interact with the onboard touchscreen to control the instrument or they can simply hook up a monitor and keyboard directly into the back and control it from there as well.

How is the Nicolet Summit Spectrometer powered?

Nicolet Summit Spectrometer is powered by Thermo Scientific™ OMNIC™ Paradigm Software. It is the next generation of our popular OMNIC Software platform. OMNIC Paradigm Software is a powerful tool for busy labs that need to manage multiple users and multiple sample types. The software comes in two different forms.

OMNIC Paradigm Desktop Software contains a dashboard for viewing recent work, a large spectral display for editing and processing spectra, a convenient library creator where users can create their own libraries with one click, and a new visual workflow builder where users can drag and drop files onto a large visual canvas. Users can easily create their own workflows or standard operating procedures (SOP)x.

The touchscreen version of the OMNIC Paradigm Software contains a simplified user interface, This allows QA/QC technicians, scientists, and students to select a preprogramed workflow from the colorful icons on the Home screen. This simplicity reduces the number of steps and helps with collecting consistent results between multiple users.

What sets the Nicolet Summit Spectrometer apart from anything else on the market?

What makes this spectrometer unique is the amount of hardware/software integration that is present in the system. On the front of the instrument is a multicolor LED light bar, which not only displays the status of the instrument and the health of the spectrometer but also provides a quick visual indication of pass or fail results.

Users can set up the software to compare their sample against a library or a reference sample and get a matching value or a similarity of the two on a scale of 0 to 100. That match value is displayed across the front of the instrument from left to right, so higher numbers light up the light bar more and lower numbers less. Users can even set their own pass-fail thresholds so that passing results appear in green and failing results will appear in yellow.

Are there any additional benefits of the Nicolet Summit Spectrometer?

With the Nicolet Summit Spectrometer comes a new, innovative feature called Smart Background. In FTIR analysis, you typically perform the background measurement before you collect the sample. With Smart Background, we virtually eliminate the need to manually collect backgrounds.

The instrument constantly refreshes and optimizes the background measurement, so that users can now simply walk up to the instrument, place their sample on the ATR crystal and begin collecting their data immediately. By eliminating the need to collect their own backgrounds, we shorten the analysis time by up to 50%, which is key for QA/QC and other busy laboratories.

Under the cover of the instrument is the Thermo Scientific™ LightDrive™ Optical Engine, which consists of new components that improve the reliability and the performance of the spectrometer. The infrared source on the spectrometer, for example, is what we call a single-point source, which means that it stays stable over the lifetime of its component.

That lifetime is stretched out to 10 years and because the single-point source doesn't move, the data is more accurate and reproducible from sample to sample and from instrument to instrument.

Cloud-based computing is becoming increasingly important for our customers, and with the Nicolet Summit Spectrometer, users can take the data they have collected on the instrument and upload that to Thermo Fisher Connect, which is a cloud-based platform.

From there, they can use our Thermo Scientific™ OMNIC™ Anywhere Software application to analyze that data away from the lab. Busy students in crowded academic labs can now upload their data online directly from the instrument, and then they can analyze that data in their dorm rooms or in a coffee shop on any device, including Apple computers and laptops.

Where can our readers learn more?

To learn more, visit our website at www.thermofisher.com/summit.

About Matt Gundlach

Matt Gundlach leads a team responsible for developing new spectroscopy products for a variety of end markets, including pharmaceuticals, polymers, and academic teaching institutions. Matt’s group focuses on small form factor, laboratory FTIR spectrometers that are used to conduct routine analysis in QA/QC environments. Matt joined the company in 2015, where he began his career as a Technical Product Specialist for FTIR spectrometers and accessories.  He holds a Chemistry degree from Carthage College where he also studied physics and entrepreneurial business.

Matt Gundlach

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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