Precision Liquid Handling

5 Industries that Benefit from Precision Liquid Handling

By: Sunder Singh
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Precision liquid handling is a division of work automation that deals with the precise handling and dispensing of liquids, fluids, and solvents. It is usually present in medical, scientific, and research laboratories that require safe and hygienic dispensation of liquids, either for analysis or to prepare for further processing.

Besides this, precision liquid handling also sees heavy use in manufacturing, especially those that involve liquid-based ingredients. Precision liquid handling in this particular context would not only provide the high-speed precision they need to make their production chain more efficient, but also help avoid quality control issues due to human error.

A typical precision liquid handling setup usually involves a specific combination of liquid handling equipment with precision linear stages, or some other similar type of automated motion solution. The former would handle the liquid dispensing, while the latter would contribute to the repeated and precise movements needed to either transport the liquid to a different area of the workspace or to place it in another container. More complicated setups would involve the liquid handlers also having specific nozzles or pipettes to better apply, jet, or spray the liquid for processing or manufacturing purposes.

Different industries would of course need varying liquid handling setups, but the bottom line is that a lot of industries benefit from applying precision liquid handling in many of their processes. Here are some notable examples.

The Pharmaceutical Industry

When it comes to accurate handling and dispensation of liquids, no other industry needs it more than the pharmaceutical industry. It is not only the efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs and treatments that rely on exact ingredient measurements, but also their ability to be safely consumed without inducing side effects or complications. Precision liquid handling is also needed to ensure that exact dosages of the pharmaceutical product are placed in their proper packaging in an efficient and hygienic fashion, such as with gel-filled capsules. Besides its contribution to manufacturing medicines, precision liquid handling is a key contributor in medical laboratories, allowing researchers to safely handle hazardous or delicate liquid samples for the purposes of research and analysis.

The Cosmetics industry

The cosmetics industry relies on precision liquid handling in order to ensure the high quality of their products, speeding up production while also guaranteeing that the correct amount of ingredients is dispensed, such as with the pipetting of emulsions. It also helps in the correct and hygienic dispensation of the product for packaging/bottling purposes, especially when it comes to perfumes and other liquid-type cosmetics.

Precision liquid handling allows the cosmetics industry to produce aesthetically pleasing products that can easily be replicated, and a wide range of options to choose from. Think of the various shades of foundation, blush, eyeshadows, and lipsticks, or the different scents of perfumes to understand the importance of such a technology to cosmetics.

The Processed Food Industry

Many processed food items manufactured and sold today would not be able to enjoy their brisk sales and commercial success if not for precision liquid handling technology. Foodstuffs such as confectioneries, candies, cakes, and desserts require precise liquid handling and dispensing for efficient and consumption-safe mass production.  Liquid-type processed consumables such as drinks and beverages also need precise dispensing for accurate bottling.

 The Forensics Industry

One of the most important tasks of the forensics industry is the processing and analysis of solid and liquid samples in order to provide insight and answers in their investigative efforts. As such, precision liquid handling is an important technology for this field, especially when it comes to liquid-based specimens and evidence. Precision liquid handling not only helps forensic scientists handle evidence and samples safely and hygienically, but also prevent accidental loss and contamination due to human error.

The Chemical Industry

The chemical industry benefits from precise liquid handling technology by allowing its experts and employees to handle, dispense, and package potentially-hazardous liquids safely. Examples of such liquids include corrosive acids, solvents, and even radioactive materials. Without precision liquid handling, errors and lethal accidents would be more likely to occur.

Due to the often fragile and unpredictable nature of some liquids, handling them with the precision and efficiency needed in laboratorial and manufacturing setups can be challenging. However, with the right precision liquid handling technology in place, this industrial concern can easily be mitigated and rendered moot for a faster and more efficient work flow. Laboratory and manufacturing plant owners should consider adopting such technology for their facilities if they haven’t already done so; the expense and learning curve for the equipment will easily be surpassed by its myriad benefits.

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