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Customizable Modularity in Lab Balances Meets your Specific Weighing Needs

Author / Editor: Lori M. King* / Dipl.-Chem. Marc Platthaus

Accurate precision weighing takes patience and rigor, but even then, several variables can affect the ability to weigh accurately. Therefore, a balance must be adaptable to a lab’s specific needs and situation. A fully customizable laboratory balance is ideal to align with each lab’s unique demands and requirements to help maximize operational efficiency and experimental outcomes.

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Fig.1: The new Cubis II offers thousands of different hardware configurations.
Fig.1: The new Cubis II offers thousands of different hardware configurations.
(Source: Sartorius AG)

Balances are used in nearly every workflow in the laboratory setting, from preparation of reagents and standards to calibrating mechanical pipettes. Highly precise weighing may not be necessary for all workflows, but high performance balances are nevertheless an absolute necessity for those working in pharmaceutical, R&D, quality control, and analytical laboratories.

Accurate precision weighing takes patience and rigor, but even then, several variables can affect the ability to weigh accurately, such as the location of the balance in the lab and the environment around the balance. Therefore, a balance must be able to deliver accurate weighing under the lab’s specific conditions.

A Lab Balance must be adaptable

Regardless of what type of lab environment in which a balance is used, whether pharmaceutical lab or academic, lab weighing requirements can be highly individual. Labs may be limited in where their balance can be placed due to space restrictions and may have their own protocols for weighing and preparing samples. Lab balances, must, therefore, provide the most reliable and repeatable weighing results within that lab’s unique situation.

The ability to pick and choose the hardware, accessories, software, and applications for each balance used in a lab allows researchers to meet their specific needs and situation, thus minimizing their research costs and maximizing return on investment. Most balances, however, come with a fixed set of specifications. The Cubis II balance, with its practical array of modular components, including hardware, software, applications, and accessories offers labs the potential to fully individualize their balance, thus enabling faster, more efficient workflows and enhanced protocol applications.

The customizable modularity of the Cubis II balance, starts with hardware; customers may choose from among 45 weighing modules, two user interfaces, and seven draft shields. Depending on a lab’s specific needs, for instance, weighing modules may be ultra-micro- or micro, semi-micro or analytical, precision, or high-capacity.

Balance control with standard operation procedures

Both user interfaces allow touch-control and include essential weighing applications. The advanced user interface has the ability to run tasks with integrated QApps, which are clustered by theme in packages according to topic. For example, the Pharma package contains QApps special made to support all requirements for regulatory compliance, which has high importance for Pharma customers.

The QApps are clearly structured and compact, so they are easy to test and validate. Moreover, if customers have special needs regarding their SOPs or workflows, Sartorius developers are able to modify the software exactly to the customer’s needs.

In addition, to help enhance productivity, efficiency, and data integrity in the lab, the advanced user interface allows communication over standard internet protocols. This standardized communication technology eliminates manual data transcription errors and enhances data quality and integrity because it communicates directly with external software systems, such as Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) or Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELN).

Balance Placement and Environmental Effects

Ideally, balances are placed in areas that are quiet, temperature-controlled, and draft-free, and the more accurate the balance, the more care is needed when placing the balance in the lab. However, balances are often placed in unideal locations; in many if not most labs, space is limited, and instruments must be placed where room can be found. High-resolution balances must, therefore, be able to operate accurately in these unideal locations, and must be able to report to the user when and how the placement conditions are affecting weighing results.

Almost all physical variables, such as vibration, drafts and air pressure, temperature, humidity, and static electricity, can affect weighing accuracy with high-resolution balances. Because of its intelligent design and the ability to monitor environmental influences and the status of the balance via a dashboard, the Cubis II series of lab balances ensures the highest level of weighing accuracy and precision no matter where the balance is placed in the lab.