WESTBROOK, Maine—Photometric and liquid delivery specialist Artel announced a suite of services intended to provide training, certification, optimization and compliance guidance to help companies ensure the integrity of their liquid delivery systems. Dubbed Liquid Delivery Quality Assurance (LDQA), the service intends to leverage Artel's proven expertise in liquid delivery encompassing everything from hand pipetting to automated liquid delivery systems.
"We have been providing many of the services of LDQA on an individual basis to our customers for about a year," says George Rodrigues, senior scientific manager at Artel. "By formalizing the LDQA service we are able to provide a high level of consistent service and support in five areas most needed by our customers."
Those areas include providing automated liquid delivery equipment qualification and optimization; manual pipetting training and certification; SOP review and development support; regulatory compliance guidance; and customized process support.
"We have discovered that, even within companies, there is a lot of variation in practice in terms of how people were using automated liquid handling systems or in manual pipetting," Rodrigues notes. "By using our service, we can help companies not only define acceptable tolerances in performance, but also develop standard operational procedures to control the largest source of errors, which is people."
Developing these kinds of procedures is especially important in terms of regulatory and manufacturing compliance, where companies need to show that specific practices are not only performed consistently but are accurately documented.
"One of the things we have seen is that there are very few specifications about liquid handling," Rodrigues notes. "As a result customers were forced to either create their own internal specifications or look outside at what others were doing. But at Artel, we stay on top of these issues with regulatory bodies and even participate in how they are written and developed. That is an important expertise we can bring to our 2,000 customers."
Furthermore, Artel officials say that using the company's liquid handling services can save time, materials and money, citing research which shows that as many as 30 percent of liquid delivery devices are operating out of specification at any given time. This can result in invalid research data, wasted reagents, non-compliance and costly equipment downtime.
"Artel is a very interesting company and one with a unique skill set," says Kirby Pilcher, Artel president. "We have probably the largest concentration of people in one company who are experts in, and are truly passionate about, liquid handling and that puts us well ahead of the curve."