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Instruments and Tools

Instruments and Tools for Chromatographers

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In the section, Instruments and Tools you will find a wide range of specialised liquid chromatography systems, instruments, components, and fittings.

Since 1995 we have been working as a private company with many international partners. We research, develop, produce, and sell a range of systems, instruments, and consumables. Our products are tools for the analysis, separation, and isolation of chemical compounds.

Our instruments are used for 1. qualitative and quantitative measurement of molecules and compounds, 2. separation of mixtures or 3. isolation of desired/undesired components.

Our instruments are grouped according to the following advantages. 1. cost-effective, 2. unique, 3. highest quality 4.  as all three advantages together. 

We sell a. Ready-to-use systems, b. Components and c. Spare parts.

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Low Cost HPLC & UPLC Systems

Supercritical CO2 Fluid Chromatography and Extraction Systems

Autosamplers

LC Pumps

LC Detectors

LC Software and controls

Fraction Collectors

LC Columns and Frits

LC Cartridges and Frits

Flanshes & Adapters

LC Valves

Fittings

Tubes & Capillaries

 

How about your future?

Everything in life and nutrition science is complex and permanently changing. In a multi-layered world, everyone must constantly search and evaluate processes that help to reach their goals. In addition, most people want to have a long and successful career and long life. The basis for this is a stable income and a sensible lifestyle.

In the current global pandemic, only about half of the population wants to be vaccinated. This way the chain of infection cannot be broken. We will face further mutations of the virus and most probably we will have a permanent pandemic. Consequently, all those who get vaccinated must continue protection with an annually adjusted buster shot. Those who do not protect themselves become variables. Some get sick and are hospitalized. They have mild to severe symptoms and some die. This will have economic consequences.  More and more people cannot earn an income and create wealth.

The more our economic system goes off the rails, the less money can be distributed. People will try to defend their status quote. Those with access to money will get more.

One thing is clear, no one can predict how long this crisis will last. Moreover, we are also suffering a global climate change, with dramatic effects on individuals.

Believe me, I want to convey a pessimistic future. On the contrary, there are always people who understand that it can hit anyone, and chaos can result.  The best strategy is to reckon a worst-case scenario. As soon we face instabilities it is better to create a new path to the future.

Since the beginning of 2020, we have adapted our company accordingly and developed highly interesting products.

Our customers and competitors

We are 8 billion unique individuals who like to enjoy a long, successful, and comfortable life/career including financial security.  We can also divide people into three groups as follows: 1. Those that manage money and get paid for it 2. Those that construct entities with words/signs for sale. 3. Those that use devices, instruments, and equipment to produce a wide range of goods for people and charge money for it.

Basically, chromatographers belong to group 3. They know how to operate instruments and systems professionally. In pandemics, people from groups 1 and 2 suffer more than those from group 3. They suffer from income difficulties, and they have expenses to group 3.  

Our world is competitive. The rule is: for success, you must offer some things that are valuable and important to the target customers. This rule applies in boom and crisis times!

We work in chemistry, food, and life sciences. People will always be hungry and sick. It takes years of discovery and scientific research to develop new medicines for society.

The discovery of new pharmaceutical molecules is fundamentally based on serendipity. There will always be people who finance such research, provided they can make big profits from it. However, there will always be people who try to automate the research process and make it predictable. This requires instruments, devices and specialised tools and operations.

As a result, there are different business models to develop, use and maintain such devices/systems and tools.

Which business model is right for you?

Until about 1990, the big pharmaceutical companies bought components to develop their own systems. Since the 1960s, there have always been some 50 to 80 small companies worldwide developing special components.

With digitalization, new capital-intensive technologies emerged (MS, MNR, High Through Put Diagnostics). Through company acquisitions and mergers, 5 to 8 large public companies were formed so as create standardized and branded products. Well, known are Agilent, Waters, Sciex and Shimadzu.

At the same time, large public trading companies emerged to distribute thousands of components from the specialised component manufacturers (VWR, Fischer Scientific, Merck Group).

Through process R & D, new privately owned, highly specialised companies are constantly emerging. They are developing components and enabling new processes. There are always about 50 to 80 companies in the global market. They are the heart of progress in the life sciences.

In the same Group, there are small private companies that work closely with component manufacturers to develop special and customized applications. The founders of the components and application companies are technically trained and specialised in assembling unique processes.

We are all experience expanding life expectancy and globalization with growing competition and cost pressure. Two strategies are being pursued:

  1. Cost reduction through optimization and control of resources (let’s call it the US capitalist model)
  2. Differentiation through environmentally friendly and intelligent processes and products is achieved by cooperation and bilateral trade with clients and specialists. (Let’s call it the Chinese Capitalist model)

The controllers and promoters of group A like to invest in artificial intelligence to eliminate labour costs. Control means “taking possession to be able to do with the resource what they want to do”. However, not everyone wants to be controlled by others.

Group B is aware that we are 8 billion individuals with a high level of conflicts of interest. Instead of controlling and fighting each other, this group tries to exchange values for money. That is, they compete with knowledge, specialities, and better goods.  With this model, all participants have a chance to improve their wealth. But all must work hard for it. They are mainly small and agile enterprises.

Which system is right for you?

You need to consider which partners will help you to achieve your goals.

We at LCC including many of our partners are assemblers of unique processes and products.

Our customers work in small and very large companies, in production as well as in private and public research and development Labs. They are all under pressure to achieve something special. Sometimes there are situations where individuals want to stand out from the rest.  This can only be achieved by focusing on the specific customer’s wishes.

To increase the likelihood of success, our clients want to be actively supported, inspired, and motivated. This includes access to new technologies, innovation, methodology, optimization, job security and networking. 

Since our beginnings, we have helped our clients to succeed with customized systems, instruments, and tools.

As a private company, we invest our profits in our own business to fund adaptations and growth. Believe me, when someone invests their own capital, they know very well that people create intelligent products with machines. However, each person has a different relationship to the complexity of machines. Artificial intelligence is useful for routine processes but not for putting people under pressure.

In specialised private companies, there is hardly any staff turnover. In difficult times, owners cannot walk away or change jobs. They have no other option but to do serious work with and for the clients.

80-90% of our clients are happy workers and scientists who have solid professional careers. They are convinced that the pandemic will not change their careers and that their companies will continue to expand. To achieve that, they regularly procure new tools that will help them produce new products and services.

They must convince their owners to make the necessary investments. For a few years now, many large companies have been owned by financial specialists (hedge funds). They will only invest if you manage to convince them in the financing language.

10 – 20% of our clients are and want to remain independent. They too want to make more money and grow with new investments. But they make much broader considerations.

Don’t worry, we will help all our clients!

Today’s employers and investors want to know how much money they can earn from their investment and how much is required. Unfortunately, many scientists are not trained in risk mitigation. We will help to avoid surprises.

To reduce your risk, you must convince your employer that you are the most productive person in his company. Show your top decision-makers directly what they will get for the proposed money invested. (Return on Investment, ROI)

Productivity by Design, (PbD TM)

Between 1980 and 1990, I turned around several technology companies. The owners first wanted to know how much money was needed to rehabilitate and expand their businesses. They also wanted an estimate of the probability of success.  I had to work out a path to success and calculate the costs involved.

Our fundamental interest is to provide our clients with an exceptional productivity and performance experience. Every client has different requirements. Based on many years of experience, we developed a strategy that we call “Productivity by Design”(PbD TM).

As a partner, we use PbD TM to help you find the best system to achieve your goal. Together we will find a way to enable you to be productive and to identify new opportunities and problem solutions.

This system requires that we know your overt and covert needs and your employers. We avoid artificial intelligent searches – we rather find out through asking. We also discuss the materials, necessary regulations, and target markets you wish to address. As usual, all information is mutually strictly confidential.  Based on the defined requirements, we make you an offer.  Together we formulate a path to success.

ROI – return on investment

Financial professionals compare different options and decide on the one with the best and fastest return.

The basic formula for ROI is:

                 Total income minus total expenditure

ROI = ————————————————————————-

                               Total expenditure

Scientists sometimes get confused between buying at low cost and buying productivity. The first strategy often finishes of uncompetitive.  Make sure your interlocutor (supplier, management) includes all relevant parameters in his calculation to find the truth!

Define the target system/instrument to be procured:

If you procure a system, make sure everything including the main components is included are defined. Important is also capacity, multidimensional versatility, and level of automation.

Conformance requirements. Precisely define what you need. Make sure to get all capabilities to meet compliance requirements.

If you evaluate different options compare each option with a revenue and cost/expenditure perspective.

Revenue/Income (consider everything that affects income)

  1. Income
  • Income from services provided by the project. If you don’t receive income, then calculate such from comparing with other service providers.
  • Income from materials produced and sold to clients.
  • Revenue from IPR.

2. Practical turnaround time (That is the time to complete an analysis or cleaning methods, it is the billable time) Do not use theoretical productivity! Specify the full method as sometimes several samples are required depending on the regulation.

  • Phytochemical analysis may also require different tests, e.g., for pesticides, mycotoxins, saponins, flavonoids, terpenes analysis, etc.
  • Gradient formation with different solvents may be important in purification. 

3. Possibilities of sales price improvements.

You may use a subsidized method to collect additional environmental revenue.

4. Versatility

  • Consider all types of samples that you can accept.
  • List all types of tests you can and would like to perform.
  • CoA steps
  • Regulatory requirements

5. Quality management (available methods, software)

6. Speed of implementation

  • Speed to market (How long does it take to be operational, what factors influence implementation?
  • Availability of installation and service support.
  • Training available.
  • Literature:
    • Guidance for appropriate equipment configuration for the relevant workflow.
    • Optimized analysis, isolation, and clean-up methods
    • Sample preparation protocols and consumables
    • Best practices for implementation in different workflows.

Expenditure/Cost

  1. Purchase price of the system/instrument
      • Financing Methods

    Depreciation Rate

    Are there any second-hand instruments/systems available

2. Cost of raw materials. Indirect costs

3. Recruitment and hiring costs.

4. Environmental costs

5. Downtime costs

  • Routine maintenance (Certain suppliers require that you perform. Others demand that third party specialists carry out maintenance. Often discounts are offered under the proviso that maintenance contracts are being signed. Routine maintenance mustn’t be overdone. Some suppliers train customers to perform routine maintenance themselves. Such users treat their equipment as their own children.
  • Additional maintenance. Sometimes additional maintenance is required. This depresses productivity and should be mentioned in the ROI calculation.
  • Software maintenance. Many instruments need software. If multi-purpose software is used in different instruments often needs to be adapted regularly. We also supplied equipment that is far away from internet facilities and IT specialists. We sold instruments with EPROM driven software and guidance for the user to adjust his equipment. Determine how complex the software used is. Make sure it can be managed by the users.
  • System configuration. We regularly receive enquiries from customers with incorrectly configured systems. It is a large problem in universities where different users use the same instrument and make changes. Sometimes non-compatible components are installed resulting in damages. To avoid costly damage, valid protocols should be defined before purchase.

6. Sundries

  • In a competitive environment, there are not only visible but also hidden costs. Overworked labour should not work with complex systems. It makes sense to appoint a system owner that provides services to other processes stakeholders.
  • It is important to get start-up help (Methods, Recipes, Training). Make sure that your supplier is reachable by Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom.
  • Multipurpose Software that can perform different processes is often developed in low-cost economies and is complex.  Ask yourself if complexity helps or leads to frustration. In some companies, purchasing specialists or finance people decide which software and equipment to buy. They then look for staff in the market who have the appropriate skills to operate what they have bought. This could be penny-wise and dollar foolish.
  • In universities, productivity is not important. They procure low-cost components and chemicals. In market-based companies, this can lead to very expensive and illegal situations. In addition, some customers today are looking for sustainable processes and products and are talking about them.
  • Sustainability is not a clearly defined term.  For many, sustainable means “their children still should be able to enjoy the benefits of the new process/product”. For others, sustainability = circular economy. Ask your customers/investors how they define sustainability?
  • If you compete internationally, there is no point in buying from a country with low labour costs. Such countries grow fast, and the currency is gaining strength.
  • Financiers want to know the whole investment costs This includes consultancy fees, maintenance costs, raw material costs, building costs, money costs, education and training costs, flexibility to implement other processes/methods, etc.).  

Dear Clients performing a serious investment evaluation is a lot of work for all parties.  However, this is the only way to find the total cost and income truth.

 We hope that all parties will help each other with mutual respect. The result is a well-planned project with few surprises and high chances of success.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Willi Glettig

Co-owner, LCC Engineering & Trading GmbH