Case study: Eurofins Chemtest – July 26, 2021 – Eurofins Chemtest Ltd – Environmental science news articles


Together to protect the environment
Eurofins Chemtest is one of the largest and most experienced environmental testing laboratories in the UK and Ireland. Most of the company’s workload – around 60-70% – is environmental soil testing, with the remainder encompassing water, leachate, waste and asbestos analysis. Over the past 18 months, Eurofins Chemtest has invested in a range of Shimadzu instruments, including GC, GC-MS, HPLC and COT systems. The company also worked closely with Shimadzu to develop a method for ultra-fast Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) analysis using the Nexis GC-2030. This configuration has the capacity to process up to 700 samples per day on just three instruments.

Chemtest was established in Newmarket over 25 years ago, and the brand quickly became synonymous with high-quality environmental analysis. Since then it has grown steadily, obtaining UKAS accreditation under ISO / IEC 17025: 2017 and the Environment Agency Surveillance Certification System (MCERTS) performance standard for the soil analysis. Chemtest joined the Eurofins family in spring 2019, and today Eurofins Chemtest is a driving force in environmental testing in the UK and Ireland, focusing on digital innovation and customer experience.
As a member of the world’s largest life sciences company, operating in 50 countries and with more than 850 laboratories, Eurofins Chemtest now has increased capabilities and resources to support customers around the world. Its ongoing investment plan has seen £ 4.1million invested in infrastructure and equipment since 2019, including 20 Shimadzu systems of different types for the Newmarket lab. This commitment to introduce cutting-edge technologies, while maintaining a + 20% capacity margin, makes Eurofins Chemtest the most reliable chemical testing partner in the UK and Ireland.

Make the right choice
With so many instruments and manufacturers to choose from, it can be difficult to make the right decision for your lab. There may be several systems that would do the job, but how do you tell them apart? For Eurofins Chemtest, it was about finding a company that was not only able to provide state-of-the-art equipment, but also willing and able to build a supportive relationship and develop solutions to meet their specific needs. Glynn Harvey, Technical Manager at Eurofins Chemtest, explains: “What makes Shimadzu different is that they offer a very personal approach. They take the time to discuss what we want – our needs and expectations – and are always honest with us as to whether the instrument we are thinking of investing in is the most appropriate for our applications. It means a lot to us because it shows a real understanding of what we need and a willingness to work with us to make sure we have exactly what we need. “

Sharing of technical expertise
From time to time, all laboratories need some degree of technical assistance, whether it is service and maintenance, optimization of existing methods that have been implemented on new instruments, or development of a completely new protocol. Glynn continued, “After-sales support and fast response times are fundamental; if we have a problem we need to fix it instantly as it affects our turnaround times very quickly. Shimadzu’s flexibility and willingness to work with us to meet our high expectations stood out. We have near instant access to their technical experts when we need them, and if a problem cannot be diagnosed over the phone, they immediately send us an engineer.

Partnership to improve existing methods and develop new ones
Whenever existing methods are transferred to different instruments, the protocol must be optimized and validated to ensure the quality of the results. At the same time, laboratory workloads are continually changing, creating a demand to improve methods and develop new ones to increase throughput. “Shimadzu really wanted to partner with us,” Glynn said. “The company has helped Marzia Di Lillo, our organic manager, and myself to reorganize our existing methods, even providing loan instruments and spending several weeks on our site to develop a method tailor-made for us, with no obligation. purchase. We also have the option of going to Shimadzu UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, where they have similar systems in place to run test samples for us.

A tailor-made ultra-fast total petroleum hydrocarbons protocol
The close relationship between Shimadzu and Eurofins Chemtest recently saw the two companies working together to develop a custom method for ultra-fast analysis of total petroleum hydrocarbons using a Nexis GC-2030.1 dual column Glynn summarized the process : “Our organic methods must be sufficiently robust. to deal with a wide range of contamination, but the real challenge is to optimize the protocols to achieve the best chromatography in the shortest run time. One of Shimadzu’s technical experts optimized every step of the protocol – temperature profiles, split profiles, column chemistry, flow rates, temperature ramps, flow ramps – to streamline and speed up the analysis. Combined with the use of double columns, rather than a single column, this made a huge difference. We can now analyze up to 700 samples per day with just three of these systems (we previously needed nine to 12 GCs), allowing us to improve turnaround times and free up instruments for others. applications, further increasing our sampling capacity.

Planning for the future
Eurofins Chemtest is expected to continue to grow, and investment in additional and replacement instruments from Shimadzu will be a key component of this progress. Over the next year, the tech team plans to review all of the company’s methods, working with Shimadzu to introduce even more improvements. Marzia commented: “The instrumentation is very good and the software is really user friendly – all of our analysts love to work with it. And Glynn concludes: “We have always found the Shimadzu team to be very accommodating. They have taken the time to understand who we are and what we need, and they react extremely quickly to the most trivial questions. It really is a partnership that both companies benefit from.

1 Application News: Ultra-fast analysis of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) using the Nexis GC-2030. No.SCA_180_038.

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