An automated alternative
OARD Regional 4 testing lab scientists approached METTLER TOLEDO to simplify their soil pH procedure: the dissolution of soil samples of roughly 10 grams in 10 mL water, with stirring, followed by measurement. In the area served by the Regional 4 center, the soil is clayey and resists homogenization. Moreover, the sensors must be thoroughly cleaned between readings, further increasing hands-on time.
To maximize the efficiency of these measurements, METTLER TOLEDO specialists suggested a SevenExcellence™ pH meter with an InLab® Expert Pro-ISM sensor and InMotion™ autosampler. The new system is coordinated by the LabX™ laboratory software, freeing the lab’s scientists for other operations.
With 69 spots on the InMotion autosampler rack, scientists can prepare samples, then step away for other work. The LabX-defined SOP ensures thorough sample mixing before assessment, with the InMotion’s overhead stirrer preventing sedimentation before analysis. As well, the InLab Expert’s robust design and PEEK shaft reduce the risk of damage from large particles or grit trapped in samples – a source of worry with the original, glass, electrode – prolonging its usable life. And the sensor is automatically cleaned between measurements, keeping processes moving smoothly.
Since the new system’s installation earlier this year, OARD Regional 4 scientists have seen their pH measurement capabilities markedly improve. Whereas previously a single analyst could process 40–60 samples in a day, working continuously, scientists can now turn to other tasks after a single hour of preparation. And with complete data recorded in the LabX database, transcription errors are a thing of the past – giving the lab confidence that their recommendations to farmers will bear fruit during the next harvest.