When The Instrument You Want Doesn't Exist: Kore's Analytical Instrument Design Philosophy
When the instrument you want doesn't exist it can be made for you without breaking the bank. This is precisely what Kore has been doing for over two decades now - inventing, building and delivering "Designed For Research" analytical instrumentation at a competitive cost, and typically within a period of 5-8 months.
Many of the big analytical instrument companies now make TOF-based instruments for large markets such as MALDI-TOF and GC-MS. These instruments are designed to satisfy specific analytical requirements, and are undoubtedly good instruments for those purposes. However, when standard instrumentation will not do what a researcher wants, there are very few instrument companies that will consider designing and assembling an instrument at a sensible cost.
When this occurred in the past, the only choice for a research group was to undertake novel instrument development for themselves. This is appropriate in a university when an essential part of the Ph.D. training is in instrument design. However, when a researcher in (say) chemistry is simply trying to harness a new analytical technique to make progress in their research, few research groups have the luxury of taking several years to develop such facilities. Researchers both in universities and industry are now looking for ways to reduce the time it takes to start making measurements so that research can begin.
Most people naturally assume that such research instrumentation will be very expensive compared to related, 'off the shelf' products, but this is not the case, as explained below.
Configurable Component Strategy
We aim to meet our clients' needs for specialised instrumentation and to do so at a competitive cost. How is this possible? Surely such design greatly increases the cost compared to a mass-produced instrument?
- The key step is that we aim wherever possible to use existing Kore components, or to consider modifications to existing designs. When the majority of the component parts for a new instrument design are in the above two categories, the price can be kept at a sensible level, because the project does not have to fund the development of existing components.
- The Configurable Component System (CCS) strategy provides you with direct access to our technical staff, many of whom have a research background (Ph.D.s) in addition to their instrument development experience. Our staff can provide the technical bridge between your experimental aims and our extensive range of components and possible instrument configurations.
- Part of our design philosophy for any new CCS component is to minimise the resource required for subsequent variation and modification. Kore's engineering team works very closely with the end-user and has detailed knowledge of existing design elements, making it possible to re-use not only whole components, but also design fragments, and again this contributes to reducing costs.
- Because of the nature of this type of instrument design, it is often the case that each project will require some new design work, and this in turn contributes to the component pool. This means that the number of components available at Kore grows all the time, making it easier to succeed with this concept.
- Kore has spent years refining the internal systems required for project management, design management and follow-up support in 'Designed For Research' instrument sales. The demands are very different from those required to produce standard products.
Last updated: 17:14 19/02/2014
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