News: Pittcon Hits Chicago


From March 5-9, the BioInfoPITTCONrmatics/SDi team was out in force visiting with clients and staying abreast of the analytical instrument industry’s latest developments. Pittcon is the world’s leading annual conference on laboratory science. Pittcon was attended by almost 13,000 people from industry, academia and government from around the world and featured more than 800 exhibitors. According to the organizers, the conference has grown beyond its roots in analytical chemistry and spectroscopy, and has evolved into an event that now also serves a diverse constituency encompassing life sciences, pharmaceutical discovery and QA, food safety, environmental, bioterrorism and other emerging markets.

The Pittcon website stresses that the target audience is not just “’analytical chemists,’ but all laboratory scientists – anyone who identifies, quantifies, analyzes or tests the chemical or biological properties of compounds or molecules, or who manages these laboratory scientists.”

Familiar themes were evident at the show, notably, software and informatics, ease of use and application-targeted systems. A number of new product introductions represented these themes. Major product launched included Waters’ Empower Cloud, a cloud-deployable chromatography data system, for which the company is also offering professional services. Thermo Fisher Scientific entered the triple quadrupole ICP-MS market, debuting the Thermo Scientific iCAP TQ ICP-MS, which emphasizes ease of use. MilliporeSigma launched a new premium laboratory water system, the Milli-Q IQ 7000, with a new precise dispensing wheel. Application-targeted system introductions included Shimadzu’s Cannabis Analyzer for Potency Testing and Buker’s MALDI PharmaPulse 2.0 system.

The importance of the software solutions to address new laboratory needs was highlighted by company executives who attended the conference. “Increasingly, our customers are generating more and more data, so how we can help them utilize that data in more compelling ways is really going to be the driver for the analytical laboratory moving forward,” said Jim Corbett, executive vice president and president, Discovery & Analytical Solutions, at PerkinElmer.

Commenting on Waters’ focus on software and informatics, Mike Harrington, PhD, senior vice president, Global Markets, at Waters, said, “It’s a huge area for us. It’s the single largest investment we make in product development.”

Likewise, application-based solutions are a focus of product development and one that can draw upon a company’s broad capabilities. “We connect our teams (whether R&D or product management) to work in new, exciting ways to bring our capabilities to the market that allow us to compete in a new segment,” explained Jakob Gudbrand, president, Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry, at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Obviously, from a growth perspective, we think about driving growth. We would select the application areas where we are better differentiated and where the markets are growing faster.”

News announcements made in conjunction with the show included Thermo Fisher Science’s announcement of the purchase of Core Informatics, an ELN, LIMS and SDMS provider, which adds expanded cloud computing capabilities to the company. Bruker announced at its Pittcon press conference the opening last month of its new Center of Excellence in Beijing, China, which will serve as the company’s Chinese headquarters and center if its Beijing operations. Also, the formerly separate labware brands WHEATON Industries, Kimble Chase and DURAN debuted a new unified brand, DWK Life Sciences. The company supplies glass and plastic labware and packaging.

Full conference coverage, including new product introductions, are featured in the March 15, 2017 issue of Instrument Business Outlook, the analytical and life science instrument industry’s premier publication for industry news, data and analysis. For a free trial subscription, visit: IBO Trail Subscription.