Friday, February 18th, 2011
Growth Spurs Galson to Add Instrumentation
Summa canisters, XRD unit, and ICP lead to a more expanded service offering
Things just keep continuing to grow at Galson Laboratories as the company heads into its 41st year of service. Fresh off an uncommonly successful year, aided by several unfortunate oil spills, the leaders at Galson are not sitting still, especially when it comes to instrumentation. That's where Mary Unangst, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Laboratory Director and her team have been busy adding instrumentation to expand the company's laboratory testing capabilities.
GCMS Lab Expands Three-Fold
"As we continue to grow at a significant rate, not counting the Gulf work and other various oil spills we were dealing with, we found the need to expand our laboratory testing capabilities," said Mary. "The most significant addition of the new services is in our GC/MS laboratory which will be a strong focus in the first half of 2011."
"Prior to the Gulf spill we had two GC/MS instruments," explained Mary. "When the Gulf work began, we purchased two more, giving us four and allowing us to handle the volume of samples from the oil spills and still take care of our other clients who require minican analysis for TO-15, ETOX, and 4-PCH.
We most recently purchased two additional GC/MS's that will be set up for summa canister work. Summa canisters allow for longer sampling times than the minicans. Summa's can collect air from 24hours up to a week; it's a different application than what we've offered in the past
It is air work, but its not air work that we've been geared up to perform. However, as we've been adding sales people, the feedback we've gotten from several of our cleints and potential clients has been, 'are you set up to do the summa canister work?' So, we made the investment to address our clients' need for this type of testing."
If that's not enough, Galson is also adding a thermal desorption GCMS, enabling the laboratory to offer the minicans, thermal desorption multi-media tubes, and summa canisters as sampling means for air work which really makes the company a full-service GC/MS air testing laboratory.
Growth Not Limited to GCMS
In order to handle the volume of Gulf-related work, Galson added several other new instruments. According to Mary, "We added an ultra-high performance liquid chromatograph (UPLC), a high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) , and six Hewlett Packard gas chromatographs (GC's). Two of several great benefits to adding the UPLC are that it runs about three times faster than the conventional HPLC and it produces less waste.
Four of the GCs purchased were dual column FIDs, which were the type of instrument we needed for the Gulf work. FID is the most common type of GC that we use; making these instruments very useful to us as we continue to grow. One of the six GC's is equipped with photo ionization detectors (PIDs) and the last one has dual electron capture detectors (ECDs) which are different detectors for specific organic compounds.
"We are still going work from the Gulf," reports Mary, "not at the same volume obviously, but we are still receiving samples."
More Important Instrumentation Purchases
Galson made several additonal important instrumentation purchases last year as well. They include two ion chromatographs (ICs), one of which was a hexavalent chromium specific IC, a new mercury analyzer and an inductively coupled plasma emissions spectrometer (ICP).
Replacing the ICP brought back a lot of memories for Mary. She explained, "When you buy an ICP, for example, you have to set up all the programs, you do method development to make it operational. Back in the day, I went into the metals lab to help set up the ICP that we are now replacing," she said. "Now, we're taking it off-line and will be donating the ICP to SkyWay Lab Services. It certainly brings back a lot of memories for me and several of our veteran metals staff. This instrument functioned effectively and reliably for over 15 years. That is along time in our business."
But now, Mary has other instrumentation needs to concentrate on as part of her job. "Our work volume is definitely rebounding from the recession without a doubt. We are always looking at our instrumentation to see where we can improve to better serve our clients' needs."
Galson Laboratories provides services in every state of the union as well as 38 different countries. Galson Laboratories works under the principles of continuous improvement and has developed industry leading programs for its clients such as its FreePumpLoan™ and Free SamplingBadges™ programs. Galson Laboratories is accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association Laboratory Accreditation Program and has global ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation through AIHA-LAP. Headquartered in Syracuse, NY, Galson Laboratories has offices in Charleston, SC, Alameda, CA, Clear Lake Shores, TX and Stevens Point, WI.