Many laboratories still rely on traditional volumetric methods for preparing samples, standards and solutions, which poses considerable potential for variability and errors. Read "Efficient Sample and Solution Preparation" from METTLER TOLEDO's free online laboratory expertise library to learn more about the sources of error, and innovative accessories and state-of-the-art techniques, such as gravimetric dosing, which can address the risks and improve accuracy.
In a typical analytical workflow, 49% of out-of-specification (OOS) errors can be attributed to either sample processing steps or operator error. In addition, the sample processing steps account for 61% of the manual workload. With these statistics in mind, it seems astonishing that more progress has not been made in addressing or eliminating these labor-intensive manual operations, which are so prone to error and variability.
In fact, innovative tools and accessories have been developed to aid weighing of the sample, with the aim of reducing or eliminating the risk of sample spillage or loss on transfer. Novel balance features and software address any errors relating to transcription or data transfer. State-of-the-art gravimetric dosing technology—as described in USP 1251"Weighing on an analytical balance" under "Types of dosing" (USP 36-NF31)—can eliminate variability inherent in volumetric sample preparation methods.
To access information on this topic, visit METTLER TOLEDO’s Laboratory Expertise Library. The "Efficient Sample Preparation" compendium includes a white paper, "Gravimetric Sample Preparation – Reducing Sample Sizes and OOS Errors", which can be downloaded for free, alongside videos, and recorded webinars.
The Laboratory Expertise Library itself is a collaborative space which offers a wealth of free information and advice on a range of critical laboratory issues. The topics are carefully selected to focus on the daily concerns of laboratory managers and personnel, and include issues such as electrostatic effects on weighing, regulatory compliance, calibration, and sample preparation. In-depth knowledge and expert advice is shared in a helpful and easily accessible format, with basic introductory or advanced information available. New topics are added regularly.