Pittcon bills itself as the world’s largest conference dedicated to laboratory science, attracting some 16,000 delegates from almost 100 countries. Most signs bode well for a solid turnout when Pittcon hosts its 2016 convention at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, from March 7-10.
The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, as it was originally known, is hosted by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP), two non-profits that collectively plow more than $1 million annually into K-12 education—a very worthy cause.
Pittcon covers a diverse range of fields including analytical chemistry; drug discovery; nanotechnology; forensics, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics; food analysis and safety; environmental science; energy and fuel; and air, water and wastewater analysis. Alongside some 2,000 technical presentations, there will be dozens of conferee networking sessions around a slew of interesting topics such as particle size analysis, benchtop FT NMR, and trends in economical lab design, not to mention beer analysis and a cannabis analytical testing forum.
Event organizers anticipate some 850 exhibitors at Pittcon 2016, including more than 100 first-time exhibitors. More than 200 exhibiting companies come from outside the U.S. These leading companies will be displaying products and services used by the scientific community in industrial, academic, and government labs. As usual, a host of new product and news announcements will be made at the show, which continues to loom large over many other important trade events in the crowded spring schedule, including Lab Automation, Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference (MMTC), the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, and of course the ACS spring meeting in San Diego later this month.
Hitting the FloorSo what should attendees be looking for as they don their fitbits and prepare to navigate the endless aisles at Pittcon 2016? Here are a few anticipated highlights to savor:
Waters’ (Booth 3538) new CEO, Christopher J. O’Connell, will address the media for the first time at Pittcon. As the company’s first new CEO in more than 20 years, many will be curious to hear O’Connell’s vision for the future of the company, one of the world’s leading analytical science toolmakers. O’Connell came to Waters last September from Medtronic, where he was president of the Restorative Therapies Group.
On the opening day, attendees should attend the annual James L. Waters symposium, which this year features Nobel laureate Eric Betzig, who shared the 2014 Nobel Prize for the discovery of super-resolution microscopy. Betzig will be joined Alex Soell, vice president at Carl Zeiss Microscopy (Booth 857), who will talk about the technical challenges in the commercial development of the Lattice Light Sheet technology licensed from the Betzig lab at HHMI Janelia Research Campus.
Agilent Technologies scientist Xiaoli Wang will receive the Chinese American Chromatography Association’s Young Investigator Award. Wang has been instrumental—no pun intended—in extending Agilent’s Poroshell 120 technology into biopharmaceutical columns to enable more accurate analysis of monoclonal antibodies and peptides.
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (Booth 1338) will be displaying a number of new products, including its latest GC-MS and triple quad LC-MS instruments. The company will also be hosting several live demos and poster sessions, on topics ranging from anti-reflective coatings to mass spectrometry applications for cannabis testing laboratories, under the delightful term “medicinal cannabinomics.”
Metrohm USA (Booth 1939) specialists in analytical systems for ion chromatography, electrochemistry and spectroscopy, will present the new 917 Karl Fischer Coulometer. This compact, stand-alone device is ideal for rapid, precise determination of low-level water content. A touchscreen display, simple method recall and an integrated pump make this new compact coulometer a highly convenient solution for routine moisture analysis. The 917 Coulometer is both intelligent but also places a high priority on lab safety. “The 917 represents the best mixture of size, speed and performance for water analysis measurements,” says Edward Colihan, President and CEO of Metrohm USA.
Thermo Fisher Scientific (Booth 2239) will be giving a variety of seminars at their booth on March 7. Topics include a new GC-MS/MS pesticide analyzer for pesticide residue analysis in food; Raman innovations for materials characterization; improved separation techniques for biopharma applications; and simplified monitoring of consumable performance on your IC system. Thermo is also offering free charging stations for your battery-challenged mobile devices, which seems as good a way to attract traffic as any!
Among its latest offerings, Ocean Optics (Booth 1429) will be presenting the Flame-NIR spectrometer, which combines the small size of the Flame optical bench with a new uncooled InGaAs detector. The compact instrument opens a new frontier in NIR spectroscopy, with very low power consumption needs, making it ideal for integration into handheld and portable systems. Key applications for this device include moisture measurement, grain and feed quality, measurement of fats and oils and pharmaceutical ingredients blending.
FRITSCH (Booth 1460), headquartered in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, is a leading manufacturer of application-oriented laboratory instruments for sample preparation and particle sizing. FRITSCH will be presenting the PULVERISETTE premium line of rotor mills, designed for impact, shearing and cutting with very fast sample throughputs. Applications include wet and dry grinding, mechanical alloying, and homogenizing of a variety of samples down to the nano-range. For particle sizing, the ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer and ImageTec are designed for fast analysis of particle shape and size, used in suspensions and emulsions down to 1 micron in size, while powders and bulk solids can be analysed down to 20 microns.
Based in Radnor, PA, Airgas (Booth 3149) is a leading supplier of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related products. It is hosting an informational workshop—Gases and Gas Delivery Systems for Analytical Applications—on Wednesday, March 9 that is designed to help attendees understand how to select the proper gases to ensure consistency in applications while reducing operating expenses. Airgas will also exhibit the Supelcoat™ line of components for gas delivery systems, created by Sigma-Aldrich (Booth 3157) and available through Airgas. Supelcoat coating prevents any interaction of reactive trace gas species with “wetted” internal surfaces of fittings, hoses and valves, and inhibits the interaction of corrosive and volatile compounds in the calibration gas mixtures used in critical environmental testing.
JEOL USA (Booth 2857) is using Pittcon to debut a new OEM mass spectrometer— the InfiTOF— a compact high-resolution instrument designed for real-time gas analysis. According to JEOL, “the InfiTOF’s unique multi-turn ion optics provide high-resolution mass spectra in a system that is the size of a personal computer tower.” The company will also be promoting the GCxGC mass spectrometer with field ionization for petroleum-type analyses and a pair of Scanning Electron Microscopes—the JSM-IT300LV analytical SEM with large sample chamber and the NeoScope benchtop SEM.
The Finnish company Gasera (Booth 1657) will be highlighting a range of products for trace gas monitoring applications, research modules and OEM opportunities. Making its debut is the GASERA ONE, a new, potentially disruptive portable multi-gas analyzer for protecting health and security. Citing the patented cantilever photoacoustic technology, GASERA sees many application areas for reliable and sensitive trace gas monitoring including climate change prevention, border security and occupational safety.
“Innovation with integrity” will be the message from Bruker (Booth 3121), which will feature a range of spectroscopy and mass spectrometry solutions. These include: a next-generation handheld Raman Spectrometer; the FT-IR Microscope; mass spec solutions including comprehensive contaminant screening and targeted quantitative analyses; and the use of Bruker technology in next-gen fraud detection in honey, wine and other essential foods.
Although not exhibiting at Pittcon, Pope Scientific is celebrating its 50th anniversary supplying lab and process equipment. The Wisconsin company says that its line of Benchtop Nutsche Filter-Dryers marks “a logical leap forward from laboratory Buchner funnels—providing pressurized filtering, washing and heated/vacuum drying [with] minimized contamination and exposure.” The products are designed for experimentation, scale-up and small production runs of specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Last but not least, C&EN, ACS Publications and the Chemical Abstracts Service will be well represented this year (Booth 1931). The C&EN Media Group team will be on hand to meet attendees and distribute complementary copies of the new-look magazine. Meanwhile, ACS Publications is hosting a “Measurement Science Journals” reception on Monday March 7 at the Omni Hotel, featuring editors from the journals Analytical Chemistry, Journal of Proteome Research and ACS Sensors.
To download a pdf of 2016 Pittcon Product Showcase, visit http://cenm.ag/2016pittcon
(C&EN, March 7, pp. 61-66, 6.1 MB).