Pittcon 2018—the world’s largest annual conference on laboratory science—is officially in the books, having wrapped up on Thursday, March 1.

Held in Orlando this year, Pittcon 2018 welcomed more than 715 exhibitors throughout the analytical science industry, including, but not limited to, chemistry, forensics, nanotechnology, food safety, etc. With that many manufacturers, competition for the Pittcon Today Excellence Awards was fierce, but ultimately 10 companies were recognized for innovative products launched after January 2017.

The awards were broken down into gold, silver and bronze in three categories based on self-reported company sales. Submissions were open free of charge to all exhibitors with at least one booth. The winners were selected by a panel of judges based on ingenuity, creativity, implementation and outcomes, as well as the products’ projected impact on the industry and wider public.

  • Under $10 million (in sales)

Gold: Gate Scientific- Wireless SmartStir Stirbar Platform
The RFID-enabled smartSENSE Stirbar measures the temperature of a liquid in which it is immersed, and continuously relays the data to the company’s digital programmable Precision Hotplate Stirrer via wireless communication.

Silver: RotaChrom Technologies- rCPC platform
This high-resolution, pilot-scale centrifugal partition chromatographic platform is ideal for method development, as well as pilot scale purification. Through this platform, manufacturers have no limits on adapting the system for new downstream challenges from small molecule APIs to macromolecules or from hydrophobic lipids to hydrophilic peptides all on the same machine.

Bronze: Tranxend- Axcend Focus LC
The Axcend Focus LC is a toaster-sized, extremely portable liquid chromatograph that can be used in a range of industries. It boasts 100 times the sensitivity of a traditional LC, producing accurate test results in 10 to15 minutes while using 1/500th of the solvents and generating 1/500th the waste. 

  • $10 million to $100 million

Gold: B&W Tek- STRaman Analyzer
B&W Tek pioneered a new Raman system design that expands the applicability of Raman to “see through” diffusely scattering media, such as opaque packaging materials, as well as to measure the Raman spectrum and identify thermolabile, photolabile or heterogeneous samples.

Silver: Metrohm- 946 Portable VA Analyzer
With this portable instrument, researchers can determine trace levels of arsenic, mercury and copper in water in the field. By determining heavy metals on site instead of in the lab, users are able to obtain results within minutes instead of shipping samples to the laboratory and waiting for results.

Bronze: CEM Corp.- EDGE
This sample prep instrument utilizes Q-Cup technology, which combines the process of pressurized fluid extraction and dispersive solid phase extraction in one instrument. Regardless of sample size, matrix or use of sorbents, researchers can extract in only five minutes.

  • Over $100 million

Gold: OI Analytical- 1080 Combustion Total Organic Carbon Analyzer
The 1080 TOC Analyzer processes aqueous samples for analysis of the total organic carbon (TOC), total inorganic carbon (TIC), and non-purgeable organic carbon (NPOC) content. It can analyze up to 300 samples per 24-hour period, depending upon the protocol employed, in excess of 100,000 samples per year.


Gold: HORIBA Scientific- Duetta
The Duetta two-in-one system eliminates the need for multiple scanning instruments. In addition to traditional fluorescence and absorbance spectroscopy modalities, the system features simultaneous Absorbance-Transmittance Fluorescence Excitation Emission Matrices (A-TEEM), providing better molecular fingerprinting and extended dynamic range due to automatic inner filter effect corrections.

Silver: Fluid Imaging Technologies- FlowCam Nano
The key advantage of the FlowCam Nano is its ability to image and identify, in real time, particulate matter in a fluid where the morphology of the particles is critical to their characterization. Using oil-immersion flow microscopy, the FlowCam Nano can image and analyze particles ranging in size from 300 nm to 30 µm.

Bronze: Shimadzu Scientific Instruments- IRSpirit
The IRSpirit Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer is small and light, and offers exceptional reliability in contaminant analysis, identification tests and quantitative measurements. Its small-space design allows access from two sides, and its sample compartment is the widest of any other compact FTIR spectrometer. The user-friendly IRSpirit comes with an IR Pilot analysis assistant program, an identification test program and a contaminant analysis program.

To see other products showcased at Pittcon 2018, take a look at our February issue, published just before Pittcon. Additionally, keep your eyes open for our April issue, which will include a cover story about spectroscopic technologies covered at the show, as well as even more instrumentation and equipment debuted there.