Labman are manufacturing a pair of wood grinding sample systems for the French National Institute for Agriculture Research (INRA – http://www.international.inra.fr/). The systems grind a variety of plant material including roots, leaves and woody tissues from Pine, Oak, Poplar, Ash and other varieties. Ground sample powder is dispensed into vials for chemical extraction, NIRS analysis or archiving. The hardware is now complete and trials for demonstrating particle size control are underway.
The robots will automate a previously difficult step in the sample preparation workflow for the analysis of wood material. Wood samples are normally ground using industrial style mills which require cleaning after each sample. The new automated system uses an in-vial ball milling concept which prevents any possibility of cross contamination from sample grinding. Ground samples are dispensed into glass NIRS vials, micro-centrifuge vials or a variety of different well plates.
The systems are progressing well and are on track for the planned delivery in March, one system to Orleans and two systems to Bordeaux.