This year it is 25 years since Metrohm launched its first ion chromatograph, the 690 ion chromatograph. Since then Metrohm has profoundly changed ion chromatography with instruments that are simple to use, robust, and affordable.
In the early 1980s ion chromatography was already around as an analytical technique. However, it was very expensive and also rather difficult to use. Metrohm set out to change this with an ion chromatograph engineered to be simple to use, robust, and above all, affordable. The result was the 690 ion chromatograph, which was launched in 1987. At the time it cost only half as much as the competition’s instruments; it was simple to use and so rugged that even today papers keep being published based on data produced on 690 Ion Chromatographs.
The breakthrough for Metrohm ion chromatography came in 1997 when Metrohm invented compact ion chromatography. Indeed, the 761 Compact Ion Chromatograph was the first ion chromatograph with all functional components contained in a single box. With all capillaries for the flow path preinstalled, the 761 Compact IC did not require any set-up on the user’s part. As it turned out, it was the right instrument at the right time to meet the growing demand in the 90’s for an affordable, robust ion chromatograph especially for environmental analysis.
The next big thing in the history of Metrohm ion chromatography came in 2007 when the 850 Professional Ion Chromatograph and the MagIC Net™ software were launched. This system combines the compact design of the Compact IC’s with the flexibility of a modular system and takes usability to an entirely new level: The Professional IC can take logical decisions on its own saving the user from the tedious routines of manual liquid handling and sample preparation.
Currently Metrohm is working on the ion chromatograph of the future. This instrument will integrate even more automated sample preparation and liquid handling. It will require only minimum bench space, and it will support the user with even more intelligence saving him from routine work prior and after analysis.