Pye Unicam

Gas Chromatography

The complete story of the development and marketing of Gas Chromatography at Pye Unicam to download. 

Gas Chromatography.pdf

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Gas Chromatography.pdf

With thanks and acknowledgements to Mike Hewins (Pye Unicam).

Landmark Gas Chromatographs

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1958 - GC 12000 Series

Under the leadership of F.P. Speakman, W.G. Pye developed and manufactured the world’s first high sensitivity GC - the Pye Argon Chromatograph (12000 Series), introduced at the 1958 Amsterdam Symposium.

It was so much more sensitive than any previous instrument that gas chromatographers had to develop new techniques to make full use of it.

Unlike later GCs its columns were straight tubes, mounted vertically and the instrument was about 1.2 meters tall. Large quantities were sold all over the world.

1964 - GC104 Series

 First introduced in 1964 with a UK price of £590, the 104 range was to become the workhorse of many laboratories in the UK and Europe.

It represented a new approach to GC design by WG Pye. It was the response to a rapidly developing market, enhanced GC techniques and a demand for lower cost instruments.

This new range was designed on modular principles with certain units, such as the Analyser Oven, common to all the versions in the range. 

1976 - GC204 Series

By the mid 1970s Pye Unicam was selling the 204 series of GC instruments.

Column performance had improved considerably. Greater temperature stability and uniformity with faster cool down was necessary. Tightly controlled, fast temperature programming produced higher analytical repeatability.

The Series 204 delivered these, along with other improvements in performance, but stayed with the modular principles familiar to users of the 104 series. A basic starting system was capable of extension as far as total automation with the S8 Autojector.

1976 - GCD Series

By the mid 1970s Pye Unicam gave the market place dedicated lower priced, simple instruments for routine analysis. In addition higher specification and versatile instruments were available for research. This was a radical departure from the modular concepts of earlier instruments. 

The GCD gas chromatograph was a range of five compact, self-contained instruments, each dedicated to a particular detection system.

This non modular system was more economical to manufacture and was sold at a lower price.

1976 - GCV Series

The GCV chromatograph, introduced to the market in 1976, was a high performance, computer compatible, modular instrument. It could be expanded to cover research and other demanding applications.

The basic chromatograph was a frame that held the column and detector ovens with digital temperature controls and manual gas controls for both carrier and detector gases.

The column oven held both standard and capillary columns and was designed for automatic, fast temperature cycling and re-stabilisation.

A large accessory range was provided.

1984 - PU4550 Series

In 1984 the PU 4550 realised the potential of the new microprocessor revolution. Control and data handling could be integrated to give fully automated analysis.

Important drivers of change were the expanding regulatory frameworks on analysts. High repeatability of analyses, long term storage of data and demands to detect ever lower contaminants were now common.

New columns, new techniques and new instruments made this possible, requiring little operator intervention to became a 24/7 possibility. Automation was provided by the PU4700 Autojector.

1985 - PU4900 Series

In 1985 the PU4900 was launched. It used new designs for its capillary injectors, column and injector ovens and detectors. Greater accuracy with greater sensitivity and in shorter time.

Three detectors could operate simultaneously along with a satellite column oven that mirrored the main oven.

Innovative design features included - a sliding head assembly, storage on ‘floppy discs’ and aerodynamic air flow to give more stable column temperatures. Short capillary columns could be used giving ultra-fast analysis and multidimensional chromatography.

1988 - PU4400 Series

In 1988 Pye Unicam became Philips Scientific and the last GC instrument from Philips Scientific was the PU4400.

It was similar to the PU4550 and marketed as providing an ‘economical solution to all types of analysis’.

Five different instruments were available and data handling was added as required in a separate data station.