Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) first started in the early 20th century, and while the technology has advanced, the basic principles remain the same. With TGA, the rate of change of reactions in the chemical and physical properties of materials as functions of temperature or time is what is used to assess the properties of the sample materials. Most TGA these days is done with either micro TGAs (using milligram-size samples) or macro TGAs (using gram-size samples).
So many factors go into the quality and characterisation of plants and biomass, but many thermogravimetric analyses take so much time. Drying, ashing, and weighing multiple samples takes effort and care just to control for atmospheric effects, much less to actually get precise results that can then be used to analyse the quality and structure of the plants. LECO's TGA801 is an automated thermogravimetric analyser designed to take the time out of the testing.
The past year with the rise of Covid-19 around the Earth has been a challenge to all of us. See how our European subsidiaries dealt with the pandemic around Europe and how our customer support and other services adapted to these new situations in the different countries. Click on the countries to see our personal experiences!
If you need any further information about how LECO operates during the Corona pandemic or to schedule your personal appointment with us, click on the contact button.
The start of the years begins with the usual enthusiasm, targets set, goals to achieve and strategy to achieve them. I remember being in Dusseldorf for a managers meeting on March the 3rd. Life was still normal, and the word ’lockdown’ was only ever heard on a Friday when my children were watching Wrestling. We were able to travel, visit restaurants and have a beer without the constraints of the facemasks, social distancing and track and trace apps. Life was normal. Within a month the world changed – lockdowns, stay-at-home, work from home, stay safe.
As the LECO customers adapted to this new way of life due to COVID, so did we. Our sales force worked from home and like never before used this relatively unheard-of platform called Microsoft TEAMS to interact with customers.
Our service team continued to work throughout the pandemic with the new additions to their LECO uniform. LECO face masks and gloves. And of course, let’s not forget the bottles of hand sanitiser. As well as remote selling was used, remote service support came to the forefront. Both sales and service teams adapted to continue the high level of support that has become a custom with LECO.
LECO UK has been able to adapt and continued to support our customers while keeping ourselves and customers safe. Let hope moving into 2021 we can get back to some sort of previous normality. The vaccines are coming and there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel but for the moment we continue with the slogan of Hands – Face – Space.
Michael Reaney, UK Sales Director, LECO Instruments UK Ltd.
The first picture shows our engineer Yuri Laptev during a Pegasus 4D service visit to Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
The second one was taken at the Analytika exhibition in Moscow last year.
Gulnara Shaidullina, Ph.D., Separation Science Sales Engineer, LECO Russia and CIS
It has for sure been a challenge even though Sweden have had less restrictions. When crossing borders to Norway, Denmark and Finland our service technicians have sometimes had to take Covid-19 tests before. We have been fortunate, no one in our team have been infected as we know of. We haven’t even been to Iceland since the start of the pandemic. Our service technicians try to go by their own cars to customers, which have meant drives up to 14 hours single way.
On the sales side it has of course been a challenge in other ways. But with ‘Teams’, online demos and Virtual Trade show our sales team have connected with our customers in the best way possible. We only attended one real trade show since the start of the pandemic – LabDays in Copenhagen – but the attendance was of course quite thin…
Lennart Schwartz, Ph.D, Sales Director Nordic Region, LECO Nordic AB
Since 14th of March of 2020, and the declaration of State of alarm in Spain, Leco Instrumentos started to work in a new different way, adapting to the new scenario of pandemic. All the employees completed a training course regarding the new risk at work and the personal protective equipment for COVID-19:
So far, everything was normal… But LECO Spain had to face a new challenge – to move to a new office. It was a hard task cleaning the old facilities and open boxes – a lot of boxes. And in times of COVID we had to consider to organise small groups at the office working together. Minimising risks was a priority despite of the fact that we needed to be operative in the new facility in a short time. The collaboration of the Tres Cantos-based employees was essential.
But the result made the effort worthwhile! And the Spanish LECO team is ready for 2021!
Leticia García, Commercial Director, Spain & Portugal
From the perspective of the German Service Centre, a Corona routine has emerged throughout the past months. Customer demands increased - ever so often our service engineers are only allowed to enter labs after presenting a negative Corona test result. Of course, this requires special logistics in scheduling. In addition, there are different Corona rules the federal states of Germany and abroad, which makes planning much more difficult. But our colleagues adapt, as the pictures show, and as our colleague Manuel Lindemann describes below.
"When the pandemic really took off from March / April 2020, I first noticed a lot of uncertainty among both myself and the customers. There were many questions: What is Corona? What happens if I fall ill? How will this affect my work? Will the customers still let me enter their lab? How will LECO react? Now, almost a year later, there are still some questions left to be answered, but as humans we adapt and get used to the new circumstances – positive and negative.
in the beginning of the pandemic, I remember waiting for hours in 100m-long queues between lorry drivers and other visitors at a company and having to wait for the gatekeeper to let me pass. And there were customers who had their "special" views. From "Corona doesn't exist” to “You don't need the mask here" and "We have an internal lockdown, you can't get in" – it was all there.
After one year many questions remain unanswered, but some questions have already become obsolete. What remained as well, unfortunately, are the waiting times at customers‘ sites. Simply walking in and working on a unit is no longer possible. "Where are you from? Have you had contact with infected people? What does your Corona Warn app say? Do you have any symptoms?” ...And so on. What I've also noticed is that social interaction often gets left behind these days unfortunately – be it a casual conversation or just a gesture that disappears behind the mask. But, hopefully that is to come back soon.
But LECO protect their employees very well and always has an open ear for questions – a solution will be found together. All in all, I think we have organised ourselves very well and will probably make it through the rest of the pandemic."
Manuel Lindemann & Thomas Post, LECO Instrumente GmbH Deutschland
After a beginning of year full of prospects and projects, the arrival of Covid-19 took us by surprise. Italy was the first European nation to be massively attacked by the virus, the first cases recorded were in the north of the country, particularly in Lombardy, the region where the headquarters of the LECO branch in Italy are located.
To counter the spread of the virus, the entire country was placed in the "red zone" and operations were greatly reduced to adapt to the new situation.
The pandemic has led us to cover our faces with masks, but it has not managed to extinguish our enthusiasm and we hope that 2021, together with the vaccine, gives us the opportunity to resume showing our smiles.
Rita M. Monfredini, LECO Italy S.R.L.
We’re dealing with the pandemic problem in a similar way, like the rest of the world:
Tomasz Stójkowski, Sales Director LECO Poland & Baltics
Since February 2020 we provide an Online Demo Service at our European Application & Technology Center in Berlin, giving customers an insight into our LECO products and laboratory processes conveniently from their desks and without the need to travel. For our Online Demo Service, a good preparation is required to meet our's and our customers’ high standards.
Get in touch with us to arrange an individual online appointment for you!
Due to the Corona pandemic, numerous trade shows and events are being cancelled or postponed where we would have liked to welcome or customers as a guest. To give you the opportunity to stay in touch with LECO, we have organised our LECO Virtual Trade Show. Our specialists invite you to get to know our solutions for various application fields and markets in a personal meeting.
Visit our registration website and book your free ticket today. Your local sales partner will schedule a meeting and guide you through our exhibition and introduce you to our solutions for your lab.
GET YOUR FREE TICKET
The TGM800 is a thermogravimetric analyser designed to determine moisture content of materials using a loss-on-drying technique. Mass loss of the sample is measured as a function of the oven temperature by controlling the atmosphere and ventilation rate.
For many years LECO have been partners in the research / development AND quality control of catalyst samples. We have many customers from (petro-) chemistry, exhaust catalysts, and other fields where catalysts play an important role. Check out our product portfolio for catalyst analysis…
► CNS928 | Determination of Carbon, Nitrogen and Sulfur in Soil
► CN928 | Determination of Carbon/Nitrogen in Soils and Plant Tissue
► SC832 Series | Sulfur and Carbon Determination in Soil
► RC612 Series | Temperature-Dependent Determination of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in Soil
► TGA801 | Determination of Moisture and Ash in Soil
► TGM800/TGA801 | Determination of Moisture in Soil
LECO hosted the LA2PC // Analytical Applications Poster Competition with the aim of improving our understanding and knowledge of LECO users’ work and research. This was a great opportunity to learn more from our users and introduce their work with LECO instruments to a wider base. LECO is proud that so many excellent posters were submitted. All entries are displayed in our poster gallery.
An accurate determination of moisture content in milk products provides important information related to the food quality and safety (texture, taste, microbial stability). Moisture is also a key variable used to calculate a product’s purity, yield, and /or resulting constituent analysis on a dry basis.
The TGM800 provides the user with flexible method settings, automation, and hardware capabilities that maximises moisture determination efficiency, productivity, and analytical performance. This is accomplished while offering the ability to meet the primary loss-on-drying method requirements for sample.
Jolanda Nortjé, Laboratory Manager of The Southern African Grain Laboratory (SAGL), had a problem. Working with grains meant a lot of thermogravimetric analyses, but standard oven drying methods were incredibly time-consuming. Depending on the flour matrix, oven times could range from 1 hour to 17. Whole grains could take a full 72 hours. When LECO Africa reached out with a suggestion of a better way, Nortjé was happy to give it a try. She agreed to participate in a comparison of a primarymoisture loss-on-drying determination using the TGM800 and standard oven drying methods.