Versatile benchtop measurements with Thermo Scientific’s Orion Versa Star

By on September 25, 2013
Thermo Scientific Versa Star Benchtop Meter

Thermo Scientific Versa Star Benchtop Meter

Thermo Scientific’s Orion Versa Star Benchtop meter has a customizable interface, flexible sampling configuration and expanded measurement capabilities that make it ideal for pharmaceutical and research applications, as well as those in wastewater treatment.

“When we launched the Versa Star, we gathered a lot of customer feedback,” said Ricki Hartwell, product line manager.

One result of that feedback was a redesigned electrode stand that gets better movement into and out of beakers. The new electrode stand can also hold a meter-controlled stirring probe and its design includes an elbow joint, making it easy to lift the stirring probe and electrode out at the same time. That makes measuring a batch of samples progress much more quickly, Hartwell says, since there’s no stir bar to retrieve from the sample.

The meter has four channels, each capable of taking measurements of conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH or concentration using an ion-selective electrode via the use of interchangeable measurement modules.

“If you wanted to test the wastewater pH of 36 samples, the instrument has four channels. You could do four at a time and that improves lab efficiency,” said Hartwell.

It’s a good idea to calibrate pH electrodes before use and then check their calibration every two hours. Electrodes connect to modules that plug into the meter’s channels. Each module also has its own temperature input, so sample-specific temperature can be read for each measurement. If an electrode fails for any reason, it can easily be swapped out as needed without having to replace the entire meter, which Hartwell says minimizes replacement costs.

British Naval Connectors twist on, locking pH electrodes in place. Cables are available in lengths of 1, 3 and 6 meters, with the longest option mostly used for field applications. A 6-meter cable could be used in a lab setting to keep from having to move the meter for measurements.

The menu system is equally flexible. “We really wanted the customers to be able to use the meter without referring to the manual at all,” said Hartwell.

Customers can identify what channels they need and choose to display only those channels, cutting down on the amount of time they have to spend pressing buttons. To make it easier to see readings, it’s possible to make the measurement the only thing that shows up on the screen to greatly increase its size.

“The most common ‘wow’ factor is the display. It’s large, color and adjustable,” said Hartwell. “The display is focused on making sure measuring is easy. It’s customizable.”

Maintenance over the long-term is fairly minimal. Aside from dust that should be wiped off, there isn’t much needed to keep the meter in good working order. The meter is water-resistant, with an IP54 rating, and is designed so that water can’t intrude to affect the main board. A 3-year warranty covers the rest.

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