Syngenta fully automate viscosity measurements with Labman

Discover how Labman assist Syngenta on their mission to expand their current formulation instrumentation through a specialised system to measure a specific type of rheology.
10 min read
Featuring comments from
A.SFormulation Technical Expert
Syngenta’s process for Helipath testing was predominately manual, using commonplace equipment. With their increased testing needs and drive to improve standards in data capture, experts in formulation chemistry require a fully automated system to meet future requirements.
After several successful automation projects with Labman, Syngenta contact Labman to develop a bespoke system, which automates measuring the viscosity of samples, allowing 24/7 continuous operation.
The Helipath viscometry system immediately had a positive impact on the data capture at Syngenta. The technical experts were able to increase the number of samples that are measured, whilst increasing the data quality based on the reliable and precise measurement system.

4x faster

compared to manual operation

Syngenta are a global leader in research and development for the agricultural industry, innovating new ways to improve the way crops are grown, and contributing to the sustainability of food production.
Syngenta have been working with Labman for a number of years to automate their lab processes as much as possible, allowing them to maximise efficiency and increase productivity.

“Automation, as well as data collection and maintenance, will become a differentiating opportunity. If we look at other industries, such as the automotive industry, we already see a high level of automation, which we want to achieve in our laboratories to further increase productivity while maintaining the high quality of our Syngenta products.” Said A.S, a Formulation Technical Expert leading the project at Syngenta.

"When I think about new technologies such as artificial intelligence and enhanced computer modelling tools, I expect this to have a significant impact in the future and change our current way of working. "
A.SFormulation Technical Expert, Syngenta

They most recently contacted Labman to fully automate their helipath testing, which allows them to meet the significant demand, while keeping data quality reliable and precise.

The system contains 3 viscometers that take measurements of 3 different size sample jars. The jars are loaded into the system. Once the user presses the start button, the Epson robot arm picks up the sample, scans the barcode, and places it into one of the appropriate shuttles. The shuttle then moves under the viscometer where the measurement takes place. Once the measurement is finished the shuttle moves back to the Epson arm and the sample placed back to the rack. The viscometer lowers into a wash bath where the geometry is placed back on the rack, ready for the next measurement and allowing for continual use of the system.

The Helipath Viscometry system can measure 3 samples simultaneously in as little time at 3 minutes, whereas the previous system would take 5 minutes to measure 1 sample. This increase in efficiency means samples can be measured up to 4x faster.

Labman also offers Traciot, which is a fully integrated laboratory telemetry platform, designed from the ground up for flexibility and ease of integration. It serves to provide usage statistics and it is a powerful maintenance tool. A.S comments that “being able to open support tickets quickly and having an overview of uptime, measurements and downtime will be a good tool for the future to see if additional equipment is needed or if the current capacity is satisfactory.”

A.S adds, “the software is much easier to use, and it takes less time to start a measurement. More samples can be added at the same time and there is no need for the analyst to be present during the measurement. You will be notified by email when your measurement is complete. This saves a considerable amount of time as you can work on other things while the robot does the work.”

"It’s interesting to work with people from a different country. The people at Labman were very, very nice, and the atmosphere was very easy-going and familiar."
Philip LamersProject Leader, Syngenta