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Helping to improve the next generation in lab technology.


With their main product reaching end-of-life, this discovery sciences company challenged Logic PD to create a more user friendly and better performing device without a significant increase in manufacturing costs.


The Alltech ELSD (Evaporative Light Scattering Detector) analyzes and identifies sample compounds in liquid chromatography for pharmaceutical research and quality control labs, but scientists were finding the ELSD to be too large and difficult to use. Alltech took the opportunity, while creating their next generation product, to improve user experience and increase speed and reliability. Alltech challenged Logic PD to design a more sensitive and intuitive laboratory ELSD instrument without increasing costs.


Logic PD was chosen as a discovery, design, and development partner for the next generation ELSD. Logic PD began with a highly focused user-centered evaluation of the key requirements and concerns associated with the previous Alltech product. The design team’s user research studied scientists using the device in their lab environment. Drawing from these insights, the design team was able to discover critical elements that would aid them in redesigning the user interface.

From these studies it was determined that there were too many steps involved and scientists often had to write down specific formulas in order to use the same recipe in the next cycle. Logic PD redesigned the user experience to include more options up front on the display; reducing the overall amount of steps required to begin. Memory was also going to be built in so scientists could run the same test multiple times without having to write down the formula or start from scratch.

Another major concern that came out of design research was laboratory space. The first generation product was perceived as too large. The mechanical engineering team worked to reduce the overall size of the ELSD device itself, but also made them stackable. Therefore, laboratories that had multiple ELSD machines could lower the footprint space, leaving more room for experimentation.

The long lifecycle of ELSD machines made display selection a challenge. Typical displays used in laboratory equipment have short lifecycles, so obsolescence could be an issue in the near future. To find a solution, Logic PD tested numerous options and ultimately recommended an automotive display. These displays are more rugged and durable than typical laboratory displays, but also have longer lifecycles and are a lower cost option.

Along with testing display options, Logic PD mechanical engineers also tested different plastics for the enclosure. Many of the plastics tested could not tolerate the solvent used when running tests with the ELSD instrument. Logic PD worked with a professional molder to find the best possible option and have the enclosure constructed.


The ELSD 3300 achieved upgraded performance while knocking out the customer’s sales goals and all without any significant increases in cost. The integrated memory function was found to be more user friendly but also helped to reduce the amount of training required to use the machine as well as reduce operator error.


Alltech is a discovery sciences company whose products are used in liquid chromatography for pharmaceutical research and quality control labs around the world.


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