Commercially available instruments vary considerably
in design and applicability. The design falls into two categories: “black box” and “open architecture”. The purpose of black box design is to minimize users input on the instrument configuration, including the software programming. While the design makes these instruments ideally suited for routine serial assays, the trouble shooting and maintenance has to be carried out by professional service making the user captive of the manufacturer. Designed some 40 years ago, these instruments operate in continuous flow FI mode, and use multichannel peristaltic pumps.
The Perkin-Elmer system, is designed to automate hydride generation for P-E line of atomic absorption instruments. It is suitable for trace analysis of metals that form volatile hydrides such as As, Sb, Hg and Se.
The Lachat instrument the QC 8500 is a well-established tool for serial assays in agriculture and environmental laboratories. It can be configured as single or up to four channel system for simultaneous assay of up to four target analytes. It operates in continuous flow mode and uses for majority of applications a flow trough colorimeter. The Method list of Lachat Co comprises over eighty analytes, determined in a wide variety of matrices.
The FIAlab 2500 manufactured by FIAlab Inc., is a single channel analyzer, driven by four channel peristaltic pump. It is aimed at serial assays of nutrients carried out in continuous flow mode to serve needs of agriculture and environmental laboratories.
The miniSIA—2, manufactured by Global FIA, is a single channel instrument, driven by two miliGAT syringe pumps. It operates in programmable flow mode and has open architecture , allowing the user to modify software protocols, accommodate flow cells for spectrophotometry, fluorescence or chemiluminiscence. It can be programmed to function in flow injection, sequential injection or bead injection mode. It is suitable for research, but is also available for serial assays.