High Throughput Formulation & Screening Robot (PLATO)

by Joke Speelman, Scientist, BU Research, Surface Chemistry

Formulations are important in Surface Chemistry Research & Development. All of our surfactants are used in formulations. This can be in industrial formulations as well as in final consumer formulations. The properties of these formulated surfactants are crucial for supporting our customers, new product developments and for protecting our portfolio of products.

The robot has the name PLATO which stands for Platform for Accelerated Throughput toward Opportunities.

Preparing and analyzing formulations is very time consuming. Quite often the number of formulations that can be prepared and studied are limited due to overall time constrains. Akzo Nobel Chemicals recently bought a High Throughput Formulation & Screening Robot. This new piece of equipment will support us with the tedious formulation work.

It is now possible to prepare and screen 100-400 samples a day. The throughput is dependent on the number of steps that needs to be taken for preparing and evaluating samples. The robot is able to dose and mix various ingredients in several ways. The focus right now is very much on handling liquids. Besides preparing formulations there are also screening options like phase behavior at various temperatures, viscosities and dynamic surface tensions.

The equipment is installed in the Akzo Nobel Research Development & Innovation (RD&I) Laboratories in Deventer, The Netherlands.