- Bench-top solution delivers product claim verification, shorter product lead times, reduced manufacturing costs and environmental benefits.
- Nanotechnology comes of age commercially.
Leading nanotechnology and nanometrology company Farfield Group has launched what is being hailed as the first commercially packaged, bench-top, nanotechnology instrument, the NanoFlex™. With unrivalled performance in sub atomic-scale, surface and interfacial measurement, the NanoFlex is initially being targeted at the FMCG market place.
From product claim verification to water and energy conservation, research and manufacturing, the NanoFlex™ is designed to be tailored easily to any application where surface science and molecular scale, nanometrology measurements are required in FMCG research and product development. Until now, the focus of nanotechnology and in particular nanometrology has been largely academic, using scientific instruments or particle accelerators in government research laboratories. Whilst invaluable in pushing the frontiers of science forward, it has been difficult to access the benefits from an industrial perspective. By aiming a commercially packaged system at one of the largest target sectors, FMCG, Farfield believe that they have created a platform for encouraging the widespread commercial adoption of FMCG nanotechnology applications.
The NanoFlex can be used in any application where companies need to measure and differentiate between molecular levels of adsorption, absorption or desorption at a surface. Examples include the removal of substances such as grease or oil from a surface by surfactants or, conversely, the deposition of a substance such as a polymer in conditioners onto a surface. In the consumer goods sector, these are the factors that underwrite many of the product marketing and branding claims made to the public. Verification of these claims, quickly and easily, in a deskilled manner, gives FMCG producers faster lead times to market and allows them to extend and justify marketing claims.
Additionally, by using nanometrology in the research, design, development and manufacturing of FMCG products, not only are lead times to market are reduced but the greater precision in formulation control also means less waste, less energy and greatly reduced water consumption, all ‘brand creating’ concepts in the minds of consumers.
The NanoFlex™ delivers the ability to detect structural changes as small as a molecular bond, providing a unique information set on behaviour and interactions on surfaces with industry leading resolution.
NanoFlex™ utilises Farfield’s acclaimed and award-winning Dual Polarisation Interferometry technology (DPI), which uses polarised light from a laser passing along a glass “AnaChip™” surface treated to emulate the characteristics of the product category under investigation. Hair, cotton, polyester, dish care and a range of other surfaces of interest to the FMGC market are available. Looking along the AnaChip™ surface (rather than from above as with a conventional microscope) many millions of molecules are observed delivering resolution of how they are absorbed, arranged or removed from the surface of interest. Changes in the resulting optical signal are directly quantifiable in terms of the size, structure and/or mass of the surface molecules.
The FMCG product sectors where these kinds of surface measurements are most in demand include dish-care and laundry-care cleaning products, domestic paper products, the food industry, packaging, glass, fragrances and cosmetics. Farfield expertise is also called upon to meet and beat environmental targets, such as reducing water and energy consumption in dishwashers or measuring a substance’s biodegradability.
NanoFlex™ is the only solution to measure structural changes as they happen in real- time in a bench-top format that is easily accessible. Measurements can be taken in what traditionally have been difficult environments such as solvents and buffer solutions. The system also allows the unattended analysis of samples and as such has the highest throughput structural measurements of molecules available on the market. Farfield can also offer a wide range of accessories and toolkits related to particular applications or markets.
Says Gerry Ronan, CEO of Farfield Group, “NanoFlex™ is the only instrument that offers true, real time nano-surface information about FMCG products. It is a truly next-generation tool that can differentiate how your new product performs and verify the claims you make in your marketing. It can also reveal competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and that is just as valuable. Customer perceived benefits, softer, smoother, cleaner, etc, are all determined by what happens at the molecular scale and getting a handle on these is truly a brand building concept”
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About Farfield Group
Farfield Group Limited is an innovator and global supplier of new analytical technologies and instruments that address the emerging and evolving measurement demands of the Biophysics, Nanotechnology and Telecommunications communities, which combined represent the most demanding measurement challenges facing research over the next decade.
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