Waters: Mass spectrometry HQ will open tech up to more people

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Waters Corporation mass spectrometry headquarters in the UK
Waters Corporation mass spectrometry headquarters in the UK

Related tags Mass spectrometry Food Food quality

Waters Corporation has officially opened its mass spectrometry headquarters in the UK and said that the food industry has been a major driver behind the technology in recent years.

The site, which took less than two years to construct from ground-breaking to completion, brings together four existing mass spectrometry centres in the North-West of England consisting of more than 500 employees.

The 2313m² building includes customer demonstration laboratories, research and development capabilities and an expanded manufacturing capacity.

It was constructed to the ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating, with sustainability elements including rain water harvesting tanks, solar panels and heat recovery systems.

Waters’ recent mass spectrometry technology launches have included instruments, such as the SYNAPT and Xevo ranges of mass spectrometers.

Food industry growth

Gary Harland, director, product management, mass spectrometry at Waters Corporation, told FoodQualityNews.com that context of use was especially important for the food industry.

“Mass spectrometry provides confidence for the end user, it is a sensitive analytical technique which gives you a yes or no to a compound or can identify unknowns or tell you how much of what you are looking for is there," ​he said.

“Growth in the last five years in particular has been driven by food safety, food quality and food research.

“You need to ask who is the end user and the end consumer of the results? Is it a business that is importing or exporting, research and development at a food company who are looking to build nutritional products or a regulatory or government agency.”

Customer feedback

Factors including cost, machine size, complexity and expertise have been barriers to adoption in the past, said Harland.

Waters lab 2
Waters Corporation mass spectrometry headquarters in Wilmslow

He said the site had been planned for a long time for specifically developing mass spectrometry systems – with the ultimate goal of reducing time and expense of product development.

“The layout encourages collaboration between the R&D and operations side of the business," ​he said.

“We have been in the building since the start of the year and fully operational since March and it gives people the right working environment to do what they need to do.

“Our product development cycle is between 18 months to three years so we are taking input from customers and changing what we are doing based on that.”

The facility in Wilmslow has been designed and equipped to accelerate innovation in mass spectrometry.

Technology at the site enables scientists to analyze tiny quantities of substances and chemical components, often within complex mixtures, to find out what they are composed of at the molecular level.

George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who marked the official opening, added: “I am delighted to open the new Waters Corporation offices in Wilmslow, after I helped perform the ground-breaking back in June 2012.

“It is a fantastic site that provides many excellent local jobs and I wish them every success here in the future.” ​ 

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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