Improve the Accuracy of Your Formulations

Article by Sartorius

Discover how smart balances coupled with database storage can boost process and product development

MAKING sure that your formulation recipes are carried out in identical fashion across sites is critical to any company. Less accurate operators put themselves at higher risk when working with regulated products and processes, and there’s the obvious financial risk of loss of product or spoiled formulations.  

Laboratory balances with data connectivity and database storage, like the Cubis® II Series by Sartorius, help engineers address these needs by helping laboratories better manage their recipes and provide consistency across all company balances. 

Benefits of databases storage

Databases allow for a central and secure storage of critical data and facilitate easy integration into different software systems such as your company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a laboratory information management system (LIMS). Laboratory balances with database storage capability have many advantages when working with formulations, especially for a highly regulated laboratory:

  • Database integrity – the system maintains information accuracy and detects integrity violations.
  • Centralised storage – an organisation can manage recipes from one centralised database and easily roll out new configurations.
  • Data independence – different application programs can access recipes over a protected interface.
  • Audit trail – external databases in combination with your electronic laboratory notebook or LIMS can track changes when records are touched.
  • Secured access – different tiers of access prevent unauthorised recipe manipulation.
  • Data backup – the database safeguards data with backup and recovery functions.

Cubis® II Formulation QApps

The Cubis® II balances are the only laboratory balances with fully customisable hardware, software, and connectivity. Cubis® II users have access to standard and optional QApp software packages for a range of workflows, including formulation. Companies doing formulation can use the Formulation QApp to manage recipes in a local database on the Cubis® II balance, or a central database.

The Formulation QApp software in single tare vessel (QAPP215) and in different tare vessels (QAPP216) can store recipes with up to 50 components in the selected database. Each component is defined by its name and the target weight. Additionally, the permissible tolerance is set as a percentage of the target weight. During the guided weighing process, the operator first measures the vessel(s) tare weight(s) and then weighs in the components. The target weight of each component is displayed and a tolerance bar indicates if the measured component weight is within the set tolerance. The software records the components’ net weights, determines the percent difference from the set target weight and calculates the sum of the total weight.

Currently, the Formulation QApps support two database types: SQLite and PostgreSQL. SQLite is an internal database that is used for recipes stored locally on a specific balance. PostgreSQL (also known as Postgres) is a free and open-source relational database management system (RDBMS) and allows sharing of recipes across multiple balances.

Centralised or local recipe database

Companies that need to manage recipes for use on multiple Cubis® II units can do so by connecting to a PostgreSQL database server. Once a recipe is created, it can be accessed and used on any connected balance. After completing the recipe, the system can generate a report that is transferrable to a LIMS/ELN or ERP system. Importantly, all modifications to recipes are recorded in the audit trail and are fully traceable.

There are instances when a balance is not connected to a central network. For example, secure laboratories must follow strict protocols and are usually not connected to a network. In this scenario, Cubis® II users can save recipes on the local SQLite database and use it for tasks performed only on that unit.

Formulation is a critical step in any product development and production process. The Cubis® II Premium balances facilitate accuracy and consistency when using recipes, whether it is on a single balance, or across multiple balances. Database storage provides secured shared access, while also providing full traceability and safeguards for data integrity.

Want to learn more how to use the Cubis® II balance in your chemical research?

Visit our website:

Article by Sartorius

Recent Editions

Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.