Experience with Thermo's EASY nLC II (formerly Proxeon) HPLC for LC-MS

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PhilG
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Experience with Thermo's EASY nLC II (formerly Proxeon) HPLC for LC-MS

Postby PhilG » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:48 pm

It is time for me to select an LC for an OrbiTrap. Thermo purchased Proxeon and has now incorporated Proxeon's nano LC into Thermo's product line. The LC is now called the EASY nLC II. Does anyone have any experience using the EASY nLC II or old Proxeon LC with an OrbiTrap or other Thermo mass spectrometer? Some of my applications require 10-12 days of continuous use so comments on reliability and robustness would be greatly appreciated (as would any other comments).

David
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Postby David » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:31 pm

Hi Phil,

Our lab switched to the Proxeon for the exact same reason - the fact that it was bought by Thermo and is now bundled with the Orbitrap. We have had EASY nLC's in our lab for >2 years, now. In terms of robustness, I actually was pleasantly surprised that the Proxeon system is quite reproducible in terms of retention times over many runs. Though instrument time is always an issue, we do have experiments which run continuously for over a week, and they have so far been turning out quite well. I will, however, point out a downside of this system - unlike the Eksigent or Waters systems, you can't increase loading to a very high flow rate (100 uL/min max), and you thus end up taking quite a bit of time in-between runs, loading the sample, equilibrating, etc (I would guess 20 min, at the minimum). Also, we have learned not to fully trust the sample pick-up calibration, so we have to make sure there are several extra uL of sample in the vial to guarantee that we won't be getting air in the lines. In terms of ease of use, however, the Proxeon is a much simpler system than the Waters, especially, with less to break down (my past lab has/had 5 or more nanoAcquity instruments, and several of them were simply nightmares to keep running) and is also easier to teach to new students, since the interface/connection with the Orbi is very straightforward and everything can be controlled quite easily through XCalibur.

I hope this helps.

thedane
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Postby thedane » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:41 am

Disclaimer - I work for Proxeon / Thermo Scientific.

We recently added a feature to the EASY-nLC software (called Intelligent Flow Control - IFC for short), so it can load and re-equlibrate as fast as back-pressure allows. It will essentially drive the pumps as hard as possible while staying below a set pressure limit (system max by default) and in addition to saving you time in general for each run, it will also extend the lifetime of your column(s) by automatically reducing the actual loading rate over time as column 'gunk' builds up.

End disclaimer.

-- Michael

nagarjuna.nagaraj
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Postby nagarjuna.nagaraj » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:29 am

In our lab we have been using the easy LC for a while now. I have had mostly good experiences with the LC in terms of reproducible retention times and so on. We have been using the intelli flow thats mentioned above and we like the LC very much. In theory the problems that are specific to the LC as such is very few and they are also getting solved over time. The major limitation was the max pressure set to 280 which is not the case anymore. Before we completely switched to Proxeon we were using Agilent 1100s and in comparison to those the Proxeons are equally robust and reliable.
good luck
naga

daniswan
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Postby daniswan » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:31 pm

Anyone have ideas as to what is wrong with my HPLC. Here are the symptoms: The system will overpressure and this always occurs during the steps prior to running the gradient, which include picking up the sample, loading it into the loop, and equilibrating the column. It is not a clog in the lines anywhere or the tip because when you start the system flowing again the pressure is perfectly fine. The sample is also not the cause, if I run the same sample over and over again this will happen randomly at some point, but then the next run with that same sample will be just fine.
I have tried replacing the rotor on the sample valve, replacing the autosampler needle and inlet line (out of the fear it was introducing little pieces of fused silica into the system), and most other components in the system.

Has anyone seen something like this before? or have any suggestions as to what might be the cause? It is proving very difficult to troubleshoot since we can not force it to happen, it just randomly occurs.

-Danielle

StefanoL
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Postby StefanoL » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:06 am

Hi Danielle
What does the warning message say when the system goes in overpressure?
I encountered a problem like yours with our EASY-nLC II with an upsetting randomness that I cannot associate to a specific problem in the fluidics. I noticed that the warning message "Pump A overpressure" (or something like that) is sometimes a false message that appears anytime the system breaks off. I've never been in front to the screen when the overpressure has happened so I could not read the pressure value at that moment. The pressure profile on HiStar (I work with a Proxeon purchased by Bruker together with their mass spectrometers before Thermo acquisition) does not shows any peak over the set limit! Anyway, as in your case, it happens in the pre-run steps and no clogging is detected, as the system restarts flowing correctly.
Moreover, I always work with the IFC enabled thus no overpressure should take place in the pre-run sequence.
Maybe a simple "bug" in the software (I know this is not very helpful)?
Good work

Stefano

BMRI
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Postby BMRI » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:55 pm

Hi ,

We have a nanoLC proxeon. The sample pump does not build pressure and the waste valve does not go back to the position. I changed the seals and they still dont work. I have ordered a new valve since the cost of calling a service is equivalent of a new valve. I have not worked out how to make the pump work yet. Anyone has experience when pump does not build pressure? Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

daniswan
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Postby daniswan » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:45 am

Yes, this has happened to me. We replaced the rotor in pump B and everything worked great.

BMRI
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Postby BMRI » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:57 pm

daniswan wrote:Yes, this has happened to me. We replaced the rotor in pump B and everything worked great.

Hi daniswan, would you please by any chance still remember the parts number and did you buy it from Thermo? Thank you do much!!

daniswan
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Postby daniswan » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:41 am

Part numbers:
LC224 if you have a unit with serial number V-009999 or below
LC228 if you have a unit with serial number V-010000 or higher

You can buy it from Thermo. Often times you can get the exact same part from another company cheaper, but I haven't looked into that for this part.

BMRI
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Postby BMRI » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:51 am

Hi, it turned out that I had to change two valves and the sample pump.
The valve could no longer do the 3 positions and changing the rotor did not help. I bought the vales directly from vici and they cost over $500 each. I figured this will be cheaper than getting a engineer in. I was really grateful I got a free reconditioned sample pump. So after all, the nanoLC is running trouble free.

Anyone know the best way of getting rid of gas bubbles in the solvent line after changing solvent bottles?

zhen
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Postby zhen » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:37 am

If you haven't tried already, the nLC has a built in purge function in the maintenance section. This function usually does the trick for me. You can often see the bubbles, if one purge doesn't remove it then repeat a few times.


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