NBS’ new line of -86° Green Freezers use hydrocarbons as refrigerants instead of ozone-depleting HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) gases. “Our already energy-efficient traditional freezers are 30 to 40% more efficient than competitor’s models, and our Green Freezers improve this efficiency up to another 10%,” comments Orcutt. Although popular in Europe, Green Freezers are not yet available in North America.
Europe has taken the lead in moving away from HFC gases, according to Orcutt. In some cases, multinational pharmaceutical companies that require large numbers of freezers are leading the transition to these energy-efficient and eco-friendly models. With energy conservation and reduction of global warming a priority for companies today, NBS’ Green Freezers “are good for the environment and can save in operating costs over the course of the freezer’s lifetime,” Orcutt says.
Earlier this year, NBS introduced a new line of Galaxy® CO2 incubators that reportedly minimizes contamination risk, improves temperature and CO2 control, and reduces maintenance time. The Galaxy line comes in three sizes and two model ranges, including a microsize 0.5 cubic foot/1.7 L incubator, which is suited for stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, and other applications where sample isolation is needed, Orcutt says.
The incubator can be customized with a variety of options such as active humidification, high-temperature disinfection, and oxygen control from 0.1 to 95%. Low-cost models with standard LED are available as well as advanced systems with LCD display and 72-hour data logging of temperature, door openings, gases, and relative humidity, so that researchers can track culture conditions even when away from the lab.
Other new products from NBS include a benchtop fermentor/bioreactor, the BioFlo/CelliGen 115, which comes with a compact control station and vessels ranging from 1.3 to 14 liters. The controller can regulate up to three independent vessels. A touchscreen monitor, pumps, and configurable controls for gases, pH, and foam are built in, and no external computer is needed. “The entire system is designed to simplify ordering, setup, and use,” says Orcutt.
NBS is now shipping the BioFlo 610, a sterilizable-in-place bioprocess fermentor for pilot plants and small-scale production. With capacities of 65 liters or 125 liters, the BioFlo 610 bridges the gap between the BioFlo 510, a 20 and 40 L system, and the BioFlo Pro, a 75 to 3,000 L production system.
In addition to new products, the NBS/Eppendorf merger led to collaboration between sales and service centers, particularly in Europe and Asia. Eppendorf now offers NBS products in Germany, France, Italy, India, and China, and NBS distributes Eppendorf products to customers in The Netherlands and Belgium. The merger also increased funds to upgrade NBS’ manufacturing facilities for faster delivery of finished goods to customers.
“While many suppliers of durable goods to the life science industry experienced a drop in sales during the recent economic downturn, NBS had its most successful year in recent decades,” comments Orcutt.