hplcYou may read the title of this article and wonder how these two are connected as they seem about as far apart as you could possibly imagine. But there are more similarities than you think. And, I believe that liquid chromatography users could learn a great deal from the aviation industry.

What made me come to this connection? My experience living near the London Heathrow airport for the past 20 years–which has allowed me to see a lot of aircrafts take off. What is striking, though, is that 20 years ago these were mainly big, four-engine jumbo jets, but now you see a lot less of them and many more two-engine aircraft.

Aviation Industry Challenging the Status Quo

What the aviation industry has done is challenge the status quo. The jumbo jet is a tried and tested workhorse. It does the job it was built to do — it can carry large numbers of passengers, it’s relatively efficient, has a long range and is reliable with a good safety record. Why would one even consider replacing such an aircraft when to do so would incur additional costs to purchase a new aircraft and take a risk into the relative unknown? The aviation industry did challenge the status quo and overcame the inertia of sticking with what they were familiar with and shifted to a two-engine, wide-bodied aircraft. But why? What they understood was that with the next generation of two-engine aircraft they could retain what they currently had, but gain improved efficiency and hence lower costs. They could  improve the customer/user experience, reduce maintenance and service costs and increase uptime and access to the latest technology.

HPLC Market Sticking to What They Know?

In the HPLC instrument market we have a similar set of conditions, but it appears a greater reluctance to challenge the status quo. Many stick to their original HPLC instrument – the equivalent of the jumbo jet – as it does the intended application(s) it was purchased to do, they are familiar with the system and typically have a drawer full of spare parts. However, if they were to shift to a new UHPLC instrument they could gain the same benefits as the aviation industry; improved efficiency and productivity, dramatically reducing the cost per sample, improved user experience, more uptime with less service and maintenance interventions and future-proofed technology for new and demanding applications.

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My advice would be to follow the lead of the aviation industry and challenge the status quo and invest in a next generation state-of-the-art UHPLC instrument such as the Thermo Scientific™ Vanquish™ UHPLC platform. The aviation industry is benefiting from improved efficiency, better reliability, ability to meet future demands and overall lower costs from simply challenging the status quo – why not have these benefits with your (U)HPLC instrument? Take those first steps today, for progress you have to challenge the status quo.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Thermo Scientific Vanquish UHPLC platform and take a tour of the system here.

See how Vanquish can separate your science from the status quo here.