A touch of style for labo­ra­tory tech­nology

Modern design and maximum user friend­li­ness – the key to customer satis­fac­tion for the Danish labo­ra­tory equip­ment special­ists Labo­Gene. And an optimum air flow is one of the essen­tial ingre­di­ents.


“Scan­di­na­vian by Design.” You could be mistaken for thinking this is the proud slogan of a manu­fac­turer of exclu­sive furni­ture or exquisite watches. But in fact the motto is part of the company logo of Labo­Gene. Amongst other things, the Danish labo­ra­tory equip­ment special­ists produce laminar air flow work­sta­tions for univer­si­ties, chemists’ shops, and phar­ma­ceu­tical compa­nies.
Labo­Gene CEO Mikal Skat Nørrevig explains the thinking behind this claim: “’Scan­di­na­vian by Design’ describes two aspects of our company philos­ophy: On the one hand, our prod­ucts are so attrac­tively designed that they almost look like modern kitchen appli­ances. At the same time we place great emphasis on making our equip­ment user friendly.”

With this approach, the Danish company and its 45 employees have earned them­selves an excel­lent repu­ta­tion throughout the world. The equip­ment they supply is used in labo­ra­to­ries in around 60 coun­tries, predom­i­nantly in Europe and Asia. To main­tain the top quality of the prod­ucts, Labo­Gene is constantly looking to make improve­ments and works together with a number of other compa­nies to achieve this. “ebm-papst is a compe­tent and creative partner for all aspects asso­ci­ated with fan instal­la­tion and how to design the air flow.”

There is a quieter solu­tion

Of partic­ular impor­tance to LaboGene’s customers are quiet-running systems. As Nørrevig explains: “Labo­ra­tory workers spend many hours a day with our laminar air flow systems. In such a situ­a­tion, any back­ground noise can be a real nuisance and wearing on the workers’ nerves.” For a long time, Labo­Gene there­fore did the same as other compa­nies and used forward-curved fans to keep the noise level down, even though these were not capable of opti­mally distrib­uting the air flow through the filters fitted in the systems. Labo­Gene was never entirely happy with this solu­tion, but in the past there was no other alter­na­tive.

Fans from ebm-papst can help us to mini­mize the overall power consump­tion of our systems.
Mikal Skat Nørrevig, CEO of Labo­gene

Peter Lund Plechinger, Product Manager at ebm-papst in Denmark, was aware of this problem as well. When ebm-papst brought the back­ward-curved centrifugal fan RadiCal onto the market, he saw an oppor­tu­nity to help Labo­Gene out of their predica­ment with regard to the fans. The RadiCal is ideally suited to the appli­ca­tion at Labo­Gene, having a better frequency distri­b­u­tion and being consid­er­ably quieter-running than its prede­cessor. “To demon­strate the advan­tages to the customer, we constructed a model of a laminar air flow system on our premises – with all the tech­nical intri­ca­cies.” Plechinger was thus well equipped to stage his presen­ta­tion.

Air flow exper­tise

The audi­ence was really impressed. “Along­side the prod­ucts, the great thing about working with ebm-papst is that the people you talk to are fully conver­sant with every aspect of the air flow. The presen­ta­tion we were given further rein­forced that impres­sion,” says Mikal Skat Nørrevig.

Mikal Skat Nørrevig, CEO of Labo­Gene, inspects an installed RadiCal EC centrifugal fan. (Photo | ebm-papst)

For Labo­Gene, both the instal­la­tion itself and the switch to EC tech­nology were convincing argu­ments. As a result, the air flow through a laminar air flow device can be ideally adapted to various scenarios. “On top of that, energy effi­ciency is becoming an ever more impor­tant consid­er­a­tion,” explains Nørrevig. “In the case of new labo­ra­to­ries in partic­ular, a lot of compa­nies set down strin­gent spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the equip­ment used. This is where fans from ebm-papst can help us to mini­mize the overall power consump­tion of our systems.”

Systems for cutting-edge research

Laminar air flow systems are primarily used for research work on sensi­tive or crit­ical substances or samples. They prevent cont­a­m­i­na­tion by parti­cles getting in from the outside, and also stop mate­rials getting out of the system from the inside – which can be a matter of life and death in the case of hazardous substances. Fans produce an air curtain to isolate the inte­rior of the system from the surrounding area. A further fan discharges the air. Regu­la­tion of the air produces a slight vacuum in the laminar air flow system that stops substances getting out.

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