Why does a product not meet quality expectations? More and more companies are contacting VITO with a specific analysis question or problem. Researchers in the analysis laboratory not only carry out specialised analyses but also provide solutions to issues and targeted advice.

VITO’s Specialised Organic and Inorganic Analysis Laboratory (GOAL) handles more than 150 projects a year. The VITO analysis laboratory rarely performs standard measurements, but works according to the needs of the customer. Nicole De Brucker of VITO: “Rather than wanting to know what analyses they need, companies often have a specific problem or an explicit question. They can come to VITO with their questions. We then propose a plan of action. This is how we distinguish ourselves from other labs that work with more of a standard menu.”

Chosen by chemical company

The benefits of VITO’s analysis lab are found in different areas. Stefan Voorspoels of VITO: “We have a very wide range of technology in house: from very simple to very sophisticated equipment.  This convinces customers to work with us. We can carry out most projects ourselves from start to finish. In addition, we have broad experience and expertise. For example, we recently started a project with Lawter, a chemical company from the Antwerp port that chose us because of our range of analytical tools and tailor-made applications.”

Food and pharma

Food and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly coming to VITO with analysis questions. In July 2017, VITO received international recognition and a mention in The New York Times on the occasion of a study of phthalates in ready-to-eat macaroni with ham and cheese. Nicole De Brucker: “All who have an analytical question can call upon our services. And we will give each customer a tailored proposal.” In every case, customers can count on a thorough and phased approach. Stefan Voorspoels: “We always work in several phases, during which we give regular feedback to the customer. We’re always flexible and don’t work with automated routines. Based on the results, we adapt our further analyses. This allows us to assist in a much more targeted and efficient way. And that can save the customer a lot of money.”

Links to other VITO expertise

Nicole De Brucker: “When a customer comes to us asking why a product doesn’t meet the expected specifications, we don’t just stop at the answer to the question. We also think about how the problem arises and how the production process can be adapted. In doing so, we make use of other departments and expertise at VITO. For example, we can alert our customers to separation or remediation techniques that can benefit them.”