My wife and I had a long day, with a lot of items to complete on our agenda. We both wanted to exercise, take our daughter to play at the park, go to the supermarket, get new pillows at the shopping mall, fit in time to watch the 1st week of NFL football, all the while preparing food for dinner. Well we got the first 5 things done, however it was running late in the day so we decided to go out to dinner at the local chain restaurant. She ordered a veggie burger, I ordered the cheeseburger sliders, and my daughter ordered the kids grill cheese. We had a great dinner, the food came out hot, and the server was very attentive to our needs. He continually came to the table to ask us how the food was, fill up our drinks, and replenish our napkins. As we all know burgers and fries can get a little messy. The burgers at this establishment are pretty big, and after we were finished with them we were a bit on the fence about getting dessert.
As usual after the dinner portion ends, our server comes by and asks us if we would be interested in dessert. My wife had been walking our daughter around the restaurant to tire her out and saw a new dessert that wasn’t on the menu. It was one of her favorites an apple turnover with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. So of course she asked the server, if he thought the apple turnover was any good. He paused for a second and said the single most hilarious comment I have ever heard while being waited on. He said that the apple turnover is the equivalent of a “Box full of Rainbows and Unicorns”, hence the title of my blog.
Obviously the imagery that was sparked by his comment, first had us doubled over laughing, but then created an ethereal response. We had to try it, and it was everything that he said it was, creamy, sweet, a bit tart, and scrumptious. When we gave some to our daughter her immediate reaction was a smile and the sound of her yelling hmmmmm!
So how does my great food escapade all tie in together with HPLC/UHPLC you might ask?
In early August, I tasked myself and my sales representatives with starting our ACE Excel 2um UHPLC column Beta program. The goal of the Beta program was to put these columns into influential chromatographer’s hands before the official launch date of October 1st. This way we can have a prequel of the column feedback to understand more about the columns practical application uses and to see head to head comparisons between these UHPLC columns and the market leaders UPLC/UHPLC columns. This prequel will help us in the future troubleshoot issues that may come up when introducing this new product to the market.
The data we got back was an overwhelming positive response. My initial impression as the sales manager left me with a question to answer. Maybe the new ACE Excel UHPLC columns are indeed a “Box full of Rainbows and Unicorns” like my Apple Turnover dessert? Could it be that these columns have addressed the shortcoming of the current market leader’s columns in a number of ways?
What the beta-testers told me was there were numerous advantages to these columns over the standard UPLC/UHPLC columns available on the market today. The ACE Excel columns have larger frit sizes (~2.0 um) then the standard 0.5 um frits used by UPLC/UHPLC columns, which has led to longer life times in head to head comparisons. These columns give lower back pressures which allow you to push the speed of the 2um Excel UHPLC columns faster then a sub-2um column of the same corresponding size because the analyst simply has more pressure to play with in the pumping system of their UPLC/UHPLC. These columns give you the same outstanding peak shape that the ACE HPLC column range is known for, and these columns are available in a number of orthoganol phases like the C18, C18-AR, C18-PFP, C8, AQ, C4, CN, and Phenyl. What more can a chromatographer as for?
Now I know I sound like a bit of a homer, however, I thought the comment made by our server the other night deserved some attention and the above is the best way I could tie it into my work scope without laughing too hard.