Message From Our CEO
My name is George Kong and in 2004 I founded Precisionary Instruments with my father Dr. Jian-Qiang Kong. Our goal was to focus on developing the Compresstome® vibratome. We always believed in making the best vibrating microtome for the research community, giving scientists the ability to section the perfect tissue slices so that their experiments can be done easier, faster, and well, just better in general.
At the same time, I am a strong believer that we need to provide great service along with a great product. I am incredibly proud of my Precisionary team who makes this possible.
I will be posting regular blogs so that you, our customers and partners, can get a glimpse of how we work. At the same time, I encourage you to reach out to me at email@example.com or on twitter @Precisionary_GK if you have any questions or comments. Many of our new features and functions are based on your feedback, making you a key player in the continuation of improvements to our products.
In this blog, I’ll be covering some recent advances you may have noticed in our Compresstome© product line and our newest flagship model, the VF-510-0Z. If you follow our product updates, we have gone from the original VF-100 in 2004, through seven iterations, to arrive at the VF-510-0Z.
Many customers have asked us why we keep changing our products. Well, we are not huge believers in the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” From our earliest model, the compression technology has allowed the Compresstome© to section great slices, but we have learned from scientists that there are things that can be designed better to make your lives easier. Our engineers are constantly prototyping and testing different ideas to do just that.
Take the VF-510-0Z for example. Here are the changes we have made to its usability and durability, many of them based on your feedback.
VF-510-0Z Usability Improvements
We have attended dozens of scientific conferences and performed one-on-one interviews with vibratome users. We have heard that customers want easy-to-use microtomes where new users can be quickly trained on the equipment. Clients have told us that they would like quicker setup of our Compresstome, so we listened and implemented the following design changes to improve usability.
Easier specimen loading:
We have made the sample loading process into the buffer tank much easier while keeping the machine’s footprint small. The VF-310-0Z model required scientists to remove the blade holder and the buffer tank to load the samples. We heard from you that this is time consuming, especially working with acute tissues. So we have made the process much easier by creating a control box that has a one-touch unlocking mechanism allowing the control box to slide back and forth. When you slide the control box towards the back, you can then open up the entire area to load your specimen tube into the buffer tray. This allows you to have everything set up, slide your sample into the buffer tray, and begin sectioning.
Easier blade attachment:
The magnetic blade holder has come out of beta and is now in full production mode. As many of you know, we tested many blade attachment methods before. We have found that using clamps or screws often resulted in the blades being bent slightly, decreasing the quality of the tissue slices. Therefore, up until now, we have recommended using glue as the best way to attach the blades. But what we have heard from you is that, while gluing works great, overtime the buildup of the glue can cause problems. Glue is also cumbersome to use. Our engineers, never a bunch to give up, came up with the magnetic blade holder idea which we have heard great feedback on.
VF-510-0Z Durability Improvements
We are not here to make a killing on our repairs. For the VF-510-0Z, we have done thousands of hours of testing with multiple models to figure out what parts of the machine can break during usage. During the design of this new model, we have replaced all the parts that are easily broken and put safeguards around others. This allows us to provide a 5 year warranty as our standard warranty period on the VF-510-0Z. This is much longer than the industry average of 1 year.
You are working very hard as a researcher already. You shouldn’t have to worry about the extra headache and costs when a machine breaks down. Here is one change we have made to improve the durability of the VF-510-0Z.
Protective cover on vibrating head:
Liquids and buffer solutions used in the buffer tray can spray up into the vibration head while you cut tissue. Over time, build up of ionized salts and residue can negatively impact vibratome performance. To prevent such contamination, and to increase the durability of your Compresstome, we added a cover on the vibrating head to prevent buffer aerosols from getting into the sensitive mechanical bearings.
During SFN 2022 we have gathered a lot more feedback from you as well. We will hopefully be releasing even more new features soon. Stay tuned!