Seventeen years ago, Aubrey Montana entered the universe of analytical contract laboratories. A young professional with a liberal arts degree, she answered a newspaper want ad for a report writer at a scientific company. That scientific company? Particle Technology Labs (PTL). Aubrey remembers, “The ad said ‘interest in science is a plus’ and that was me in a nutshell. It sounded like a perfect fit and 17 years later, I’d say it was a pretty good fit!”
She first began writing formal final reports for testing projects, then started helping the busy chemists and other staff by answering the lab’s phones. The more reports she wrote, the more calls she picked up and the more she talked with the chemists, the more knowledge gained. “To this day,” Aubrey reflects, “I still learn something new. It’s always very interesting. We work with so many different industries…the sky is the limit. You get a good cross-section of the world here.”
Now, as Senior Client Relations, Aubrey guides clients in determining the best testing solutions for their specific needs. She explains, “Together, we are able to form a better path through the woods of choosing a technique.”
Tips for Choosing a Particle Testing Lab
Based on her years of experience and conversations with hundreds of clients, Aubrey has valuable insight for those choosing a lab. Here are three important things she wants you to know:
1. Particle Sizing Testing Can Be Complicated and That’s a Good Thing.
“I think one surprising element for people is how complicated particle sizing can be. A lot of people are familiar with some very straight forward chemical testing and when you say that name of the chemical test, it has a very specific meaning and you can only do it one way. Particle science is the exact opposite of that. There are so many different techniques out there and so many variables to the techniques,” explains Aubrey. This complexity and variety allow for accurate results and tremendously comprehensive insight.
From the very beginning, Particle Technology Labs earned a reputation for helping clients find the right way to do the test and to obtain the data they need. As Aubrey puts it, “We’ve been in business for thirty plus years and Richard Karuhn, our founder, certainly engendered the company with very creative, very scientific problem-solving minds.”
2. All Labs are Not the Same So Decide What’s Important to You.
Particle testing can be done by a number of different types of analytical contract labs with varying degrees of accreditation. Decide what level of quality you want in your testing provider.
An independent lab can provide results free of bias. Such independence is important within the scientific community. Aubrey credits PTL’s worldwide popularity, in part, to our independent status. “We aren’t owned by a particular instrument company. We work with a lot of different instrument manufacturers. Even for the same testing, we offer similar instruments but made by different manufacturers. We aren’t trying to sell a particular instrument or force a client’s material onto an instrument or positioning results to look a certain way. I think we have a cleaner slate: what we are selling is our expertise and our results.”
Aubrey also advises to look at what accreditation and compliances a lab holds. “PTL has the US FDA cGMP Compliance (current Good Manufacturing Practices). Having a GMP lab, I like to say, is a lifestyle–it’s not just a quality system. It’s a very big deal to be GMP and to continuously perform the way we have. We also added our ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation. We’ve always been a very high functioning lab…There are a lot of labs that do a lot of different types of tests but not a lot of labs have the accreditation that we do, not a lot of labs that have the history that we do and not a lot of labs have our independent status.”
3. Make Sure Your Lab Cares About Your Big Picture.
While particle testing often focuses on the microscopic, it’s also important that a lab understands the big picture. Does your lab’s team comprehend how important this project is to you and those in your sphere of influence? Aubrey has worked with customers in myriads of industries around the globe. One common denominator: clients depend on PTL data to make decisions and those decisions can have deep and wide impact.
“Everyone here is dedicated to provide the best results we can. It’s our day to day. We know there is a lot riding on these results and that’s something we never forget. Even if we aren’t directly bringing that drug to market—we know that we are potentially saving lives,” she emphasizes, “Plus, there’s a lot of our clients’ employees that are dependent on the results from our tests so they can keep working and doing what they do. We never forget the big picture.”
Free Consultations – Chat Online Now
Consult with Aubrey Montana or one of our other knowledgeable Client Relations team members by using the online chat service in the lower right of your screen. We look forward to helping you better understand your options and selecting the right test for your needs.