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History of PiKRON company

The Overview

The PiKRON company has been founded by a team of laboratory instruments developers when former state-owned Czech enterprises did not survive the transition after the collapse of the communist bloc. The founders bought their initial development projects and unfinished products, which were in possesion of their former employer - Laboratory Instruments Prague.

The company has been established as joint venture with foreign partner in year 1992. But full ownership was transferred to the hands of the original developers in 1994.

The company succeed to develop and design many innovative instruments which received multiple awards and extended its portfolio to the area of medical instruments, motion and robotic controllers which are produced by more co-operating companies.

Multi-function Syringe Pump TECHNIC I - PiKRON's software, electronic hardware and motion control design.

The year 1992 is official beginning of the company but the experience and work of development team members have their roots in much longer history.

The Long History

The activities of the senior instruments designer Ladislav Pisa can be traced to the year 1962 when he started to work in just founded Institute of Chemical Industry Automation. The institute has been one the first adopters of the gas chromatography principle for use in industry and routine chemical analysis. Ladislav Pisa participated on final design of CH03 chromatograph. He has been principal author of the all following instruments developed at the Institute which transformed into division of Chemoprojekt (Czech Design, Engineering and Contracting Company) later.

One of the first Czech gas chromatograph and Ladislav Pisa

The work lead to the design and production of the first Czech serially produced industry gas chromatograph (CH04) and a gas chromatograph for chemical industry operating laboratories (SCH series). The CH04 instruments has been in serial production from 1967 year and proved to be very durable. For example, more instruments has been operating in n. p. Chemicke zavody Wilhelma Piecka Novaky (today Novacke chemicke zavody, a.s) till 1985. The following SCH series instruments (1970) has been in mass use (about 25 in one of laboratories) in Chemicke zavody CSSP Litvinov (today Chemopetrol).

SCH series gas chromatograph  for operating laboratories (1970)

Next generation has begun after instrument redesign which matured into MCH-100 modular chromatograph family. These instruments covered full application range from analytical laboratories to industry automatic assays processing. The MCH-120 variant provided column oven with temperature profile control (+40 … +400 C°). The isothermal variants MCH-111 offered temperature range (-10 … +89 C°) and more conventional MCH-112 (+40 … +400 C°). The high sensitivity TCD (thermal conductivity) and FID (flame ionization) detectors of own construction have been provided. The patent has been received for automated dynamic headspace for sample transfer which has been invented and used with MCH-100 chromatographs.

MCH-100 series gas chromatograph (Chemoprojekt 1970)

The MCH-100 design has been awarded by golden INCHEBA award in 1981 year. The more reseach articles references these instruments in the list of used equipment and there are track records of their use till year 2004.

The professional carrier of Ladislav Pisa continues at Vyvojove dilny CSAV (Workshops for Development of Instruments - Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences) where liquid chromatography devices has been designed and produced. The liquid chromatography pump VCR 40 and fixed wavelength detector UVF 254 are the first instruments from this period.

Liquid chromatog chromatography pump VCR 40 and detector UVF 254 (1988)

The next design has been HPLC pump VCR 41 with unique design of the pumping head achieving full floating setup of pistons guided only by syringes design and extremely stiff mechanic design. This design after further enhancements is base of all PiKRON's higher flow rate high pressure pumps and has proved as extremely durable.

HPLC pump VCR 41 (1988)

The variable wavelength HPLC detector UVM 6 has holographic grating and wavelength range 200 nm … 600 nm.

HPLC detector UVM 6 (VD CSAV 1989)

The perspective in the copany has not been bright after 1989 changes and team has been invited by Laboratory Instruments Prague to start new development there. The result of the work has been presentation of new HPLC chromatography instruments set LC 4000 on International Engineering Trade Fair in Brno in year 1991.

LCD 4000 HPLC detector and LCP 4000 HPLC pump (Laboratory Instruments Prague 1991)

The liquid chromatography pump LCP 4000 and liquid chromatography detector LCD 4000 have been finalized already in the PiKRON company by its forming development team:

Ladislav Pisa
senior designer
Petr Porazil
electronic hardware designer (personal pages)
Pavel Pisa
software and hardware concepts designer (personal pages)
PiKRON s.r.o.