High-end cuvettes—straight-sided clear containers used to hold analytical samples in spectrophotometers—are in short supply from the German manufacturer Hellma Analytics. So far, though, only a few people have noticed.
Evan Friedmann, vice president of Hellma’s U.S. distribution arm, says his firm is suffering from limited output of certain cuvettes designed for research. He chalks the problem up to delayed delivery of a new computer-controlled machine tool and strong demand for spectrophotometer accessories. “Hellma is currently seeing the highest order booking in our 96-year history,” he says.
Cuvettes are typically used in pairs and need to be optically matched, says instrumentation consultant Ellen Miseo. Scientists use cuvettes to place solutions into ultraviolet-visible or fluorescence spectrophotometers to measure concentrations. They range in price from under $100 to over $500 each.
Hellma has been struggling with the cuvette shortage since the end of 2017. In March, the company sent a letter to customers and distributors acknowledging a delay in the delivery of a new machine tool to its facility in Müllheim. It also noted a shortage of workers at the time “due to the nationwide flu epidemic.”Interesting that the article notes that the shortage really hasn't hit in the US.