5 Things to Consider When Investing in a Large Capacity Orbital Shaker

Today we are talking about large-capacity Orbital Shakers, what can they be used for, and what to consider when buying.

First, what can large capacity orbital shakers be used for? Orbital shakers are generally used for gentle circular swirling action commonly used in protein expression, protein purification, tissue culture work, aeration of fermentations, and various other chemical mixing procedures. Large capacity orbital shakers can be used for almost any application a stirrer is used for as well as any benchtop orbital shaker application scaled up. 

What differentiates large capacity orbital shakers are the ability to handle large mixing applications where you do not want any chance of cross-contamination from putting a stirrer (magnetic or shaft-driven propeller/impellor) into the material you need to mix or if you need to avoid propeller/impeller blade shear stress.

Large Capacity Orbital Shakers can be used for large volume chromatography resin re-suspension/slurry prep, protein expression, protein purification, cell culture, fermentation, propagation, large single-use bags, thawing, mixing chemical standards, bioprocess, and more.

Here are six things to consider when purchasing a Large Capacity Orbital Shaker.

  1. Machine Size / Load Capacity - Eberbach shakers are built to last and engineered for Continuous Duty and Durability

Load capacity will obviously be a top priority if you are looking to purchase any large capacity orbital shaker. Eberbach manufactures the largest orbital shakers on the market that can reach up to 3500lb loads. The list below indicates what size orbital shaker you will want to look for based on how many pounds you will be loading into it.

  • Medium Duty – 75lb to 150lb loads
  • Heavy Duty – 150lb to 500lb loads
  • Large Capacity – 500lb to 3500lb loads
  • Eberbach can provide automation solutions for loading and unloading high-volume applications.
  1. Orbit Size

Orbit size is the diameter of the orbit in inches. Depending on your application, the orbit size can determine how your material is being circulated in the vessel. Most orbital shakers have one of the following diameters:

  • ½ inch – 12.5mm
  • 1 inch – 25mm
  • 2 inch – 50mm
  • 3 inch – 76mm
  • Eberbach offers all the above and can provide custom orbits if needed
  1. Materials for Machine Construction

Depending on your application, you made need to meet certain code requirements if you are using this shaker with sensitive ingredients. Many orbital shakers come with the option to be constructed with cGMP suitable stainless steel. This is an important factor to consider before purchasing any shaker.

  • Standard powder coated steel finish
  • Stainless Steel exterior finish
  • IP65 cGMP suitable Stainless Steel
  • Eberbach offers all of the above as well as custom application-specific solutions
  1. Power/Speed

An orbital shaker’s speed is commonly measured in RPMs. Many orbital shakers are designed to have a range of speeds, however, some models can be single-speed. Considering if this is a must-have option for your orbital shaker could potentially save you and your lab money.

  • RPM
    • How fast do you need to shake your vessels?
  • Voltage
    • Do you need 115V, 230V, 480V
    • 50Hz or 60Hz
    • Single phase or three phase
  1. Tops

There are many different tops that you can pair up with an orbital shaker. From simple box carriers to Erlenmeyer flask holders, tops are heavily dependent on your shaking application. Companies, such as Eberbach, offer custom top solutions that can meet just about any application requirement.

  • Standard box carrier top
    • These types of tops are universal tops and can be used to hold many different sizes and types of vessels
  • Standard flask holder tops
    • These tops are designed to hold multiple Erlenmeyer flasks from 50ml up to 6L
  • Pallet tops
    • Pallet tops are a new type of top offered by Eberbach, these tops are designed to be used with a lift cart or forklift for easy loading and unloading of multiple large vessels.
  • Application specific top
    • Eberbach offers custom-engineered tops for specific applications, contact Eberbach for more information on what we can do for you.
C6155.006 Orbital Shaker with Custom Top

Optional Features

  • Environmental enclosures
    • Eberbach offers temperature-controlled (heating and cooling) enclosures for large capacity shakers, these enclosures can be used for large incubating applications, pharmaceutical thawing applications, or any application where you need to mix materials in a controlled environment.
  • Sensors
    • Many different types of sensors are available from temperature sensors to CO2 sensors, humidity sensors, and more.
  • Lift and load Carts
    • These options are designed to help speed loading and unloading of heavy vessels from 20L to 50L to larger or multiple vessels at one time
  • Automation
    • Eberbach offers custom solutions for applications requiring any level of automation in the process.
  • Mixing in an automated cell
    • Machine integration for remote control or data transfer
  • Machine certifications from NRTL’s
    • UL
    • CSA
    • CE
    • Hazardous location ratings

This article should provide more insight into the most important features and aspects of large capacity orbital shakers. To check out Eberbach’s line of large capacity orbital shakers, visit the E6145 page and the E6155 page.