The mobile O2/CO2 gas analyzer OXYBABY® from WITT is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. As one of the best-selling residual oxygen analyzers for testing modified atmosphere packaging, the OXYBABY’s evolution has transformed the way quality inspectors work in the food industry.
Measuring results in six seconds, from just a 2 ml gas sample, display of the O2 value in 0.01% increments, durable oxygen sensor – the features of the current model 6.0 make the OXYBABY® one of the most powerful sample gas analyzers available on the market. Not surprising – because each generation of this device has been pioneering within the sector for the last 25 years.
WITT Managing Director Martin Bender, the “father” of WITT’s gas analyzer, remembers the very beginning when looking at the drawings of the first generation OXYBABY® from 1992. “At that time, modified atmosphere packaging was a relatively young technology. The random measurement of food packaging for quality assurance was still in its beginnings,” he explains. “The existing instruments were awkward to use and not very sophisticated technologically. With the development of the OXYBABY®, we were able to fill a timely niche.”
In contrast to other products on the market, beginning with the second-generation model, the OXYBABY® incorporated an integrated pump to extract a gas sample from the packaging—with just the press of a button. This crucial innovation enabled the single-handed operation still in use today, making the testing process faster. “This unique selling proposition made the work of quality inspectors much, much easier and was the start of a success story,” explains Bender.
As modified atmosphere packaging is widespread today, the inspection of the gas composition in food packaging is now standard practice in quality assurance. The OXYBABY® is a long-established solution for this application—thanks to ongoing development in operation, design and functionality. Even though it was originally only possible to determine the residual oxygen content, the measurement of CO2 content, along with determination of the gas pressure in the packaging, is nowadays a matter of course.
From the start WITT has always had the user’s benefit in mind. Numerous direct suggestions by customers were incorporated into the development, making the OXYBABY® even more practical. For example, the measuring times have been continuously reduced and the measuring gas minimized, thus enabling the analysis of even the smallest packages, such as coffee capsules.
Another major advantage that is popular with users: the pump responds automatically to any blockages in the needle or filter and adjusts the output so that a correct measurement is still ensured. The OXYBABY® also features a warning message to indicate any serious blockages.
Measurements can be assigned to different product lines, products and users, and the memory capacity has been increased to several hundred entries. With extended export functions and interfaces for complete documentation and certification, the OXYBABY also features as options integration of a barcode reader or printing via Bluetooth.
It’s not only the food industry where you can find the OXYBABY®. Special variants such as the OXYBABY® Med for use in hospitals or the OXYBABY® P for testing gas supply lines have extended the application fields of the practical gas analyzer in recent years.
“The OXYBABY® will remain one of our core products in the future, too,” states Martin Bender. “It’s well known and successful in the market. The last 25 years have shown that such a product will continue to be refined. So you can look forward to exciting and useful new features for the user with the next generations of OXYBABY®.”