Rotary Evaporator Packages and Why We Don't Offer Many

By Carlton Hoyt, 21 August 2018

I've been asked a few times by customers if we offer rotary evaporator packages - in other words, systems complete with a chiller and vacuum pump. We do, but we do not offer many of them. There are a few good reasons for this, and you should consider these reasons if you're thinking about buying an "out-of-the-box" package.

  1. They're a one-size-fits-all solution, and not in a good way. Customer needs vary, but these packages do not. While packages are often (but not always) designed to meet just about any need at a given scale, you often end up paying for more than you need. If you're not going to use the maximum flask size for your evaporator, you're still going to pay for a chiller and vacuum pump that can handle the full capacity of the system. Additionally, if your application has special considerations, they are unlikely to be met.
  2. You can get a bespoke system that's just as good for less money. This might seem counter-intuitive, but you can usually get an equal or better system for less money if you don't get a package. Why is that? Most rotary evaporator manufacturers do not manufacture their own chillers and vacuum pumps. Instead, they purchase those from other manufacturers and "private label" them (fancy industry parlance for "making them look like their own brand of equipment"). This means one extra layer of markup. Laboratory Supply Network deals directly with the manufacturers, sometimes the same ones who are making the chillers and vacuum pumps getting private labelled, so we can provide equal or better equipment at a lower price. Even with the package discount, our price for a bespoke system is usually lower.
  3. A lot of manufacturers simply don't offer them. Especially the lower-cost manufacturers. We try to price all of our equipment very competitively and offer those same low prices to everyone, and we're usually providing free shipping on top of our discounts, so we don't have a lot of room to offer further discounts on a complete system. Therefore, if a manufacturer doesn't offer a package, we won't offer a package on their equipment. Plus, due to considerations surrounding the customer's application, price, or equipment performance, we often don't recommend purchasing everything from the same manufacturer anyway.

There are exceptions to the rule. For instance, some rotary evaporator manufacturers only allow us to sell their systems as complete packages. We push back against this practice in the interest of our customers, but ultimately we cannot force them to change it. In those cases, we do offer the packages in the interest of providing our customers with more choice.

Asahi Glassplant AGI Rotary Evaporator

Want a giant 100 or 200 liter Asahi Glassplant AGI Rotary Evaporator? They're only available as packages.

So when we tell you that we don't have packages, it's not that we're trying to deprive you of a deal. It's that we're trying to provide you with an even better deal and ensure it will perform for your specific application.