Posted by: unlikelygrad | May 3, 2011

Brand shouldn’t matter. Right?

When you go to the supermarket, you can frequently find generic brands which taste exactly the same (and which, in case, are made by the same manufacturer) as name-brand products. Brand doesn’t matter. Or it shouldn’t.

But…it seems to, in my experiments. My experiments were running fine, using brand X filters. Then I ran out of brand X. no problem, I said; I had several hundred brand Y filters on the shelf (with the same specs as the brand X filters I’d been using). I could carry on with no problems, right?

What really happened: brand Y filters give me much higher numbers than brand X filters. (I ran out in the middle of a 3-hr experiment, and you can clearly see by looking at a graph where the filter switch occurs.)

A couple of days later, I tried a similar experiment with only brand Y filters. The numbers were not only higher than what I’d been getting, they were very random. Very, very, very random.

So of course I called Fisher to order some more brand X filters ASAP. They were out of stock (expected ship date: 5/17), but the customer service rep said she would call the manufacturer to see if they would drop ship. And the manufacturer said…they were out of stock and wouldn’t have any until June.

Great. Just great.



  1. From a thin film processing/device perspective: brand TOTALLY matters! We changed our ITO supplier not that long ago…suddenly I had to radically alter my substrate cleaning procedure if I didn’t want all my solar cells to fail! We also see a difference in brands of syringe filters.

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