Interview of Mr Arto Peltola, the Laboratory Technicien at Geotalo, Turku University.

Arto has been a key person to develop the Astera product range.

Is there some kind of strategic goal in your university or faculty, which Astera products have helped to reach?

The new Geotalo was a major project realized a few years ago. The target was to combine the laboratory activities of two geology departments of two Universities. To realize this merger, the target was to improve efficiency. One of the corner stones was the investment to automated thin section laboratory. Astera Solutions was flexible and listened, what kind of equipment was needed and realized the demanding requirements.

What is the main reason for the automation requirement?

Constant quality is one of the key requirements. The thin section samples have to be same quality every time, no variation is accepted. The time saving is also very important. The speed has increased, the results are needed faster. Also equipment safety is important.

Do the Astera products increase the education quality and attractiveness of the faculty, how?

The speed has increased. Also the sample quality is higher and more constant than before. For students this means higher quality results.

Can you see that your faculty has increased the capability and competitiveness (compared to other universities) by having the Astera products?

As a whole the Geotalo is a unique laboratory in Finland, including the thin section preparation. We have the best equipment in the country.

Has the Astera products helped you to do more international or more respectable research?

Yes a lot. We have had several contacts with key players making thin sections: oil companies, universities and equipment manufacturers.

What kind of samples have you made with Astera equipment?

Normally we make thin sections of different stones. The more special samples we have made are concrete samples, thin polymer films, materials where a very high surface quality is needed, archeological samples, Zirkonia crystals.

Are you using water or silicone oil?

Until now we have been using water only. We have silicone oil capability, but there has not been a need until now.

What was not possible before having Astera products?

The work was manual before. The precise diamant rectification was not possible before. We can also create recipes for different sample and material types to be used also afterwards. The efficiency has increased a lot.

The article was written by Jouni Heinonen and the interviewee is Arto Peltola. Thank you Arto!