Our Vision & Strategy

To create value for our customers by providing instruments, analytical and diagnostic methods and training to analysts worldwide, to allow the direct analysis of diverse samples gained directly from complex matrices by means of instrumental High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) or of instrumental Dried Matrix Spot Extraction (DMS); successfully implemented in case the use of these methods produce the best possible analytical or diagnostic result, at a competitive price and leaves a satisfied customer. CAMAG creates, tests and produces all instruments solely in Switzerland – “SWISS MADE”, and provides them to its worldwide customers through its subsidiaries and dedicated distributors (more than 70).

Our History

CAMAG was founded by the German Chemist Dr. Dieter Jänchen (1927-2018) in 1958 as “Chemie-Erzeugnisse und Adsorptionstechnik Muttenz AG”. The first product produced was activated Aluminium oxide, still sold today in bulk quantities. In 1961, CAMAG entered the analytical field of Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC). We extended our market position over the years to become the world leader in instrumental High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC). In most analytical laboratories in the world, you will find at least one of our instruments. Lately, CAMAG has entered the diagnostics field by developing a fully automated, high-throughput device for the metabolite extraction of Dried Matrix Spot cards.


THE FUTURE: 2019 and beyond

CAMAG has started to launch its fully automated next generation HPTLC instruments in September 2019 under the name of CAMAG® HPTLC PRO SYSTEM. Module APPLICATION and Module DEVELOPMENT have been launched, the other Modules will be launched sequentially over the next two years. Then, the first fully automated sample analysis and evaluation system for routine quality control in HPTLC analysis will exist. New patents speak for the value of this innovation, leaving customers with even improved cost efficiency.


Innovation will always lead the path of CAMAG.

The sixth decade: 2009-2018

The decade of CAMAG®’s HPTLC Software visionCATS. The first version was launched in 2012. This software established HPTLC over TLC. It stands for ease of use and intuitive simplicity. The software organizes the workflow of HPTLC and controls all involved CAMAG® instruments. The easy-to-navigate user interface guides effectively through the chromatographic process – from analysis definition to analysis reporting. As state-of-the-art software, visionCATS is based on a client-server system offering enormous flexibility to the number of instruments and users that are working together, and enabling access to the same data for all members of a work group. The sample-oriented approach allowed for creating virtual plates with tracks originating from different plates, for example, batch-to-batch comparison or long-term stability testing. Further new functionality was added with visionCATS: a powerful search tool and a file explorer, which includes extended preview functionalities, enable highly comfortable searches for samples, methods, and analysis files.

CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS

In 2009, CAMAG launched the CAMAG® TLC-MS Interface based on the Luftmann patent (DE10036293C2). This device is a versatile instrument to elute compounds from a TLC/HPTLC plate and feed them into a Mass Spectrometer for substance identification or structure elucidation. In 2016, the optimized successor – CAMAG® TLC-MS Interface 2 – was released.

CAMAG® TLC-MS Interface 2

In 2012, CAMAG entered the diagnostic field by developing a patented, fully automated, high-throughput device – the CAMAG® DBS-MS 500 – for the metabolite extraction of Dried Matrix Spot cards. The knowhow gained from the elution process of the TLC-MS Interface was transferred to this device to extract target analytes online from Dried Matrix Spots and analyze directly with LC-MS or MS, or to collect by a Sample Collector.


Another patented break-through took place in 2016 with the first automated spraying device for reagent transfer on TLC/HPTLC plates – the CAMAG® Derivatizer. This instrument was the missing piece to be able to automate all HPTLC steps. With its unique and patented micro-droplet technology, a fine reagent aerosol is generated by a nozzle. The reagent is evenly distributed in the chamber and settles gradually onto the plate.

In 2016, two successors of instruments were released, the CAMAG® UV Lamp 4 (together with the CAMAG® UV Cabinet 4) and the CAMAG® TLC Visualizer 2.

The fourth decade: 1989-1998

Our CATS software was enhanced with a considerable number of user-friendly features and options, including various calibration functions, path optimization, background subtraction, spectrum acquisition, spectrum library, to name but a few. CATS also supported the calculation of results in mg/tablet, Content Uniformity Test (CUT), and the correlation calculation of the corresponding spectra for identity and purity tests, which is important for many pharmaceutical customers.

CAMAG took into account the requirements of cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) with its equipment and software development.

Starting in 1991, CAMAG established a quality assurance system, on the basis of which the company achieved ISO 9001 certification at its first attempt in 1995 and has since regularly regained it.

With the CAMAG® Automatic Sample Applicator III (ATS III), a software-controlled device was introduced to the market in 1990 that enabled spot and band-shaped application in the nL and μL range. Initially, it was operated stand-alone. Later, the ATS 3 software was integrated into CATS so that the corresponding parameters did not have to be entered again for the Scanner. The ATS III helped many customers worldwide to use TLC and HPTLC for quantitation. The device remained in the CAMAG product range for 10 years until it was replaced by the ATS 4 in 2000.


The slightly less demanding sample applicator, CAMAG® Linomat IV, was introduced at the beginning of this decade and remained in the program until 2001. The device was microprocessor controlled, the application parameters were entered via a keyboard.

In 1992, with the CAMAG® Automatic Developing Chamber (ADC), the development step was automated and thus made convenient for the user.

In 1994 we launched the CAMAG® TLC Scanner 3. The device features a spectral range from 190 to 800 nm, a measuring speed of up to 100 mm/s, step resolution selectable between 25 and 200 μm, and fast spectra acquisition of up to 100 nm/s at an oversampling rate of 40/nm.

Despite all the advances in classical densitometry and the advantages of spectral resolution, it became apparent that many users of Planar Chromatography wanted to use electronic image acquisition either alternatively or complementarily. Therefore CAMAG extended its documentation system with Video-Store for documentation, archiving and with VideoScan for quantitation.

We should also mention CAMAG® AMD 2, which we released in 1997. With this system, the development paths are no longer controlled by time increments, but, as with the ADC, directly by a CCD sensor. AMD is still the only way for many users to separate matrix-loaded multicomponent mixtures with high resolution using HPTLC.

Practical training

New Instruments
 Setupandoperation
 Fieldserviceandtroubleshootinghints  Preventivemaintenance
 Instrumentdiagnostics
Automatic TLC Sampler 4
 ATS 4: Setup and operation
 Fieldserviceandtroubleshootinghints
 Preventivemaintenance
 Instrumentdiagnostics

 Setupandoperation
 Testandalignmentviafirmware
 Instrumentdiagnostics

TLC Scanner 4
 Differences between the TLC Scanner 3 and TLC Scanner 4
 Setupandoperation
 TestandalignmentofScannerviafirmware
 Fieldserviceandtroubleshootinghints
 Instrumentdiagnostics

TLC-MS Interface 2
 Differences between the TLC-MS Interface and TLC-MS Interface 2
 Set-Up of TLC-MS Interface 2
 Use of TLC-MS / TLC-MS Interface 2
 Fieldserviceandtroubleshootinghints

 Functionalityandoverview
 Cleaning
 Fieldserviceandtroubleshootinghints

 Softwareinstallation,enhancedtraining  Troubleshootingenhancedtraining
 Firmware management