visionCATS 2.4


visionCATS stands for ease of use and intuitive simplicity. The software organizes the workflow of HPTLC, controls the involved CAMAG instruments, and manages data.

The easy to navigate user interface effectively guides the user through the chromatographic process – from definition of samples and substances to reporting of results. Simply select one of the default methods and start working: fill in the sequence table, select a mobile phase and the derivatization reagent.

If necessary modify detection parameters. Then visionCATS will guide you. Creating your own method is easy as well: just select the desired steps. The new sample-oriented approach allows for creating virtual plates from tracks originating from different plates, e.g. for batch-to-batch comparison or long-term stability testing.

With visionCATS relevant samples can be located easier and faster than ever: a powerful search tool within the file explorer that includes extended preview functionalities enables the user to easily search for text and date, samples, methods, and analysis files.

HPTLC Analysis – Made Easy

Create your own method with a few mouse clicks

Guided Analysis

Select a method and visionCATS will guide you

Sample View

All available data related to the sample are displayed

Plate Preview

Provides an overview of steps and samples of an analysis or method incl. instrument parameters and thumbnails of the acquired image

File Explorer

Search entry for name, ID or keyword; file results; preview of a selected analysis with the thumbnail of the captured images

Profile Comparison

Based on the sample oriented approach pursued with visionCATS, it is possible to compare profiles of samples developed in different analyses. The comparison can be performed in different display modes and allows the application of integration parameters.

Key Features

Image Comparison Viewer
With the Image Comparison Viewer tracks originating from the same or different plates and/or different detection modes can be compared on the same screen side by side.

Image Enhancement Tools
visionCATS supports low-noise, high-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI) and includes a comprehensive set of Image Enhancement Tools.

Scanning Densitometry and Spectral Evaluation
Following their chromatographic separation substances on the plate can be measured by Scanning Densitometry. Recording of UV/Vis spectra and their comparison with reference spectra allows identification.

Quantitative Analysis
To determine the substance concentration in a sample after densitometric or image analysis, five different quantification functions (e.g. linear and polynomial regression modes) are available. Several scanning steps and up to five different evaluations can be performed in one analysis file.

HPTLC Method Library
For seamless import of validated methods and images of standards and reference materials, visionCATS provides a free of charge HPTLC Method Library for licensed users.

Regulatory Compliance
visionCATS supports compliance with cGMP/cGLP and 21 CFR Part 11.

State-of-the-art Software Architecture
visionCATS is based on a client/server system, enabling scalability from a single workstation to a multi-user lab network.

Documentation with CAMAG TLC Visualizer

Controlled by visionCATS, the CAMAG TLC Visualizer can generate low-noise, high-dynamic-range images (HDRI). These images can be separated into tracks representing single samples. Any sample that has ever been analyzed can be directly compared with any other sample using the Image Comparison Viewer. Samples can be rearranged and compared to reference substances or samples, independent of their plate origin. Also 3D profiles of images can be generated.

The comprehensive set of Image Enhancement Tools in the Data View exploits the TLC Visualizer’s full potential. Images are automatically captured based on an optimized control of the illumination and parameters specified in the HPTLC method. Sophisticated algorithms guarantee the highest image quality for identification of even the weakest zones. The Data View allows visual evaluation of a plate in different illumination modes and offers a broad range of helpful tools, e.g. the RF tool displays the RF value of zones on the digital image, or a rectangular and/or linear zoom function.

Image Comparison

Side by side view of tracks originating from the same or different plates and/or different detection modes

Image Enhancement

Exposure normalization for visualization of weak zones (right) and original image (left)

Data View

All data gathered through the chromatographic process can be reviewed and processed

Quantitative evaluation with CAMAG TLC Scanner

visionCATS controls the CAMAG TLC Scanner and enables quantitative evaluation of the generated densitometric data. The spectral range of light from 190 to 900 nm is available for selecting single wavelengths for Scanning Densitometry. Detection can thus be fine-tuned to match the spectral properties of the analyte to its optimized specificity and sensitivity of the detection. For almost unlimited flexibility, several scanning steps, e.g. before and after derivatization, can be selected. Each scanning step may also include up to 31 individual multi-wavelength scans using different light sources (deuterium lamp, mercury lamp, tungsten lamp). The detection modes absorption or fluorescence can be combined. The generated data can then be evaluated. Integration of peaks and assignment to separated substances is a matter of a few mouse clicks.

Quantification of substances can be performed via peak height or peak area. The best fitting calibration model with single-level calibration or multilevel calibration via linear, polynomial or Michaelis-Menten regression is selected. With visionCATS and the TLC Scanner UV spectra can be measured as well. The selected peak positions, which are detected from a previous densitogram, are automatically scanned at the defined wavelengths. Spectra can be measured from 190 to 900 nm and displayed individually or overlaid in one diagram.


Peak Assignment

The separated compounds are assigned. For quantification, data from the multi-wavelength scan at the optimum wavelength for each compound is used.

3D View and Peak Integration

Densitograms are displayed in 3D, top or front view. Several peak integration and baseline correction settings can be selected.

Calibration Curve

For evaluation the best fitting calibration model is used. Quantitation can be done via peak height or area.

HPTLC Method Library

For analysts using HPTLC for identification of herbal drugs or analysis of food samples, visionCATS offers breakthrough support with the HPTLC Method Library.

  • A method documented in a form (e.g. docx) which may serve as an SOP and which can be easily incorporated into any quality management system. This file contains a description of the System Suitability Test (SST).
  • An instrument method ready to use in visionCATS. A new analysis with all method relevant information (reference substances, plate layout, stationary and mobile phase, etc.) can then be processed. Only the Vial ID of the sample to be analyzed needs to be entered.
  • An Image Comparison Viewer file with reference images against which each analyzed sample can be compared and evaluated, based on acceptance criteria specified in the method document. After comparing the data of the samples with the reference images individual reports can be generated by a mouse click.

The HPTLC Method Library contains methods included in the USP Dietary Supplement Compendium and those published by the International Association for the Advancement of HPTLC. Numerous methods of identification from the European Pharmacopoeia are added as well. Additional methods will be added continually.


21 CFR Part 11
The option 21 CFR Part 11 supports customers to work in a controlled environment and to establish regulatory-compliant processes. As a part of 21 CFR Part 11 compliance, electronic signature processes are available. A set of log files (System log; Method log; Analysis log; Backup log) are available to fully meet 21 CFR Part 11 requirements.

For customers working in a cGMP/cGLP environment, CAMAG offers Installation Qualification (IQ) and Operation Qualification (OQ) services.

System Suitability Test (SST)
System Suitability Tests are used on each plate to check and ensure that the analysis was performed appropriately to produce results that are within the acceptance criteria established during method development. Only data from plates qualified by the respective SST can be directly compared. The SST is the primary tool for evaluation of data during a transfer validation. visionCATS provides several tools for setting up SST.

Data Security
Data Security is achieved through access control, which is provided by a flexible, secure, and customizable User Management System and basic system settings. Users are defined with rights that determine the level of access they have. The User Management System is compatible with Active Directory. With the powerful user management, it is possible to reflect the customers’ individual safety regulations. Data are stored in a safe database to prevent accidental alteration/deletion.

Data Safety
The visionCATS Backup Assistant helps users to store their data into a backup file. Automatic backup tasks can be defined with the Schedule Assistant. With the Restore Assistant users can easily restore their data from the backup file.

Supported instruments

Linomat 5
With the CAMAG Linomat 5 samples are sprayed onto TLC/HPTLC plates in the form of bands with nitrogen or compressed air. Sample application is automatic, only changing the syringe (filling, inserting and rinsing) is manual. The Linomat is suitable for routine use.
>> Details

Automatic TLC Sampler 4 (ATS 4)
Automatic sample application is a key factor for productivity of the HPTLC laboratory. The ATS 4 offers fully automatic sample application for qualitative and quantitative analyses as well as for preparative separations. It is suited for routine use and high sample throughput in mass analysis.
>> Details

Automatic Developing Chamber 2 (ADC 2)
The CAMAG Automatic Developing Chamber 2 (ADC 2) offers convenience, safety and reproducibility for isocratic developments of TLC/ HPTLC plates and foils with the format 20 x 10 cm.
>> Details

TLC Scanner 4
The CAMAG TLC Scanner 4 is the most advanced workstation for densitometric evaluation of TLC/HPTLC chromatograms and other planar objects.
>> Details

Automated Multiple Development (AMD 2)
The CAMAG Automated Multiple Development procedure allows thin-layer chromatography to be utilized for tasks that could not be performed by TLC in the past.
>> Details

TLC Visualizer 2
Professional imaging and documentation system for TLC/HPTLC chromatograms with a new digital CCD camera, connected by USB 3.0
>> Details

System Requirements


  • Minimum: Intel Core i3 or equivalent
  • Recommended: Intel Core i7 or equivalent


Memory (RAM)

Server and Client

Single workstation

at least 4GB RAM


Memory (RAM)



Multiple workstation n ≤ 5

at least 4GB RAM

at least 4GB RAM

Multiple workstation n > 5

at least 8GB RAM

at least 4GB RAM

Installation Drive

DVD reading device

Communication Ports

  • 1x RS232 for each instrument to be connected.[1]
  • USB 2.0 or higher.
  • 1x 1394a FireWire® (6-pin connector) or
  • 1x 1394 FireWire® (4-pin input with external power adapter and 6-pin output) for each TLC Visualizer connected.

Supported Operating System

Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate 64-bit
Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise
Do not use Windows "Starter edition" --> Windows "Home edition" or higher is required
visionCATS server installation only: Windows Server 2012 R2

Graphic Card

At least compatible with DirectX11


As complexes algorithms are computed on the graphic card, a middle range model will increase speed over an entry level card.


  • True color 32 bit
  • Minimum resolution 1280 x 1024 pixels
  • Recommended resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels

An AERO theme is mandatory

Color Quality

Best on a calibrated monitor and calibrated printer

Hard Disk for Server PC

Disk space depending on the usage:

  • Occasional user - visionCATS needs about 500GB
  • Frequent user - visionCATS needs about 1TB


  • Mouse or touchpad with 2 buttons
  • Recommended: Mouse with a scroll wheel and 3 buttons

System Printer (optional)

Any laser or inkjet printer supported by OS

Additional Software

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 (Express) databases and .NET Framework 4 are installed by visionCATS installer if not already present

PC naming/domain

At installation the PC should have the final name and should be in the finally used domain (name change of PC after installation is not supported).

[1] For additional COM-ports a USB to 4-port RS232 adapter – CAMAG part number 958.0608 is recommended. The driver for this adapter can be found on the visionCATS Disk. Other adapters are not supported by CAMAG.

Ordering Information


CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS Basic Version
Including access and control of all instruments - 1 server and 1 client,
Instrument Diagnostics (xQ), Analytical reports - Access to method library.
Needs to be bought separately and is not included in any Ultimate Package


CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS: visionCATS Ultimate
Visualizer Ultimate Package (028.2000)
Scanner Ultimate Package (028.3000)

CAMAG HPTLC Software visionCATS Basic Version (028.0000) needs to be purchased separately.


CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS: Visualizer Ultimate Package
combining all CAMAG Visualizer Packages, including:
Visualizer Qualitative Package (028.2010)
Visualizer Enhanced Evaluation Package (028.2020).

CAMAG HPTLC Software visionCATS Basic Version (028.0000) needs to be purchased separately.


CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS: Visualizer Qualitative Package


CAMAG® HPTLC  Software visionCATS: Visualizer Enhanced Evaluation Package


CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS: Scanner Ultimate Package
Multi Wavelength Feature, Spectrum Scanning and Quantification Package

CAMAG HPTLC Software visionCATS Basic Version (028.0000) needs to be purchased separately.


CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS: Option "21 CFR Part 11"


CAMAG® HPTLC Software visionCATS: Option "Export of Data"


visionCATS license for a second client


visionCATS license for a third, fourth and fifth client, each


visionCATS license for a sixth and all subsequent clients, each

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