Astech Projects Deliver Innovative Automated Sample Handing System To UK Government

Leading systems integrator and supplier of advanced automated system solutions, Astech Projects, has successfully delivered a custom designed laboratory robotic platform for an executive agency of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom.

Astech has designed, built and supplied a unique automated Sample Handling System for the liquid transfer of biological samples, offering improvements over manual preparation methods, including zero cross contamination, higher throughput, improved repeatability and increased reliability.

This novel system features a cartesian robot with two autonomous Y-axes for the transfer of tubes and accurate sampling of liquid. Also included are two dedicated de-capping stations to automatically remove the tube caps, with the flexibility to accommodate both collection tubes and specimen tubes. Using barcode readers locally positioned to the de-capping stations, sample ID information is effectively transferred to the robot’s control system. In just 60 seconds, the automated Sample Handling System is able to fully process a pair of tubes.

Astech has utilised commercially available off the shelf liquid handling robotic products to ensure maximum reliability, accuracy and robustness. Not only is the system designed fit for current purpose, but is also scalable and modular, offering the flexibility for potential upgrades in the future. With an intelligent and intuitive software suite the system allows full traceability of samples and storage of results data.

Anthony Moran, Sales Director of Astech Projects commented, “Our innovative robotic solution presented an automated sample handling system for the de-capping and transfer of human bio samples from collection tubes to specimen tubes without the risk of cross contamination. No commercially available solution could offer this essential functionality. Astech’s ability to design, build and supply industrial quality custom robotics and automation was exactly what the customer was looking for.”

To ensure total peace of mind for the lifetime of the system delivered, Astech also supplied the UK government with a fully comprehensive planned maintenance and support service called REACTS®.

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