Festo Showcases Automation Solutions for Clinical Laboratories at AACC 2015

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Festo features the EXCM mini H-gantry, one of the most effective desktop handling systems on the market today, a semi-automatic capper/decapper, a flexible pipetting system, a family of microfluidics dosing valves, an active demonstration of automated sample handling, and for the first time at AACC the Festo Bionic jellyfish. (Festo AACC Booth # 3955)

Festo displays at AACC 2015 at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, July 28-30, its high-speed, precise, automated handling system for clinical laboratory applications – the EXCM mini H-gantry. Festo also presents a number of systems designed to automate clinical laboratory processes. As a special attraction, the company is showing the AquaJellies – bionic jellyfish that have intelligent, adaptive mechanical systems. (Festo AACC Booth # 3955)

The EXCM mini-H gantry is a revolutionary desktop handling system for clinical laboratory automation. The planar surface gantry system is fast, accurate, modular, and flexible. It is also plug-and-play for quick and easy start-up. The EXCM mini-H gantry is used for dosing, barcode-based sample identification, liquid dispensing/pipetting with the addition of a Z-axis, and more. This desktop system moves vials on a planar X/Y axis with an absolute positioning accuracy of + .05 inches and a repetition accuracy of + .01 inches.

“Automation makes process steps such as identifying, opening, and aliquoting a sample and loading centrifuges and incubators much more efficient and reliable,” said Steve Fitterer, Laboratory Automation Segment Manager for Festo. “Festo develops custom solutions for many of these processes, in some cases also integrating components and devices from third-party manufacturers. These custom solutions increase processing productivity, enabling laboratories to process more samples in the same amount of time.”

Capper/decapper system

This new Festo two-station system allows for a semi-automatic decapping and recapping system. The capping/decapping system is designed to take the ergonomic stress off the lab technician who may have to cap dozens to hundreds of vials in any given day. The technician can simply set the sample in the holder, and then push the drawer to the closed position, beginning the cycle. Highlights of this system include:

  •     Choice of tube sizes
  •     3 functions in 1: rotary, linear, gripping
  •     Robust design
  •     Safety interlocks
  •     Lab tested/lab friendly
  •     Ability to customize the automation surrounding the unit

Flexible pipetting system
The new Festo Single Axis Variable Pitch Module (SVPM) is an ideal solution for common applications such as lab sample preparation and for automating sample diluting or concentrating methods. The mechanical linkage of the SVPM permits pitch adjustment from a minimum of 9 mm to a maximum of 50 mm. In the preparation of lab samples, individual pipettes can easily be mounted to each of the eight fingers. Using this configuration, eight pipettes can aspirate or dispense from a 96 well plate (8 x 12) at a nine mm pitch, then expand to a different pitch, as required by the application to aspirate, or dispense into a large variety of fluid containers such as tubes, chips, or vials up to a 50 mm pitch.

Microfluidics dosing valves
Festo introduces at AACC a family of microfluidic dosing solutions that provide for a range of dosing options from individually controlled valves to multiple heads controlled by a single valve. This new microfluidic family of values integrates easily with pipetting/dispensing and gantry systems.

Handling display features a plug-and-play control system
One of the most time-consuming activities for multi-hardware handling systems is the control and communication integration of multiple mechanical systems. In this dynamic display, Festo shows how its CPX control system provides for a plug-and-play environment for multi-hardware systems. This solution not only reduces engineering expenses, but also ensures peak communications and efficiency.

AquaJellies at AACC for the first time
The AquaJellies from the Festo Bionic Learning Network are artificial, autonomous jellyfish with electric drives and intelligent, adaptive mechanical systems. The swimming replicas function as self-controlled systems in the water with pronounced collective behavior. As time goes on, motion system technology transfer from the Festo Bionic Learning Network to clinical labs will provide fresh ideas and new solutions.

For more information on Festo’s clinical laboratory automation solutions, call Festo at 800-993-3786 and visit http://www.festo.com/us.

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About Festo    

Festo is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components, and controls for process and industrial automation. For more than 40 years, Festo Corporation has continuously elevated the state of manufacturing with innovations and optimized motion control solutions that deliver higher performing, more profitable automated manufacturing and processing equipment.

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