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By Markus Vogler
The last decade has seen dramatic changes in the world of diagnostics, with experts even referring to the present time as the start of the fourth industrial revolution. Digitalization, along with other technological advances such as the increased use of automation and robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and cloud computing, is impacting every industry from manufacturing to pharmaceutical biotechnology. These technologies, as well as breakthrough research in various fields such as gene editing, stem cell technology and regenerative medicine, are having a huge impact on the clinical diagnostics industry.
Together, all these new technologies are increasing the pressure on in vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies and clinical laboratories to balance a number of potentially conflicting demands to stay competitive: for example, the ability to offer high throughput and low throughput services, the capability to develop both specialized and generic products, or the agility to switch fast to new market segments. In other words, to survive in this burgeoning new technological era, they have to be more flexible than ever before, adapting quickly to a constantly changing and unpredictable environment.
Choosing modular components for clinical diagnostics will help you future-proof your production.
An OEM modular platform for a rapidly changing market
With growing complexity and an increasing rate of change in the market, modularity is key. A modular architecture brings the benefits of easier standardization and increased cost efficiency, while enabling production to be rapidly adjusted to offer a greater variety of customized products and services. Tecan has a long history of developing OEM instruments and modular components. We have now taken our OEM solutions to a whole new level with the introduction of our latest modular platform, Cavro® Magni Flex.*
Cavro Magni Flex was announced at the 70th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Chicago July 29 to August 2, 2018, where we had the opportunity to present the platform live and also to showcase associated elements such as the integration of a PCR workflow, an application software example and 3D simulation. Here is a snapshot of Cavro Magni Flex:
Building on experience
Tecan has more than 40 years of expertise in OEM component design where the proven Cavro OEM pumps are main components, including both air and liquid pumps as well as continuous flow technologies that fit with essentially any application. Cavro® Omni Flex provides OEM instrument designers with an adaptive solution for liquid handling. It is the platform of choice for air or liquid-based pipetting with one independent channel per arm, direct control communication, and an independent gripper arm.
Our new modular platform, Cavro Magni Flex, takes modularity one step further to give our clients even more flexibility and control to meet the demands of today’s more competitive and rapidly changing markets.
An OEM solution with modular software at the heart
Cavro Magni Flex is a complete OEM platform with both modular hardware and modular software that can be tailored for different applications and different markets.
The modular software architecture, MAPlinx™**, is at the heart of our solution, enabling integrated use of different kinds of hardware while still using the same software to control the system and implement changes. This means there is no need to develop or work with new software every time you want to change applications—for example, to convert from molecular testing to mass spectrometry to immunoassays.
Additionally, for those OEM solution providers that already have an existing solution, the entry barrier to a new market segment becomes much lower. They can leverage what they already have, because the software can be reused without altering the look and feel of the system. At Tecan, we know that monolithic software can be a real nightmare for our clients with regard to performance and maintainability, and therefore we have put a lot of effort into developing a sophisticated, highly advanced, easy-to-use modular software.
A complete modular portfolio to enable growth
With MAPlinx at its heart, Cavro Magni Flex is a complete portfolio that enables our clients to adapt to a constantly changing market with shifting customer expectations. Multichannel capability provides inherent flexibility and scalability—for example, to build a low throughput solution initially and later expand capability to mid-throughput volumes if needed. Together with Fluent®, our high-speed automation solution, MAPlinx can also be leveraged for high throughput volumes where Magni Flex covers the essential but not less critical markets.
The modular components can be adapted for a wide range of applications including molecular testing, blood group analysis, immunoassays, histology/cytology and mass spectrometry. This allows our clients to address different future market needs and leverage the intention of the modular portfolio to be much faster to market. At Tecan we are proud to announce the solutions for tomorrow.
* Product coming soon.
** MAPlinx is currently available for internal development only; for external development coming soon.
About the author
Markus Vogler is a portfolio manager at Tecan, Switzerland. He manages the modular technology and product portfolio within the partnering business division. His key focus lies around agile development, lean startup of new business models and innovation. Markus hold an MSc in Business development from Berner University of Applied Sciences. Markus joined Tecan in 2016 following the acquisition of Sias AG by Tecan.