By Bronwen Forster
What does the boss want to achieve by automating a process? The priority is enhanced data quality, followed closely by greater productivity, protecting your investment, and saving time and money. Tecan's Fluent® 780 can meet these critical demands.
The latest developments in automation: ID, more capacity and higher flexibility
When it comes to improving data quality, look no further than the newly launched FluentID™ sample tube identification solution. This easy to use system reads the barcoded sample tubes in each 32-tube carrier as it is loaded onto the Fluent worktable. FluentID gives immediate feedback during sample loading, with a highly visible green LED light indicating that everything is good to go, while a red light tells the user that something is not right with one or more of the samples in the tube carrier being read. Visual information presented on the Fluent touch screen indicates which tube may have a problem. To ensure accuracy, FluentID reads every barcoded tube and its corresponding position 5 times.
FluentID is scalable and independently operating modules can be added to read up to 768 sample tubes. Users can opt to color coordinate tube carriers and sample tubes and track them by color on the system. In addition to Fluent ID, other key features of the Fluent 780, including the method set-up, are designed to minimize the risk of errors and simplify complex workflows, contributing to enhanced data quality.
To drive productivity, Tecan has increased the capacity of the Fluent 780 by almost 2-fold compared to the previous version without increasing the lab space it requires. The high capacity Dynamic Deck™ accommodates microplates, sample tube carriers and nested sets of pipette tips, and under the worktable there is ample room for equipment such as a microplate reader, washer, shaker, or centrifuge. The flexible design of the Dynamic Deck allows for each segment to be removed and replaced for rapid reconfiguration of the work space. Three robotic arms can operate independently on the deck, with Tecan's patented Pathfinder™ motion control technology ensuring that each takes the best path across the work surface and that they work together to perform an assay. All three arm options – the Flexible Channel Arm, MultiChannel Arm™, and Robotic Gripper Arm – are capable of reconfiguration on-the-fly with different tips, heads, and fingers for optimization across a range of volumes and the ability to automate more tasks.
The potential to extend the capabilities of the Fluent 780 by adding options such as carousels, stackers, and labware to increase capacity, and to utilize the space below the deck helps protect your investment today and into the future. A newly introduced option that can run parallel to the Fluent is the industry-leading PreciseFlex™ 400 robotic arm. It can access the entire deck, below the deck, and behind the deck space, can run perpendicular to Fluent to access other devices, and can be run from FluentControl™ software for integrated operation.
Bronwen Forster is the senior product manager for liquid handling & robotics at Tecan Männedorf with over 30 years’ experience in working with customers and Tecan’s development teams to bringing automated workflow solutions to the market. She studied Agricultural Sciences at the University of Leeds, performed research in microbial biochemistry at the University of Aberystwyth, and joined Tecan in 1985.