Automation is a hot topic lately as it has the potential to overcome key hurdles in both research and biomanufacturing. It is being utilized to provide high throughput, reduce labor requirements, increase consistency and eliminate bottlenecks.
This morning at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) Conference in Washington DC, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences launched their new Biomek i-Series automated workstations. – the i-Series. The Biomek i5 and i7 automated workstations were specifically designed with improved flexibility to address the evolving needs of the industry. As automation implementation grows, automation platforms must be able to adapt and perform a multitude of tasks.
There are a wide range of application areas that can benefit from accelerated workflows through automation, some areas include:
To address the evolving needs of the industry, Beckman Coulter collected customer input from all over the globe. The new Biomek i-Series was designed with these common customer requests in mind:
- Simplicity – Less time spent managing the equipment
- Efficiency – Improve productivity and increase walk away time.
- Adaptability – Technology can grow with the evolving needs of the industry.
- Reliability and Support – Need a good support team to troubleshoot any challenges and aid in implementation of new workflows.
The Biomek i-Series is available in single and dual pipetting head models combining multi-channel (96 or 384) and Span 8 pipetting, which is ideal for high throughput workflows.
There were also a number of additional new features and accessories that were added to the system as a result of customer input:
- Exterior status light bar simplifies your ability to monitor progress and system status during operation.
- Biomek light curtain provides a key safety feature during operation and method development.
- Internal LED light improves visibility during manual intervention and method start-up, reducing user error.
- Off-set, rotating gripper optimizes access to high-density decks leading to more efficient workflows.
- Large-volume, 1 mL multichannel pipetting head streamlines sample transfers and enables more efficient mixing steps.
- Spacious, open-platform design offers access from all sides, making it easy to integrate adjacent-to-deck, and off-deck processing elements (such as analytical devices, external storage/incubation units, and labware feeders).
- Built-in tower cameras enable live broadcasting and on-error video capture to expedite response time if intervention is needed.
- Windows 10-compatible Biomek i-Series software provides the most sophisticated pipetting techniques available including automatic volume-splitting, and can interface with third-party and all other Biomek support software.
In addition to the new features, the Biomek software was updated in three key areas to provide more control over liquid handling.
- A point and click interface with no advanced software expertise required.
- Biomek”s visual editor saves time and consumables by validating your method as you create it.
- Biomek’s 3D simulator demonstrates how your method will execute.
- Provides full control over movement of the tip in the well to match the most complex manual pipetting motions.
Ease of Operation:
- Improves accuracy and reduces errors by giving operators step-by-step guidance for placing labware on the deck.
- Makes it easy for lab technicians to launch/monitor methods by providing a simple point-and-click user interface.
- Lets you lock down the instrument and protect validated methods from being inadvertently altered by operators.
- Supports regulated laboratories and multi-user environments by controlling access using electronic signatures.
- Enables remote instrument monitoring using any device with a Google Chrome browser.
- Captures needed data to validate processes and ensure reproducible results.
- Integrates with LIMS systems to import work orders and export data.
- Seamlessly transfers data between methods so run, labware and sample reports can be easily generated at any time.
- Data-driven methods select appropriate actions during execution based on sample data generated in real time.