Autoload and Barcode Reading
The Autoload option on the MICROLAB STAR automatically loads carriers as well as reads barcodes. With this option a loading shelf is supplied which attaches to the front of the workstation. This acts as a staging area for carriers to be inserted or removed from the workstation for either loading/unloading labware or changing carriers for another application. The track numbers are imprinted on deck to help the user position the carriers in the correct position. In addition backlit track numbers are mounted on the front safety panel and can light up green to indicate the correct tracks to insert a particular carrier at a particular time. Plastic torpedoes guide the carriers into position. Then the workstation grabs the carrier and pulls it in front of the barcode reader.
The barcode reader can read the barcodes on carriers to make sure the correct carrier is inserted in the correct track. It can read the barcodes on tip racks and plates to make sure the correct items are loaded on the correct carrier. This information can be compared to a work list either created by the user or downloaded from a LIMS. The barcode reader can also read the barcodes on tubes as well. These functions are paramount for IVD and chain of custody compliance. Also, with this design barcodes are read as the carrier is being loaded. If the barcode check fails, the user is alerted immediately before the carrier is pulled all the way on the deck thus saving the user time to get the correct carrier in the right position with the correct labware and consumables.
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