At the AACC Expo 2017, the Australian designer and manufacturer of lab automation systems, Aim Lab Automation Technologies Pty Ltd, will unveil its latest PathFinder automation platform – the PathFinder 350D - for automating the de-capping and sorting of incoming blood collection tubes directly into various analyzer racks ready for analysis.
Speaking about the latest addition to the PathFinder family, Aim Lab's CEO Chris Whitaker said, "Developing a bench top de-capper/sorter for pre-analytical processing was a natural progression in the company's quest for making automation more accessible for small to medium pathology laboratories. Aim Lab already has a bench top capper/sorter for post analytical processing of samples, which has proven to be very successful, along with a bench top sorter module for general sorting applications. It was just a matter of marrying the de-capping technology from our larger PathFinder 900 system with our PathFinder 450S bench top sorter. However, we also used this as an opportunity to make a number of product improvements in the process".
Incoming sample tubes are loaded onto the PathFinder 350D in a generic sample rack. The tubes are transferred in turn to the ID carousel where the tube barcode information is read and relayed to the LIS along with the date and time of presentation. Based on the LIS response, each tube can be selectively de-capped and sorted to one or more destination racks. If required, the barcode label on the tube can be automatically aligned with the viewing window in the analyzer rack when placed in the rack. Any samples that have no data entered or can't be identified are transferred to a holding rack for further investigation.
It is possible to double the available deck space by adding an additional Sorter module. This has the added advantage of increasing the throughput. This configuration - two sorter modules on either side of a de-capping module - is referred to as the PathFinder 600D.
The PathFinder 350D or 600D de-capper/sorter ideally compliment Aim Lab's PathFinder 350A Archiver to provide an economical and space efficient automated solution for pre- and post analytical processing of specimen collection tubes for laboratories handling from 500 - 3,000 tubes per day.