Tackling the Challenges of Using Centrifuges

In common equipment rooms or facilities shared by different laboratories, the operators who often handle high-performance centrifuges and floor-standing ultracentrifuges may have varying levels of experience in using these instruments. This can be challenging for the lab and facilities managers who are responsible for ensuring the safe operation of these centrifuges, maximizing uptime and reducing the associated maintenance costs.

This article presents the various benefits associated with Optima XPN and Avanti JXN Series of centrifuges from Beckman Coulter Life Sciences.

Improved Safety and Time-Saving

The challenges faced by the lab managers are easier to handle using the Avanti JXN Series high-performance centrifuges (Picture 1) and Optima XPN ultracentrifuges from Beckman Coulter Life Sciences. The use of these  instruments means that instead of focusing on extensive training and safety concerns, laboratories can focus on quality sample preparation and research results.  

Avanti JXN-26 Centrifuge

Picture 1. Avanti JXN 26. Image credt: Beckman Coulter

Ease of Operation

The instruments’ large LCD touch screen is easy to learn, read and navigate, even from across the lab. The Windows®-based user interface makes operation and training easier as well as reducing set up time and the likelihood of errors. The ability to interact with an intuitive graphical interface presented in different languages enables users to focus on achieving results instead of spending time learning about the instruments. An on-screen, context-sensitive "help" feature is available to users to help answer any questions, which saves time and effort. The Optima XPN and Avanti JXN Series feature up to 1000 user-defined programs, with each consisting of up to 30 steps, meaning almost any protocol can be created and stored for use in the future.  

The program names can be made up of as many as 64 characters, in any combination of symbols, numbers or letters, so meaningful names can be assigned that are easy to recall. The user is free to input dates, Internet codes and other characters when assigning a name to a program. Additionally, the number of users who can access a particular protocol can be restricted, because user-defined programs can be created and assigned to specific operators. These user-defined protocols help to minimize user error and ensure consistency between runs.

Password-Protected Access

The instruments provide password protection for up to 50 different users, allowing access to be controlled in multi-user laboratory settings. The instruments can easily be set to allow users the appropriate access level, which may be Administrator, Super User or Operator. In this way, the lab manager can easily  control the access level for each user as per the following permissions (Table 1). In addition, with  remote access, the lab manager can manage user access without having to leave the office.

Table 1 User level permissions

User Level



Unlimited access.

Super User

Can run all programs, run the centrifuge manually, manage users, assign programs, manage the rotor library, perform calculations and simulations*


Can run assigned programs, and change user options.

*Calculations and simulations available on Optima XPN Series only.

Restricting the user access to these centrifuges so that only appropriately trained individuals can use them, increases the overall safety, reduces error rates and repair costs and maximizes  centrifuge uptime. By using password protection to control who can access the centrifuge, lab managers are able to ensure that only operators who have completed the appropriate level of centrifuge training can use the instrument. Once this training has been completed, the  user is issued with a personal identification number (PIN) and a user profile. The administrator also has the option of setting up a PIN expiration date to prevent users having access to the centrifuges if their training has not been updated.

Serial Number for Rotor Tracking and Detailed Run History

With a powerful tracking capability, the need for manual entries in paper logbooks is eliminated This records the details of every run and links them to an individual user, which provides a level of accountability in the laboratory. Detailed tracking of each run provides an archive of details such as who was operating the centrifuge; the date and time; the parameters that were run and the details of any diagnostics or errors that were issued during the run.

The Optima XPN and Avanti JXN Series centrifuges also enable users to monitor the number of cycles accumulated on particular rotors. An on-screen rotor library enables rotors to be selected by serial number. By tracking the number of cycles, the life of the rotor can be accurately monitored and retired if it becomes unsafe or potentially damaging to the centrifuge. This detailed tracking history is also helpful for Beckman Coulter Field Service Engineers carrying out rotor inspections in accordance with the Field Rotor Inspection Program (FRIP). This information helps maintain laboratory safety standards and ensures people get the most out of their investment.


In multi-user laboratories, users may have to access another floor or even building to use centrifuges in a common equipment room. However, the remote monitoring and control function of the Optima XPN and Avanti JXN Series centrifuges means users can   access the centrifuge from almost anywhere through a mobile device or personal computer via the custom MobileFuge application, which is available for Android™ and iOSdevices.

MobileFuge app

Picture 2. MobileFuge app. Image credt: Beckman Coulter

Any problems with the centrifugal operations can be flagged up to lab managers using the email diagnostic alerts feature. This feature sends notifications to the lab managers irrespective of their location.

Beckman Coulter, the stylized logo, and Optima are trademarks of Beckman Coulter, Inc. and are registered with the USPTO. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences - Auto-Cellular and ProteomicsAbout Beckman Coulter

Beckman Coulter develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical tests. More than a quarter of a million Beckman Coulter instruments operate in laboratories around the world, supplying critical information for improving patient health and reducing the cost of care.

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Last updated: May 18, 2020 at 4:12 AM


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