Modules - Inpeco
Automated modules for pre- and post-analytical phases
Full suite of robotic modules for a safe and speedy workflow
Inpeco has an ever-expanding suite of modules for automating the routine tasks in the Laboratory workflow. Our R&D is working every day on the development of new solutions, often driven by specific requests from customers.
Inpeco TLA solutions (FlexLab, Aptio and A3600) are open and flexible automation systems, able to manage the whole analytic workflow, from pre- to post phases: tube loading, check-in, sorting, centrifuge, decapper, aliquoting, sealer and storage.
Inpeco TLA modular architecture allows system integrations and expansions, thus meeting the evolving needs of modern labs.
Inpeco TLA can process glass and plastic tubes of various sizes, with removable caps, pressure caps or plastic screw caps. More than 360 different tubes have already been validated for use on the automation system, among which BD, Greiner, Sarstedt, Vacutest Kima, Kabe, Qiagen and FL Medical ones - on top of some pediatric/microvette tubes with standard adaptor.
The transportation system consists in standard modules that can be organized to meet the specific needs and various layouts of the labs. Many solutions are available (U-turn T-Turn, Vertical transportation) to create highly customized systems, to match with specific lab purposes (sample workflow optimization, working area organization, etc.)
The Vertical Transportation Module (VTM) - a very advanced module - allows to connect two different automation systems located on different floors in a building. This module automatically, safely and rapidly transports the tubes from system to system (for example from the Acceptance room to the Corelab, or from the general lab system to a dedicated specialty room).
Depending on the specific needs of the lab, multiple and various tube input modalities are available: IOM (versatile Input/Output Module for loading, sorting and unloading tubes, STAT-dedicated input, unloading of non-conforming tubes, etc.), RIM (Rack Input Module), and BIM (Bulk Input Module) that supports various 3rd party Pneumatic Transport systems (Tempus600 and Sumetzberger systems) and several different conveyor belts.
Depending on the specific needs, multiple vision systems are available. The Tube Identification Module (TIM), thanks to an high definition camera and an advanced software recognition interface, can detect the sample ID barcode, the tube type, dimension, cap presence and color - in all Input modules. These data are collected at each tube check-in and are used to verify the proper alignment between test order and tube type and to lead all process steps. Another dedicated camera, the Sample Volume Detection (SVD), measures the sample volume after centrifugation.
The Centrifuge Module automates centrifugation processing, with the possibility of easily setting all operating parameters (speed, time, temperature, batch size). The module weighs all sample tubes before centrifugation, allowing to selectively detect tubes containing insufficient sample.
The aliquoting process is completely automated on board Inpeco TLA. The primary tube which needs to be divided into secondary tubes is sent to the Aliquoter Module, where the specific number of aliquots is automatically labeled, loaded on track and dispensed with the sample volume determined by the configured test purpose. An advanced Liquid Handling Robot platform allows to aliquot in microtiter plates and microvials for Biobanking and other purposes.
After the analytical processes, the sample tubes can be automatically closed with a special aluminum foil sealed on each plastic tube top. The Sealer Module can simultaneously process different tube types and sizes. The aluminum foil can be automatically removed by the Desealer Module if a re-run is specifically needed. The secondary tubes produced by the Aliquoter can be safely closed with a dedicated plastic cap (pressure or screw) for further long-term storing or sending out.
Inpeco TLA manages the sample tube process up to the end of the tube’s life. Based on sample type and testing needs, the tube is kept in the automated storing modules for a set time (defined by the Lab). Once the deadline has passed, the tube is automatically and safely disposed of in the customized laboratory biohazard bins, without any further user intervention.