Solving: Eliminate Errors while Simultaneously Labeling Thousands of Pipettes and Ampoules

labeling thousands of pipettes and ampoules

At PaladinID, we create barcode labels for specific applications.  As we’re seeing BioTech and Bio Med industries expand with barcode verification and authentication, we wanted to share this Case Study by Microscan where they face the challenges of labeling thousands of pipettes and ampoules.  

In the laboratory environment, handling multiple pipettes and amoules, there is always the opportunity for mis-labeling and sequential coding errors.  We wrote about this a few months ago in our Ampoule Labeling Blog.  MicroScan’s goal was to develop a reliable handheld barcode scanner to identify and track samples and reagents in the laboratory environment and record barcodes on all tube types and microplates.

Thanks to the barcode reading solution, the laboratories can follow and fully track the entry list and every single step in the procedures. Accuracy and documentation are critical, and this solution helps ensure compliance with standards and government regulations, as well as improving efficiency and avoiding human errors.
Project: 1D/2D barcode scanning solution

One of MicroScan’s customers is a leading life science company that develops and sells instruments, consumables, and services for liquid, sample, and cell handling in laboratories worldwide. Its product range includes pipettes and automated pipetting systems, dispensers, centrifuges, mixers, spectrometers, and DNA amplification equipment as well as ultra-low temperature freezers, fermentors, bioreactors, CO2 incubators, shakers, and cell manipulation systems.

Associated consumables like pipette tips, test tubes, microtiter plates, and disposable bioreactors all have to be coded, labeled and verified to maintain the  highest quality workflow solutions. Maintaining the highest standards is key to reducing labeling errors and duplications while labeling thousands of pipettes and ampoules.

The Challenge of Labeling Thousands of Pipettes and Ampoules

An automated pipetting process is the ideal solution for advanced liquid handling demands. With 12 to 15 worktable positions it’s important to application flexibility. These Pipetting systems can be used in demanding, small-volume applications such as next generation sequencing, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) set-up or magnetic bead based purification, as well as cell assays or any routine pipetting task.  Using an intuitive software developed for the automated pipetting systems, laboratory workers and researchers are backed-up by this user-guided software assistance – dramatically reducing erroneous sequential coding errors and alerting lab workers to potential system mishaps.

The handheld barcode imager ensures traceability and accuracy in laboratory processes.  To meet the laboratories’ needs of their customers, accessories for ensuring traceability and compliance with standards and regulations are critical components in the labeling process.
A reliable barcode reader that, along with the proper software, can provide the ability to identify samples, and to enable visual cues and guidance for the laboratory technicians.

The Solution

To meet barcode reading needs, a Microscan 2D handheld imager which also serves as a reliable barcode reader to complements the automated pipetting system and software, so that samples can be coded, identified and visually monitored during the process  This was realized with the HS-21 handheld imager from Microscan.

The HS-21 imager provides fast barcode decode rates and long range reading in a lightweight, durable package. Its dual field optics decode most 1D and 2D symbols in any orientation at short and long distances. The HS-21 combines a compact form factor with ruggedness and high performance. It can sustain multiple drops from 1.8 meters and is ideal for clean room applications. The reader’s sensitive components are protected by an IP54-rated enclosure, and it can easily be cleaned by common disinfectants.

Together with a lab’s software module, the HS-21 imager allows for safe data exchange with laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and simplifies external communication. The barcode reader enables the user to record barcodes on all tube types and microplates.

Reagents can be documented with type and lot number. After manually scanning the barcodes, the IDs are stored in the database from which data can be verified at any time. A result file containing sample IDs and their final location is generated when the liquid handling process is completed. The result ID list can then be exported to a network drive and uploaded to a LIMS.

Result: Improved accuracy and efficiency in laboratory processes, and compliance with government regulations

Thanks to the barcode reading solution, the laboratories can follow and fully track the entry list and every single step in the procedures. Accuracy and documentation are critical, and this solution helps them ensure compliance with standards and government regulations, as well as ensure efficiency and avoid human errors.

This article was extracted from the Life Sciences Application Case Study – Eppendorf, Germany.
© 2014 Microscan Systems, Inc. 01/14
Featured Product: HS-21 Handheld Imager from Microscan„„

About Microscan:
Founded in 1982, Microscan has a strong history of technology innovation including the invention of the first laser diode barcode scanner and the 2D symbology Data Matrix. In 2008, Microscan acquired the Siemens Machine Vision division. Today, Microscan remains a technology leader in automatic identification and machine vision with extensive solutions for ID tracking, traceability and inspection.

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