The PathFinder™ 350D Decapper Sorter is a compact benchtop robotic workstation designed for the pre-analytical management of incoming sample collection tubes.
The system is used for automating the decapping and sorting of sample tubes into different destination racks – either analyser racks (such as those used on various chemistry or immunochemistry analysers), PathFinder™ sample racks or third-party racks (including Hettich centrifuge inserts). The PathFinder™ 350D registers the receipt of incoming tubes and relays this information to the LIS.
- Automates repetitive manual processing.
- Takes away tube processing decision making.
- Eliminates RSI injuries from manually decapping tubes.
- Reduces manual handling errors.
- Reduces biohazard exposure to lab staff.
- Automatically records and distributes incoming tubes.
Wide range of tube types
The PathFinder™ 350D has the ability to decap primary tubes from all major tube manufacturers, be these screw type or plug type caps. Incoming primary tubes of varying sizes are presented in an input rack from where they are transferred to a processing carousel – first for identification and then, if required, for decapping. The tubes, whether decapped or not, are then sorted into various destination racks ready for testing or distribution.
Automating the unloading and processing of tubes not only reduces handling of tubes but eliminates RSI injuries from manually removing caps from primary tubes.
Flexible upgrade path
The PathFinder™ 350D is a compact workstation with a sample throughput of 350 samples per hour. Both input and destination racks are accommodated on the deck of the sorter module. If workloads increase, it is possible to upgrade the system with an additional sorter module to increase both the rack capacity and the sample throughput.(see PathFinder™ 350D Plus)
Tube Bar code alignment
The PathFinder™ 350D has the ability to not only place samples tubes into analyser racks but also to align the tube bar code label on the sample tube with the viewing window in the analyser rack if required.
PathFinder™ sample racks have been designed to compliment PathFinder™ laboratory automation platforms for automating the processing of sample collection tubes in a pathology laboratory. The PathFinder™ rack design has been optimized for:
- High positional accuracy required for reliable, high-speed automation.
- Robust construction to give long operational life.
- High volume manufacturing to keep the cost affordable.
Key Benefits of PathFinder™ Racks
- Indexed sample well positions.
- Provision for barcode labeling.
- Multiple re-use.
- Suitable for low temperature storage (down to -80 deg C).
- PF20, PF50 and PFC50 racks have poka-yoke feature to ensure the rack is locked in the correct orientation. High positional accuracy required for reliable, high-speed automation.
Types of PathFinder™ Racks
- 20 well “PF20” rack for use as a generic low volume automation rack.
- 50 well “PF50” rack for use as a generic high-volume automation and storage rack.
- 128 well “PF128” rack specifically for use as a high-capacity storage rack for PathFinder™ foil sealed 12 – 13mm diameter sample tubes.
- 50 well self-centering rack “PFC50” for use as an input rack on PathFinder™ systems fitted with high force grippers*
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“With our PathFinder 350D Pluses, it’s reading the barcodes and sorting them from there. So, the sample’s never going to be put in the wrong place. And we’ve always got a track event to say where it’s actually been.”
– Daniel Head, Assistant Manager, Preanalytical SRA Department at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology