Automate Fluid Handling
 
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Q. Can 1536 well microplates be used on the ?
A. The
has the accuracy required to use 1536 well microplates. However, the pumping technology available today will limit their practical use due to the small well volumes. Stay tuned.

Q. How many microplates can the and hold?
A. This capacity is dependent upon what devices, racks, and other accessories are located in the Universal Device Platform area. If these units are configured only with microplates, the following capacities are available to the user:

Model

Maximum Number of Microplates

12

with Moving Tray Option

20

S

3

L

6

Q. What kind of devices and containers can be used?
A. There really are no limitations as long as the devices and containers can fit within the physical dimensions (X Y Z usable workspace dimensions) of the unit and an adapter plate is available or can be fabricated. TVC will fabricate customized adapter plates. Some devices will require communication and the
incorporates a variety of communication ports and protocols including RS-232, RS-485, USB and TTL.

Q. How difficult is it to program the for my specific application?
A. The
is a general-purpose robotic device. It can easily be programmed by the user for application specific automation using Windows based Vista Software. No programming expertise is required. This software incorporates a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the firmware contained in the unit's electronics. Setting up the Universal Device Platform and defining activities for a specific application requires ordinary mouse manipulation including "selection" and "drag-and-drop" actions. Once a method has been developed and configured on the unit it can be named and stored for future use.

Q. Can information from a database be downloaded into the ?
A. Yes, as long as the imported information is formatted correctly and the actions to be taken are among the capabilities of the
. Contact TVC for additional details.

Q. Do I need separate software packages for the and ?
A. No, The Vista software can operate both the and
by simply selecting the appropriate Tab on the screen.

Q. How accurate are the syringe pumps used for dispensing and aspiration and what is the minimum quantity that can be reliably dispensed?
A. TVC's syringe pump systems incorporate Kloehn's 50300 syringe drive modules.


These modules have the following specifications:

Repeatability

<0.01% typical

Precision

<0.1% typical

Resolution

24,000 to 1 standard (48,000 to one can be specified on ordering)

Syringe sizes range from 25 Ál to 50 ml and 3, 4, 5 & 6 way valves are also available. The smallest quantity that can be reliably dispensed with a 25 Ál syringe is 1 Ál.

Q. What kind of pipette tips are compatible with the standard probe systems available from TVC?
A. TVC's modular probe systems are designed with taper specifications suitable for Labsystem's Finntips. Other styles and sources can be provided on ordering. Contact TVC for more information.

Q. How fast can I…?
A. The total time to complete an automated method is the sum of all motion and timed events in the method, e.g. down to down motion of the probe plus pump dispensing/aspiration times plus pipette tip insertion, etc. Although estimates can be made by summing these times, actual time trials should be conducted for verification. Careful consideration should be given to the advisability of automating lengthy timed events such as stirring, heating, and weighing since these tasks are often rate limiting steps that could be more effectively performed in parallel off-line. For example, the motion of the
arm may be so much faster than a step requiring stirring, heating or other timed events it may become irrelevant.

Q. If the arm meets an obstruction while unattended will damage occur?
A. No, if the movement of the arm is obstructed the power applied to the affected servo motor(s) will be immediately reduced to prevent damage. In addition, after a short period of time the unit will automatically shut down.

Q. If I am not able to attend to the unit how will I know if an error has occurred?
A. The
can notify the user, through Vista software E-mail, if an error has occurred. In fact, a status (completion, in-process etc.) notification can be sent to the user by E-mail at any point in the method by simply inserting a request in the activity list for the method.

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