Another closed system design comes from Bayer HealthCare Diagnostic Division, Tarrytown, N.Y., a unit of the German firm Bayer AG, in the form of its ADVIA LabCell Modular Automation System. This system provides a menu of pre-analytical components as well as interfaces for Bayers high volume analytical immunoassay, chemistry, hematology, urine chemistry and coagulation analyzers.
Beckman Coulter, Inc., Fullerton, Calif., also accommodates a progressive approach to automation, beginning with pre-analytic activity and proceeding to full laboratory integration. However, the company markets customized open system configurations that can connect 30 different models of instrumentation from a variety of manufacturers.
The longest-standing firm supporting total laboratory automation is LAB-InterLink, Inc. Omaha, Neb., founded in 1993. The companys system, which it characterizes as software driven, consists of several testing stages along over 100 feet of dual conveyor track. The systems robotic arm takes specimens from the lab racks and places them in centrifuges. After testing is complete, the specimens are cataloged and stored by a storage and retrieval module. Integrated devices include: an aliquotter, centrifuge, decapper, integrity monitor, loading station, recapper, sorter, storage and retrieval device, transport system and workstation, all coordinated by proprietary process control software.
Like Beckman Coulter, the systems design is based on an open system philosophy, so interface with a wide variety of analyzers from all major manufactures is easily implemented. It is also possible to