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In the Spotlight
Extendable software suite guides automated processes
Operators can run the Factory-Talk applications on wireless scanners to verify that the correct material and equipment are being used. The system can wirelessly send notifications about exceptions to pagers or email accounts. "This is something that pushes the system to the operator, rather than the operator asking the system what he needs to do," says René Schwarz, the company's life-sciences product manager.
Instrument automates sample analysis
The "Zetasizer Auto Plate Sampler" from Malvern Instruments (Malvern, Worcestershire, UK) automates dynamic light scattering measurement. Users can define and set measurement parameters for an entire well plate, any range of wells on the plate, or each well individually. The machine automatically analyzes the samples after the operator pushes the "start" button.
User-friendly software incorporates analytical expertise in the form of data-quality reports and automatically determines the optimum measurement settings. The software alerts users when data do not meet quality criteria and offers suggestions for improvement.
Robotic system brings versatility
The TaskMate system's EOAT can be modified easily to handle products such as vials, bottles, bags, and pouches. Operators also can program the system to load or unload multiple products on the same packaging line. These features give the TaskMate system greater flexibility than traditional hard automation.
The system's control unit collects information appropriate for quality-assurance purposes. The unit can wirelessly send and receive data such as test results, movement confirmation, and task completion. In addition, users can download new programs to the system wirelessly and change the system's programming wirelessly.