Autosampler III

Synchron has developed a pipetting platform for the dairy market, capable of taking samples from factory production on a large scale in an industrial setting. 

Hygiena provides a sterility test for the food and beverage market to ensure the quality of production processes. Hygiena offers an analysis instrument and a chemical kit for this purpose, which together provide a solution for a specific number of samples. The largest user of these tests is the dairy market, where contamination and infection in dairy products are critical concerns, necessitating batch control through product sampling.

Within Hygiena's product portfolio, there was a need for a machine to take and analyze samples on a large scale. Given the significant number of samples in larger dairy factories, automation became essential to reduce human involvement and associated errors.

Key tasks the machine needed to perform:

- High throughput with the ability to handle various types of samples

- Presenting a wide variety of products packaged in boxes to the pipetting machine

- Sampling through product packaging, such as caps

- Automatic presentation of microtiter plates

- Dispensing reagents from the Hygiena kit

- Agitating (homogenizing) sample plates for the reaction with the kit

- All the above steps needed to be fully traceable with minimal user intervention and effort.


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Key Features

Prepping & Loading Samples

Screening and Pipetting Samples

Industrial pipetting Samples

Reagent Addition

Homogenizing the Sample

Analyzing the Samples

How It Was Adressed:

Synchron had extensive experience in milk pipetting with the Xperimate liquid handler. However, the Xperimate liquid handler was designed for low to medium throughput applications and lacked the force to puncture plastic caps. Synchron incorporated pipetting techniques into a completely new industrial design that also included product handling. This involved the development of an entirely new pipetting arm and a specific piercing needle. Additionally, other Synchron building blocks were adapted and redesigned to meet stringent requirements:

- Conveyor belts

- Product separator

- Conveyor belts with strings

- Food-safe belts

- Barcode scanner 

- 5-position orbital plate shaker

- Vision camera

- Pipetting arm

- Pierce needle

- Plate stacker

- Stainless steel deck

- Tecan pipetting pumps

- Dosing manifold

- Plate handling

How Synchron Succeeded

Upon receiving the request, Synchron assessed which process steps already had "proven technology" available and how they could be applied. Many similarities were found with previously developed Covid systems, although this involved an entirely different type of tube. The decision was made to apply existing building blocks and customize them to meet the customer's requirements.


What It Provides the Customer:

The customer now has fully automated systems that handle labor-intensive process steps. Additionally, the systems offer benefits in terms of speed (samples/minute) and accuracy, allowing employees to focus on other important tasks.



Food and beverage – dairy