Automating your labware labeling process can bring numerous benefits such as improved speed, precision label placement and the ability re-allocate employees to tasks more relevant to your goals.
The decision to integrate automation into your processes can be difficult, it typically involves capital investment, assessment of real estate and considerations about current workflows.
In an effort to help you choose the best automated applicator for your facility, we’ve put together this list of our top five microwell plate, tube and vial applicators. Let’s get to it!
Top 5 Labware Label Applicators of 2021
|Applicator||Throughput Speed||Placement Accuracy||Resolution||Applications|
|cab Axon 1||4+ Seconds||±0.35mm||300 or 600 dpi||Cylindrical Tubes & Vials|
|cab Axon 2||4+ Seconds||±0.35mm||300 or 600 dpi||Cylindrical Tubes & Vials|
|cab S3200 Plate Applicator||4+ Seconds||±0.35mm||300 or 600 dpi||Microwell Plates|
|cab Hermes Q||4+ Seconds||±0.35mm||300 or 600 dpi||Cylindrical Tubes & Vials or Microwell Plates|
|Eclipse Series Microwell Plate Labeler||4+ Seconds||±0.35mm||600 dpi||Microwell Plates|
1. cab Axon 1
Tubes are inserted vertically, allowing for easy integration into your processes—manual or automated. Specialized rollers ensure your labels are placed securely and precisely.
Additionally, this applicator features print resolutions up to 600 dpi, meaning you can expect high scannability even on the smallest of 2D barcodes. With a tube diameter range of 10-35mm, a broad range of tube and vial sizes can be accommodated, with caps on or off.
There are also a couple optional features, such as bulk intake or a robotic arm, to further decrease operator involvement at an economical price point.
2. cab Axon 2
The Axon 2 allows the operator to place the tube or vial into the applicator horizontally, and with the touch of a button (or the press of a foot pedal) quickly and accurately place a label directly onto a tube. The specialized rollers ensure your label is applied securely to reduce the likelihood of a lost sample.
Similar to the Axon 1, the Axon 2 offers durable thermal transfer print technology and print resolution up to 600 dpi to accommodate smaller 2D barcodes.
Additionally, there are two models, the Axon 2, capable of labeling tubes between 10 and 17 mm in diameter and up to 105 mm in length—alongside the 2.1, capable of labeling tubes between 16 and 20 mm in diameter and up to 120 mm in length.
3. cab S3200 Plate Applicator
Utilizing the peel and present model of cab’s SQUIX printer as a base—the S3200 features an additional applicator pad and arm which rotates to the appropriate height, placing your label securely and accurately onto your microwell plate.
The S3200 features all of the same print capabilities and familiar interface as the SQUIX printer, providing a user-friendly experience, durable thermal transfer print technology and resolution up to 600 dpi.
Both a tamp pad and a blow pad can be utilized with the S3200 to apply labels while your plate is at rest, though a blow pad can accommodate labels in motion making it a great choice if you need to integrate with existing automation.
An approximate calculation by cab states this system can place up to 20 labels per minute—but speed varies between operators and integrated automation.
4.cab Hermes Q
It’s possible you’re already familiar with the Hermes Q—an industrial printer offered by cab well known for its trustworthy performance. Numerous application options are available for the Hermes Q, two of which are especially useful in the lab.
Depending on which applicator you choose, labels can be applied to microwell plates or cylindrical labware—such as tubes, vials, beakers etc…
The microwell plate applicator offers two application options to suit different needs. While the tube and vial option utilizes a unique silicon applicator to accommodate a wide range of cylindrical labware sizes, both applicators improve efficiencies, ensure precise label placement, provide high print quality and can be easily integrated into existing workflows.
Check out our video below for more details on the Hermes Q tube and vial labeler:
5.Eclipse Series Microwell Plate Label Applicator
The Eclipse series of microwell plate applicators is comprised of three models, the 100, the 200 and the 250—each offering different features to suit different volume and labeling needs. All three models are capable of increasing efficiency, verifying barcode usability prior to application, ensuring precise label placement and integrating into existing workflows.
The major difference between the three is their label placement abilities. The Eclipse 100 is capable of placing one label on a single side of a plate automatically, making it great for applications where only one plate label is needed, or for lower processing volumes.
The 200 is capable of automatically placing labels on multiple sides of each plate—making it a suitable choice if your application requires labels to be placed on multiple sides of your plates with efficiency and precision.
Lastly, the 250 model is not only capable of automatically labeling multiple sides of your plates, but can adjust to different plate heights automatically. This means it’s a great fit for situations where you are frequently switching between different plate sizes and would like to do so quickly and efficiently.
As we prefaced in the beginning, choosing the right automation solution for your application can be a difficult process. We hope this list gives you a better idea of which applicators are worth considering in your lab.
If you have any questions about any of the applicators on this list, please feel free to reach out to our team of experts