Tube and Vial Label Automation

Tube and Vial Label Automation

Precise & automatic label placement onto tubes and vials

From reduced human error to improved workflows, a tube and vial automation solution can bring results to your facility, almost immediately.


Precise label placement and application speeds more than double that of manual application ensure a cost-justified investment for precise, automatic labelling of tubes and vials.

AXON2 with TrayWhat Will Tube and Vial Label Automation Help Accomplish In My Practice?

  • Increase throughput with high speed application and the ability to reallocate staff to more important duties
  • Ensure accuracy by reducing the amount of human involvement and integrating your automation equipment directly into your software systems
  • Reduce wasted time, effort and samples by ensuring the accuracy and precise placement of labels
  • Integrate easily into your existing software systems and downstream automated processes

How does Tube and Vial Automation Compare to Manual?


Manual Application

Tube & Vial Automation

Throughput speeds










Inconsistent and time consuming

Consistent and fast

Real Estate


Fixed, but fairly large

Information Accuracy

Human Elements

Ergonomic Design/ few moving parts


Ongoing Overhead




Lowest total cost of ownership

cab Axon 2 

The Axon 2 is a tube and vial label applicator offering reduced operator involvement when compared to manual labelling. The operator places the tube or vial in the applicator arms, taps the touchscreen icon and the labelled tube is either dropped into the tray or removed by hand.

The Axon 2 was designed to include print and apply automation and can accommodate a range of tube and vial sizes.

  • Stick to your budget with this affordable print and apply option
  • Minimise the amount of labour required so your employees can focus on what’s most important
  • Integrate directly into your current workflow and LIMS system
  • Print linear or 2D barcodes, even at small scale with high resolution capabilities
  • Quickly and reliably print and apply unique labels to your tubes and vials
  • Reduce downtime with the intuitive interface and maintenance processes
  • Say goodbye to handwritten labels and economically upgrade your process

cab Axon 1cab's Axon 1 label applicator

The Axon 1 is a low throughput volume tube and vial label applicator offering reduced operator involvement when compared to manual labelling. Capped or uncapped tubes or vials are placed vertically in the applicator arms, and with a tap of the touchscreen the tube is labelled.

The Axon 1 was designed to print and apply labels quickly and efficiently to a range of tube and vial sizes.

  • Stick to your budget with this affordable print and apply option
  • Limit labour required so your employees can focus on what’s most important
  • Integrate directly into your current workflow and LIMS system
  • Print crisp, sharp-edge linear or 2D barcodes (even small ones!) with high resolution capabilities
  • Quickly and reliably print and apply unique labels to your tubes and vials
  • Reduce downtime with the intuitive interface and maintenance processes
  • Eliminate handwritten labels from your lab and economically upgrade your labelling processcab Axon 2 & 2.1 

cab Hermes Q

The Hermes Q tube and vial labelling system features the high print quality and industrial strength cab is known for, paired with a unique applicator capable of labelling round containers big and small.

This robust print and apply system is intended for high-volume, high demand situations. Offering greater automation opportunities, the Hermes Q system will increase efficiencies in your lab with quick and precise barcode label application and by allowing employees to focus on critical tasks.

  • Print and apply high resolution linear and 2D barcodes
  • Accommodate a broad range of container sizes, from tiny cryo vials to beakers, with the silicone applicator and custom nests
  • See ROI quickly with a budget friendly fully-automated option
  • Meet high-demand needs and focus on the tasks most valuable to your lab with the ability to integrate into a fully-automated workflow
  • Minimise waste, downtime and prepare tubes for downstream automation with precise label placement
  • Robust engineering paired with service contracts ensure lasting performance
  • Integrate easily with your existing equipment and processes


cab Axon 1

 cab Axon 2

cab Hermes Q

Print Technology

Thermal Transfer

Thermal Transfer

Thermal Transfer


12 dpm or 24 dpm

12 dpm or 24 dpm

12 dpm or 24 dpm

Real Estate

Minimal, designed for lab benchtops

Minimal, designed for lab benchtops

Suitable for benchtop use or integrating into a larger workcell

Acceptable Tube Size Range

130mm max length

10-26mm diameter (up to 35mm upon request)

120mm max length

10-20mm diameter

9+ ml tubes

Operator Involvement



Moderate- high

Processing Volume




Processing Speed

4+ seconds per tube/vial (varies based on speed of operator)

4+ seconds per tube/vial (varies based on speed of operator)

4+ seconds per tube/vial (varies based on speed of operator)

Base Price

<$10,000 (USD)

<$10,000 (USD)

<$25,000 (USD)

Custom Automation

Whether you’re looking for less operator involvement, higher throughput or a more application specific piece of equipment, we can work with our automation partners to fulfill more specialised needs.

Please reach out if you’re interested in implementing automation so we can discuss a plan to overcome the challenges your lab is facing.

What to Expect When Implementing Custom Tube & Vial Automation?

Automation equipment is a larger investment, therefore it needs proper consideration and planning before implementation. Here are four steps we typically walk through with our customers to help them ensure they make the best possible label automation decision for their facility.

1. Assess Your Needs

First, it’s important to consider what exactly your tubes and vials are like, and how you want them to be labelled. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are all of your tubes and vials the same size? Diameter and length.
  • Are caps the same size?
  • Will your tubes and vials be capped or uncapped during labelling?

Next, you’ll want to take your environment and processes into consideration. Now ask yourself these questions:

  • How much space do you have to spare? A desktop or a whole room?
  • Do you need your equipment to integrate with downstream automation?
  • What are your throughput volumes like?

The answers to these questions will help us build the ideal tube and vial automation equipment for your lab. If you’re having a hard time answering any of these questions, or don’t feel like automation will solve your challenges, you may want to look into our READY Labware Serivces Programme where you can purchase your labware pre-labelled.

2. Consider the Implications

As we have already mentioned, the major effects of implementing automation into your labelling strategy are increased accuracy and efficiency, sounds great right? That’s because it is great! But, there are some implications to consider.

Automation is going to reduce the amount of effort required during the labelling step in your processes, meaning you might have more employees dedicated to labelling now than you’ll need after implementation. We recommend you consider reallocating employees to performing more value added tasks within your processes where automation might not be practical. Through reallocation of staff, you can achieve increased efficiency in more areas than labelling.

Further, consider what increased throughput might mean for your lab. You will want to ensure you take things one step at a time so you can stay on top of demand, but you won’t want to get too far ahead.

3. Create a Budget

Once you know which model best suits your needs and have considered how reallocation of staff and increased throughput could affect your ROI, you’ll want to create a budget.

Your budget should be based off of what you can spend and how fast you expect to see a return on investment. If you see discrepancies between these factors and your ideal solution you should take a step back and consider whether any changes can be made to improve your potential for ROI.

4. Create a Plan

Next, we’ll help you build a plan. Depending on your needs, that plan may start with a custom engineering plan to address any application specific alterations, or we may jump directly into an implementation plan.

In addition to technical and logistical elements that we will assist in figuring out, you will need to create a plan to train employees on how to use the new equipment. Additionally, if you’ve chosen to reallocate employees to other areas in your facility, you will want to create a plan to train them in their new roles.

Looking for a Full Solution?

Labels for Automation

Did you know automation equipment requires specially engineered labels for optimal performance?

As not only a supplier of label automation, but a label manufacturer we can provide your facility with a wide range of engineered for purpose labels that are suitable for use with our automated equipment.

From -196C to 122C, acetone to DMSO, blank to pre-printed and colour coded we can help you find—or tailor—a label to suit your needs.

Click here for more information on Computype Tube and Vial Labels

How Much Does Tube and Vial Automation Cost?

Tube and vial automation isn’t one size fits all, so your processes will need to be considered when determining a budget.

The main drivers of cost when it comes to tube and vial automation are operator involvement, throughput volumes and the variety of tube and vial sizes the equipment is expected to accommodate.

Operator Involvement

The level of operator involvement required drives up the cost as the amount of required parts and convenience levels increase.

More automated equipment tends to be larger, as it features more parts and performs more tasks. While the increase in material drives up the cost, the increase in convenience provides additional value to the facility (unless they don’t have the throughput to support high level automation.)

Throughput Volume

Essentially, as volume expectations go up, so does the cost. This mostly has to do with the level of desired operator involvement and/or the amount of equipment necessary.

In some higher throughput situations multiple pieces of equipment might be the most suitable solution to accommodate high volumes of samples that vary in shape and size.

Additionally, not all print engines are designed to run 24/7, some printers need a break, and a break in printing implies a break in the workflow.

Size Accommodations

The model you choose will determine how differing tube and vial sizes are accommodated and whether or not additional parts are necessary to accommodate various sizes.

In addition to these factors affecting the cost of the equipment they also affect the value. What brings value and fast ROI to one lab, might bring much slower returns and limited value to another so it’s always important to have a detailed discussion of your needs with your solution provider, prior to making an automation decision.

If you’re currently utilising a manual process, a good way to calculate a budget for your automation solution is by considering how much your current solution is costing you. Labour, consumables and equipment all add up, and many of these costs are recurring. Comparing the cost of manual labelling labour per year to the cost of automation puts into context which equipment will be most suitable to your needs, and how quickly you can expect to see ROI.

In any large investment situation it’s important to consider your processes, current challenges and future goals and discuss them prior to purchasing. At Computype we want to help you find the right match, and no matter where you are in your journey to finding the ideal automation solution for your facility, feel free to reach out and ask any questions you might have!

Still Don’t See for a Fit For Your Process?

Pre-barcoded Labware

If your facility is aware of all information that needs to be printed on labels ahead of time and wants to eliminate labelling from your list of to do’s, you might want to look into our READY Labware Services, pre-barcoded labware programme.

With READY Labware Services, in addition to the convenience of receiving your labware already barcoded, you gain access to additional high durability print technologies and additional services. Check out our READY Labware Services page for more details.


Ready to talk about what Computype can do to automate your labelling process?

Contact Our Sales Team Today