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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, our range of tube and vial automation solutions 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 labeling of tubes and vials.


Tube and Vial Label Automation

The Flex Tube Pro allows the operator to place up to 2,000 tubes and vials into the hopper, un-oriented, press a button and return a couple hours later to labeled tubes and vials

What 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

Variable

Consistent

Precision

Variable

Consistent

Simplicity

Complex

Simple

Adaptability

Inconsistent and time consuming

Consistent and fast

Real Estate

Variable

Fixed, but fairly large

Information Accuracy

Human Elements

Ergonomic Design/ few moving parts

Investment

Ongoing Overhead

Budgeted

Solution

No

Lowest total cost of ownership

How can I improve accuracy & efficiency in my labware labeling strategy?

Our Offerings

 

 cab Axon 2

TubePro

Flex TubePro

Print Technology

Thermal Transfer

Thermal Transfer

Thermal Transfer

Resolution

300 dpi or 600 dpi

600 dpi

600 dpi

Real Estate

Desktop

Desktop

Requires floor space

Acceptable Tube Size Range

105mm max length

10-17mm max diameter

Nests can be customized to accommodate any size

Nests and discs can be customized to accommodate any size

Operator Involvement

Moderate-high

Moderate-high

Low

Processing Volume

Low

Low-Medium

High

Processing Speed

1-5 seconds per tube/vial (varies based on speed of operator)

1-5 seconds per tube/vial (varies based on speed of operator)

>.5 seconds per tube/vial

Base Price

>$10,000

$35,000+

$88,000+

Don’t see what you’re looking for in the chart? Ask about custom options.

Which Automatic Tube & Vial Labeler is the Best Match for My Lab?

Flex TubePro

Flex TVF + Tube ProThe Flex TubePro is a high throughput volume tube and vial label applicator. It’s our fully automated option and requires minimal operator involvement. The tube and vial feeder system allows the operator to simply place up to 2,000 tubes or vials into the hopper, press a button and return to labeled tubes or vials within a couple hours.

For further efficiency improvements, the Flex TubePro is capable of being integrated into an automatic placer system—or other robotic equipment—for a fully automated workflow.

Though the Flex TubePro features print and apply automation, it can also accommodate pre-printed labels. Various tube and vial shapes and sizes can also be accommodated with specialized discs and nests.

  • Hands-free, high volume operation allows your employees to 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 with little to no operator involvement
  • Reduce waste and downtime with accurate, high speed label application

TubePro

TubeProThe TubePro is a low to moderate throughput volume tube and vial label applicator offering reduced operator involvement when compared to manual labeling. The operator simply places the tube in the applicator nest and application is triggered as the light curtain senses the operator removing their hand from the system.

Though the TubePro does feature print and apply automation, it can also accommodate pre-printed labels. Various tube and vial shapes and sizes can also be accommodated with specialized nests.

  • Speed up processes in your low-medium volume lab with semi-automatic application
  • Minimize the amount of labor 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 consistent and accurate label application
  • Reduce liability for repetitive strain injury, and ensure safety with the light curtain

cab Axon 2

AXON2 with TrayThe Axon 2 is a low throughput volume tube and vial label applicator offering reduced operator involvement when compared to manual labeling. The operator places the tube or vial in the applicator arms, taps the touchscreen icon and the labeled 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
  • Minimize the amount of labor 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

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 color 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

What to Expect When Implementing Tube & Vial Automation?

Automation equipment is a larger investment, therefor 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 labeled. 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 labeling?

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 you find 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 Program where you can purchase your labware pre-labeled.

2. Consider the Implications

As we have already mentioned, the major effects of implementing automation into your labeling 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 labeling step in your processes, meaning you might have more employees dedicated to labeling 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 labeling.

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.

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.

Our range of equipment offers two ways to accommodate varying sizes.

The Axon 2 is a unique offering in our range in that it can accommodate various tube and vial sizes without any additional parts, however only a limited range of tube and vial sizes can be accommodated.

The maximum tube height the Axon 2 can accommodate is about 4 inches, while the diameter must be between 10mm and 17mm.

Unlike the Axon 2, the TubePro and Flex TubePro can accommodate nearly any tube or vial size with the purchase of a nest (TubePro) or Disc (Flex TubePro).

customized-roller-sets
This means if you’re working with various tube and vial sizes you’ll need one nest or disc per tube size, which can add up if you’re working with a broad range.

In addition to these factors affecting the cost of the equipment they also affect the value, and that’s why we recommend different equipment to different types of labs. What brings value and fast ROI to one lab, might bring much slower returns and limited value to another.

If you’re currently utilizing 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. Labor, consumables and equipment all add up, and many of these costs are recurring. Comparing the cost of manual labeling labor 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.

Without specific needs in mind, the most we can provide in terms of cost is the base price for each piece of equipment we offer:

Axon 2: >$10,000

Tube-Pro: $35,000+

Flex Tube-Pro: $88,000+

As we mentioned previously, no two labs are exactly alike, so, most automation solutions are designed to be tailored to the specific needs of the labs they end up in. This means it’s incredibly rare any facility would pay the bare minimum for their labeling solution.

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 a Fit For Your Process?

Don’t worry if you haven’t seen what you’re looking for yet, we also have custom automation options and pre-barcoded labware.

Custom Automation Solutions

We maintain excellent partnerships in the automation equipment industry so we can offer our customers fully customized automation equipment in addition to our standard solutions.

If your facility has special requirements regarding the processing of your samples that will impact the labeling process, let us know and we can work with you and our partners to create a more suitable custom automation solution.

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 labeling from your list of to do’s, you might want to look into our READY Labware Services, pre-barcoded labware program.

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.

A comprehensive labeling service to suit your specifications. Download the READY Labware Services Brochure

 

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

Contact Our Sales Team Today

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