Tube and Vial Feeders – Laboratory Market Products

Print and Apply Labeling Systems

In 2010 Nautilus Systems, Inc. began developing its first products for the laboratory market, the PR100i Print and Apply Labeler and the Tube Pro Accessory Module for applying and wrapping printed labels on tubes and vials.  In 2012 Nautilus Systems, Inc. will be releasing new products specifically configured for bulk feeding of Tubes and Vials used in laboratory automation.  Currently there are no standard solutions on the market for this purpose.  Tubes and Vials must be handled manually or, best case, by implementing a vibratory feeder unit.  As anyone knows who has ever encountered vibratory feeders those units are extremely expensive, very noisy to the point that either special soundproof enclosures are necessary or all nearby personnel must wear hearing protection, and extremely inflexible as they are configured specific to one and only one tube or vial geometry.

 Enter Nautilus Systems, Inc.’s new “Flex Feeder T&V”.  The Flex Feeder T&V will allow our customer to load a hopper with a large quantity of Tubes or Vials.  Once loaded the Flex Feeder will automatically separate individual Tubes or Vials from the bulk storage hopper and feed them out, end to end, on an included conveyor system.  The Flex Feeder will include an ‘autosort’ function that will examine each Tube as it is individually separated and orientate it so that all Tubes exit the conveyor in the same orientation.  This means that if the capped side of the Tube or Vial must be ‘leading’ as it travels the conveyor the autosort will ensure that it is cap leading.

Once the Tubes or Vials have been placed on the conveyor and are feeding end to end an auxiliary system can be used to automatically load them into a Tray in whatever configuration is required.  Imagine doing away with the expensive and time consuming effort in simply loading Tubes into Trays so that they can later be placed into Instruments where the important work begins!

Initially the Flex Feeder T&V will be released to work in conjunction with our PR100 Tube Pro system but will shortly thereafter be released to operate as a standalone unit to be connected to other automated systems including a Tray Loading Device that will be released by Nautilus Systems, Inc.

The system is a ‘Flex’ Feeder because it can be quickly changed over to run different types of Tubes and Vials up to nearly 4″ in length.  All that is required is to remove one tooling plate and replace it with another and then modify a few settings through the included interface and the Flex Feeder T&V will be up and running on the new Tube or Vial.  Typical Tubes and Vials that the system is designed to feed include Nunc, Nalgene, and other similar Tube, Vials, and Cryo Vials.

 Stay tuned to nautilussys.com for further information.  This product will be released in early Summer 2012!

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