– The new “CombiScope AutoLab” teams robotic system and CombiScopes to automate and deliver consistent, reliable results and cost savings –
Tulare, Calif. – February 14, 2007 – Advanced Instruments, Inc. and RAM Mechanical, Inc. today introduced the CombiScope™ AutoLab™, the dairy industry’s first fully automated dairy laboratory sample handing and analysis system.
The CombiScope AutoLab consists of a RAM Mechanical industrial robot/sample preparation system and one or more Delta Instruments CombiScope™ Analyzers. The automation, custom built and programmed by RAM Mechanical, provides consistent, reliable sample preparation and handling. The CombiScope performs precise component analysis and high-speed somatic cell counting.
“The CombiScope AutoLab combines the best in class technology from the world of industrial automation and the dairy laboratory,” said Peter Costas, vice president, sales and marketing, Advanced Instruments. “The result represents the pinnacle in dairy laboratory automation and sets a new standard of excellence and benefits for DHIAs, their patrons, payment labs and the industry.”
The CombiScope AutoLab will officially debut at the 2007 WorldAg Expo, in Ram Mechanical’s booth, number DS67. WorldAg Expo takes place February 13-15, 2007, in Tulare, California.
At the high-volume dairy laboratories of the Central Counties DHIA in Atwater, Calif., the CombiScope AutoLab is already delivering more reliable results and higher productivity.
“The improved analyzer performance is due to more consistent and uniform sample handling. The lab also benefits from lower workers’ compensation exposure through the reduction of repetitive stress activities. The increased labor efficiencies and cost savings will positively impact the lab’s bottom line,” said Costas.
At the Central Counties DHIA, the CombiScope AutoLab includes one robot feeding two CombiScopes. There, the robot begins each testing cycle by retrieving vials from a 10 by 10 rack, rinses the exterior then submits them to a heated water bath, when optimum temperature is reached the vials are removed, next the CombiScope AutoLab removes their caps, and places the vials into CombiScopes, which analyze the samples and reports the results. The robot then removes the vials, dumps the contents, then washes, brushes, rinses, dries, adds preservative, recaps, and returns the vials to a rack. “If desired, the process can run continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Costas said.
Costas said the two companies would offer a custom designed CombiScope AutoLab system to meet the specific needs and operations of each dairy laboratory.
Best in class expertise defines CombiScope AutoLab and key components
Ram Mechanical’s twenty plus years of experience in the material handling and bulk bottled water industries have driven the move to automation and robotics. Within a few short years Ram’s experience in robotics has redefined s the concept of high-speed flexible rack loading and un-loading systems in the 5 gallon bottled water market.
“We are applying the benefits of our expertise – in what we think is a very dramatic and revolutionary approach – to the dairy laboratories,” said Steve Nelson, General Manager of Automated Systems, at Ram Mechanical.
“Our approach was simple” states James A. Frias, President Ram Mechanical, Inc. “We brought the lessons learned from our exposure in other industries, combined it with the expertise of industry leaders in this arena, Central Counties DHIA and Advanced Instruments, and together we have created true innovation”.
With over twenty years of design and build experience, Ram Mechanical has designed a complete single point handling system for vial processing. At the center of the process is an industry leading Fanuc Industrial Robot. A Fanuc M16ib robot was selected for its reliability and speed. The average mean-time between failure of a Fanuc Robot is a whopping 60,000 hours. Next a handling tool was designed and attached to the end of the robot that would reliably handle ten vials at a time. Finally components were fabricated and placed around the robotic cell. All were designed for reliability and ease of service. Included components are indexing tables for full rack staging, thermostatically controlled water bath for precise sample temperature, milk retrieval system for dumped vials, washing-brushing-rinsing-drying station, preservative spray station, and recapping station. All of these components were strategically placed for optimum speed considering feeding two CombiScopes meant each vial had to be completely processed within 4.5 seconds. Reliability along with customer satisfaction and payback are proving out as anticipated.
For more information, visit the RAM Mechanical booth, number DS67, at the 2007 World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., February 13 – 15, 2007. Or, or call (800)-225-4034 or +1(781) 320-9000, x2159. Visit the CombiScope AutoLab web page at www.aicompanies.com/AutoLab.A video of the CombiScope AutoLab in action, at the Central Counties DHIA, can be requested from email@example.com.
About Advanced Instruments
Founded in 1955, Advanced Instruments, Inc., is the world’s largest supplier of freezing-point osmometers used in clinical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology laboratories. The company is also a leading supplier of analytical instruments for the food, dairy, and industrial microbiology markets. Based in Norwood, Massachusetts, USA, the company also produces Fiske® Associates brand diagnostic instruments and operates Spiral Biotech, Inc., and Delta Instruments as wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Its Delta Instruments’ CombiScope™ Analyzer is a highly reliable system that performs both milk composition analysis and somatic cell counting for rapid milk testing in dairy labs. The solution combines a spectrophotometer using established infrared technology for elemental analysis, plus FDA-approved, fluorescence flow cytometry for fast and accurate counting of somatic cells. The dual-purpose analyzer quantifies the amount of fat, protein, lactose, and solids content accurately and automatically in milk and milk products, as well as precisely measuring the total number of somatic cells in raw milk. Advanced Instruments’ products are supported by a worldwide network of direct sales people and independent distributors. The company can be found online at http://www.aicompanies.com or contact customer service at (800) 225-4034 or +1 (781) 320-9000.
About Ram Mechanical, Inc
Ram Mechanical, Inc is an engineering firm with expertise ranging from the design and build of custom automation systems, to process manufacturing. Our experience and development in all facets of these products has given us a vast array of knowledge, from the line mechanic’s maintenance concerns to the executive’s focus on increasing profits while decreasing production costs. This has been a driving force for us to provide innovation and technology to all of our clients. This desire facilitated a solid partnership with FANUC Robotics of North America, the world’s leader in manufacturing industrial robotics. With our disciplines including industrial contracting, Robotic integration and custom fabrication, Contract management, full three-dimensional design engineering and the best in controls technicians, industry leaders such as E. & J. Gallo Winery, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and Nestle have consistently depended on Ram Mechanical, inc to fulfill many of their equipment needs. Contact Ram Mechanical on the Net at http://www.ram-mechanical.com or by phone at (800) 777-9775 or +1 (209) 531-9155.
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