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Festo Achieves a Critical Mass of Life Science Automation Products For COVID-19 Diagnostics

Festo Achieves a Critical Mass of Life Science Automation Products For COVID-19  Diagnostics content piece image
Credit: Festo
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Festo announces it now offers diagnostic and testing device manufacturers a one-stop-shop for vial sorting, decapping, kinematic sample-handling, and fluid dispensing solutions. This critical mass of life sciences automation products from Festo will enable device manufacturers to bring products designated for pandemic-related diagnostics and testing to market faster and with lower engineering overhead.

“The pandemic has created an urgent need to ramp up development and production of high-speed diagnostic and testing equipment,” said Craig Correia, Director of Life Science, Festo North America. “Festo is not only expanding its range of product and system solutions, but also is allocating resources in terms of custom engineering and assembly.” 

Festo medical device components are designed and manufactured in an ISO 13485 quality environment, which makes validation easier and reduces time-to-market for lab device manufacturers. The company’s global logistics infrastructure ensures rapid delivery and replacement of core products, and its global technical support team minimizes downtime. 

Grippers, kinematic systems and components, liquid dispensing modules, and sensors

The versatile EHMD compact rotary gripper caps and decaps sample vials, loads centrifuges, and grips, rotates, and places microwell plates. An optional module with Z compensation automatically adjusts to cap thread pitch, which increases throughout by eliminating the need for head-adapter changeover. Combined with a EXCM planar surface gantry handling system and a camera, the EHMD gripper supports quality inspection, barcode reading, and label printing.

The EHPS family of parallel electric grippers and extensive range of pneumatic grippers provide additional solutions for handling trays, vial, and plates. For additional kinematic solutions beyond the EXCM gantry, Festo offers the EGSC/ELGC modular linear actuators, the ERMO rotary actuator, and the new EHML space savings telescoping slide.

The EXCM gantry, which is ordered as either a drop-in assembly or quick-to-assemble kit, can be integrated with a VTOE eight-liquid valve manifold. The VTOE features a 9 mm pitch channel for filling an entire row of microwell plates simultaneously. A single new VAEM solenoid valve controller operates all eight channels of the VTOE. VAEM rapid and precise control can decrease coefficient of variation (CV) from 3% to less than .5%. Having a single compact controller reduces component count and space requirements.

The new VYKA dosing valve from Festo is a media separated solenoid valve that precisely dispenses fluids and controls flow in manifold duct plates for continuous flow applications. The VYKA is suitable for EXCM gantry system mounting.

For bar code reading and fill level sensing, Festo solutions provide simple setup and configuration. Product solutions in the vision and sensors category include the SBSI vision sensor for object and barcode sensing, the SOEG optoelectronic infrared sensor, the SOOF fork light barrier, and the SOEC color sensor.

For applications where standard-sized desktop kinematic systems are not feasible, Festo’s dedicated team designs custom gantries and liquid handling systems. Custom solutions range from simple two axis gantries to full subsystems performing complex tasks.

The Festo Technology Engineering Center (TEC), located just north of Boston, works with individual customers on automated motion and fluid handling solutions. The TEC is the company’s first engineering center in the United States devoted to the life sciences, developing new high speed, high accuracy fluid handling products based on pneumatic principles.