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Image of microplates and robots for article on plate handling.
Published On: February 23rd, 2021

Microplate handling systems can benefit even the smallest of labs, making processes more efficient and requiring less manpower. However, it’s important to know how to get the most output out of your microplate handling system, so that you can really optimize the speed and accuracy of the processes in the lab.

After all, there’s no point in having a microplate robot if it only helps with a small part of the process, which in the bigger picture means staff still have a lot on their plates. Read on to learn more about how to get the most from your microplate handling system.

Microplate Handling Systems: What Are They Capable Of?

Depending on the process they are used for, microplate handling systems can handle a variety of different tasks. Several systems can be combined to complete an entire sequence of tasks much faster than can be achieved with human labor.

Examples of tasks that microplate robots and handling systems can execute include:

  • Move, place, track, and stack ELISA microplates and other types of microplates as needed within a process
  • Send information to software to inform the system to carry out the next step (e.g., pipetting or liquid dispensing)
  • Read, apply, and even replace existing barcodes on microplates

Microplate handling systems are naturally best used within an ecosystem of other relevant systems to fully utilize their capabilities.

Let Your Microplate Handling System Work In Harmony With Other Systems

The best way to get the most out of a microplate system is to ensure that the right one is selected in the first place (read more on how to choose a microplate handling system). Beyond that, here are a few things you can do to maximize the output of the chosen microplate handling system.

Purchase Compatible Complementary Systems

If your lab already has a pre-existing microplate handling system, then look into buying other robotic lab equipment that seamlessly integrates with your system to complete an entire process, be it colony picking, protein purification, or other processes.

For instance, you may want to connect a reagent dispenser machine with your microplate robot and have compatible software that will send crucial data back to your lab’s computer. With complementary systems, your microplate handling system can be part of a fully-automated process flow.

Maximize the Usage of Space in the Lab with a Microplate Handling System

Microplate handling systems come in various configurations and capacities, and to get the most out of them, be sure to get one that uses the space available in the most efficient manner. This is not only in terms of square footage taken up by it, but the number of levels of microplates that can be stacked and accessed by the system.

Storing and placing microplates horizontally and vertically can significantly increase process efficiencies. One example of a flexible and space-savvy microplate handling system offered by Hudson Robotics is the Protean Workcell.

Place Emphasis on Precision with a Microplate Handling System

One of the core ways to increase output and efficiency in any setting is reducing mistakes. In a lab setting, eliminating errors is especially important, whether it’s to preserve precious reagents or to get a better result. Some microplate robots can self-teach to avoid positioning errors, and others can be taught very easily by your staff via teaching plates. When opting for the latter type, be sure that the calibration setup is simple enough that any team can learn it quickly.

Whether you’re looking for an ELISA microplate robot, a complete work cell, or other systems for your life science lab, Hudson Robotics will likely have what you need.

Contact us today to request a quote, learn more about microplate handling systems, or any other forms of lab automation.