Photo of lab and plate handler for article on inegrating PlateCrane in a lab.
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Published On: August 8th, 2023Categories: Articles, Microplate, Microplates
The PlateCrane EX™™ helps revolutionize laboratory automation by streamlining microplate handling—it is a handler optimized for the “SBS footprint,” including microplates, reservoirs, and disposable dip racks. Not only can the PlateCrane EX™ handle plates with hundreds of different instruments, it is easily integrable into any working lab and is designed to complement several systems; but its interface is intuitive and easy to use, as the European Pharmaceutical Review reports.

Read on to learn more about integrating the PlateCrane EX™ into your laboratory, PlateCrane’s applications, and how this microplate handling system is a great fit for laboratories that require high-throughput screening.

Integrating PlateCrane: What Is the PlateCrane EX™?

The PlateCrane EX™ is a microplate handler that has a capacity of up to 450 microplates. Integrating the PlateCrane EX™ is seamless, as it is specifically designed to work with common instruments already in use in most laboratories, such as incubators, dispensers, readers, and pipettors.

You can accessorize the PlateCrane EX™ for many different applications. You can integrate the PlateCrane as part of a larger microplate transportation system by combining it with Hudson Robotics’ LabLinx™ microplate-based track delivery system or by increasing the number of available stacks. It can also be accessorized with:

  • Teaching plates: guides that simulate the footprint of an SBS microplate
  • Universal microplate stacks: Allows you to load up to 30 standard-height microplates or 9 deep-well plates per stack
  • Teaching pendant: Can be used to manually direct the robotic arm through programmed memory
  • Lid nest: Holds an SBS-compatible microplate lid while the microplate is being used elsewhere
  • Random access microplate stack: Enables loading of 15 standard-height or 7 deep-well plates, while the PlateCrane EX™ retrieves and stores plates in any order
  • Stack base: Offers the ability to mount up to five universal microplate stacks or five random-access plate stacks

When integrating PlateCrane into your lab, custom work tables can also be built for any application to meet the needs of any PlateCrane-based workcell.

Integrating the PlateCrane: What Are the Features of the PlateCrane EX™?

What makes the PlateCrane stand out is its robust features. Its programming is based on Hudson’s SoftLinx™ laboratory automation scheduling software, which has been available to was created in 2010 and has been updated regularly ever since. The software is intuitive and simple for technicians to use, which is part of what makes integrating the PlateCrane simple. It comes with four axes of motion: tower rotation, vertical travel, gripper rotation, and a telescoping arm.

Some other features of the PlateCrane EX™ include

  • Performs complete automated assays by linking multiple instruments
  • Adds microplate capacity to a single instrument to increase “walkaway” time
  • Works with 96, 384, and 1536-well microplates, deep well plates, plates with lids, and tip racks
  • Moves plates with lids to and from stacks, and can automatically remove the lid from the active plate
  • Fits within standard laboratory hoods

Because it is able to process so many microplates at one time, the PlateCrane EX™ is a good fit for labs that require high-throughput screening.

Integrating PlateCrane: What Are PlateCrane EX™’s Applications?

The PlateCrane EX™ is a perfect fit for several applications that require high throughput. The features of the PlateCrane help to reduce demanding processes and repetitive tasks while also helping to reduce potentially costly human error. The drug discovery industry has especially benefitted from the PlateCrane, as it increases the efficiency of complex high-throughput screens, such as Reporter, ELISA, FLIPR, and FRET assays.

The PlateCrane EX™ is perfect for:

  • Kinetic assays
  • Cellular assays
  • ELISA-based and other complex assays
  • Feeding Flow Cytometers
  • Loading high-end imagers and microplate readers
  • Feeding colony pickers

You can also incorporate the PlateCrane system into your synthetic biology (syn-bio) lab, as it can automate colony picking, oligonucleotide synthesis, and thermocycler loading.

To learn more about how to integrate the PlateCrane EX™ into your laboratory, please contact us at Hudson Robotics today for more information and to request a quote.