Integrating the X-Tube Processor®_Flex: Trust in Excellence
In the world of modern manufacturing and production, being at the forefront of technology is not just an advantage, but a necessity. Mabtech understands this very well.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Torun Ekblad, COO of Mabtech, to gain insight into their journey with the HTI FLEX and their exciting transition to the upgraded “FLEX 2.0” model.
Can you briefly explain what Mabtech does?
We are a Swedish supplier of life science tools. Our primary focus is on the development of immunoassays. Our customers are primarily scientists involved in research into the immune system.
At the heart of our company, we specialize in two main aspects. Firstly, we excel in the production of monoclonal antibodies, which serve as essential binding molecules in various scientific applications. Secondly, we are dedicated to creating assays specifically designed for measuring these analytes, thereby enabling scientists to conduct precise and meaningful research in the field of immunology.
Could you give us an insight into your current production processes and how the current FLEX is integrated into them?
The FLEX is currently being integrated at the end of our production process. After we’ve produced a batch of the desired quality, we need to package it in portions suitable for our customers. These portions must fit our kit format, which is relatively small. To maintain the high quality and sterility of the batch, we must fill many vials in a controlled environment. The FLEX plays a crucial role in filling the samples with precision and accuracy. We have been using the FLEX for six years now. We were early adopters, and while we did face some initial challenges, we always received excellent support and assistance to overcome them. We’ve also made adaptations as our needs evolved over time.
Torun Ekblad, PhD
Chief Operating Officer at Mabtech
“We are committed to excellence in everything we do. Our goal is to be best in class and deliver superior products. Finding a partner like HTI who shares this vision is crucial.
When excellence meets excellence, great things happen. We trust that our long-term discussions and collaboration will result in something exceptional.”
What specific requirements or challenges has your company identified that have led to the need for an enhanced version of the FLEX, i.e., a FLEX 2.0?
Several needs have driven our decision to upgrade to FLEX 2.0. First, our company is growing and we need to increase our production capacities. The current system limits our growth potential. Additionally, automation is a crucial strategy for our business growth without significantly increasing manual work. It’s essential to address these challenges in a smart way and automate processes wherever possible to ensure efficiency and utilize the unique qualities of our team members effectively.
What are the key new features you expect from the FLEX 2.0 compared to the previous version?
The former FLEX is still used for some products with high demand, mainly for filling and capping large quantities. However, the FLEX 2.0 is designed for more complex tasks. It can manage the entire kit assembly process, cover storage, and the entire workflow, including storing various reagents, filling, capping, decapping, labeling, and sorting finished tubes. Its functionality has significantly increased, and an operator can simply request a job, and the machine will handle the rest, allowing our team to focus on other valuable tasks. Additionally, the compact footprint of the FLEX 2.0 is a game-changer for us. It allows us to reduce our physical footprint, which was a limiting factor in our growth.
Statement Torun Ekblad, PhD. COO at Mabtech:
We are committed to excellence in everything we do. Our aim is to be the best in class and deliver outstanding products. Finding a partner like HTI who shares this vision is crucial. When excellence meets excellence, great things happen. We trust that our long-term discussions and collaboration will lead to something extraordinary.
How has the collaboration with the HTI team been so far in the development of the FLEX 2.0? Are there specific aspects of the collaboration that you would like to highlight?
Our collaboration with the HTI team has been a rewarding journey. We share a similar thought process, and solving complex problems together has built great trust between our teams. While the process required patience, there was no hesitation. Both sides have shown bravery and inspiration throughout the collaboration. We appreciate HTI’s deep understanding of our needs and their willingness to customize solutions to meet our requirements.
Can you tell us some of the key benefits you expect from integrating the enhanced FLEX 2.0 into your production process?
Integrating FLEX 2.0 into our production process will enable us to allocate our resources more effectively. Automation will handle tasks that can be automated, allowing our team to focus on higher-value activities. An automated system can work round the clock, 24/7, without human supervision, enhancing our production capacities and enabling our growth.
Dr. Wolfgang Heimberg,
Founder & Managing Director HTI Automation
“The collaboration with Mabtech is a mutually rewarding experience. Both, Mabtech and HTI strive to be among the best in the industry. We value learning from each other, engaging on an eye level.
Our relationship is built on trust and mutual success. We are looking forward to continuing our journey with Mabtech.”
Are there specific technical challenges or adjustments required to seamlessly integrate the new machine into your existing infrastructure?
We have a well-thought-out strategy to overcome technical challenges step by step, both in terms of software and hardware. We trust in the expertise of the HTI team to make the integration seamless.
What is your timeframe for implementing the FLEX 2.0 in your operation, and what milestones must be met to achieve this goal?
Implementing FLEX 2.0 is a critical step for our operations. It’s at the heart of our production process. To minimize downtime, we need to retire the old production line to make space for the new one. Our project timeline includes installation and factory acceptance tests at HTI’s facilities. We aim to ensure that everything works at our site according to specifications, and we’re working together with HTI to shorten the installation time as much as possible.
What considerations have you made regarding training your team to operate the FLEX 2.0 safely and efficiently?
Our collaboration has been strong, with teams working closely together from the design phase onwards. This ensures that our team is well-prepared to operate FLEX 2.0 safely and efficiently.
Can you give us some insight into your long-term vision for using the FLEX 2.0?
The adoption of FLEX 2.0 is a significant investment, both financially and in terms of time. We see it as a strategic decision to
We see it as a strategic decision to automate our processes and expect to rely on this system for many years to come. We look forward to continuing our cooperation and anticipate further growth for our company.
Thank you, Torun, for your time and the exciting insights you provided!