The new X-TubeProcessor_Sign recently brought some highly interesting innovations for our customers. Korbinian Maier, Head of Software Development at HTI Automation, answered a few questions about this new device and explained what makes the software, as well as the hardware, so special.
Hello Korbinian. With the XTP_Sign, a device has been realized that is dedicated exlusively to the labeling of microscrew tubes. How did this come about?
K.Maier: The majority of our tube handling devices are ordered with labelers. This shows that the marking and labeling of tubes is a daily work process in our customers’ laboratories, which is often carried out manually.
In consultation with our customers, the requirements for a device specifically for labeling were specified. We also added our own ideas and suggestions from the development team.
What was the result?
For the device itself, it was important to be able to process different tube types and racks directly one after the other without having to make any adjustments to the device.
The first task for our software team was to present this flexibility in the control of the device as conveniently as possible.
In addition, creating orders and marrying them with print data should be as easy as possible.
What solution have you found?
We quickly realized that the Sign would give us the opportunity to implement a few more ideas and requirements in laboratory automation.
It was therefore decided not to build on our existing software, but to develop it from scratch. This initially involves risks, as a new control system has to achieve the same process reliability as our established software, but it gave us the freedom to implement some new features and go a few steps further.
The Sign is being delivered with our new X-Control software for the first time and the great positive feedback from our customers shows that it was the right approach.
In your opinion, what are the most important developments at X-Control?
First of all, the management of print data and jobs is not only very easy and secure to use, it can also be carried out from any Windows workstation and transferred to the machine.
Users can now easily manage their data via Excel, for example, and import it into the JobManager, which, as mentioned above, can also be operated remotely from the workstation.
The assignment within a rack is no longer limited to one tube type. Theoretically, there can be a different tube type with a different label layout at each position.
That sounds like great flexibility when equipping the appliance. But there is another feature in this area?
Correct, the device can also be paused at any time.
This means that racks with pre-labeled tubes can be swapped and the device restarted whenever the user has time.
We call this
. This ensures that the device integrates perfectly into our customers’ everyday work.
But the list of innovations in the software goes even further?
Correct. For example, we were able to implement comprehensive user management, integrate a REST interface for connecting to LIMS or ERP systems, and simplify the expansion of various languages. Many requirements that previously had to be programmed for our customers can now be configured.
Korbinian, thank you very much for the first exciting insights and information on controlling the new X-TubeProcessor_Sign! We look forward to receiving more information from you and your team here and wish you a safe trip to Boston in February.
The XTP_Sign will soon be presented at the SLAS in Boston. You can easily book an online demo here on our website.