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Scaling up PCR-based test kit production from Genetic Signatures using an X-TubeProcessor®_Smart from HTI Automation
When we entered into discussions with Genetic Signatures in 2020, the company was looking for a solution to expand its production capacity and meet the growing demand for its EasyScreenTM assay for COVID-19 PCR testing. While Genetic Signatures’ molecular diagnostic test kits are manufactured in Sydney, Australia, the company operates globally and was therefore open to partnering with HTI. Over the past 1.5 years, an excellent partnership has developed, and as Genetic Signatures continues to expand its global customer base, we are supporting the company’s growing production needs with the implementation of two X-TubeProcessor®_Smart devices.
Thanks to Brett Clark for the April 2022 interview below:
HTI: What does your day-to-day production look like and what challenges do you face in terms of capacities, deadlines and quality?
Brett: Because we are a flexible and customer-oriented company, we have introduced new processes and workflows in recent years. We were able to quickly set up and expand production processes, which allowed us to maintain product supply during the pandemic.
HTI: What challenges did Covid in particular bring with it?
Brett: The sudden need for equipment that would allow us to scale and automate new processes was difficult under Covid’s conditions. Due to global logistics issues and border restrictions, equipment deployment and implementation has been severely hampered.
Ease of use and the ability to easily install the device are the main advantages of this system. HTI has designed the software and user interface to be very user-friendly. This makes it easy to train new users in daily operations.
HTI: What solution were you looking for and why did you finally choose HTI?
Brett: We needed equipment that could be easily integrated into our routine production schedule. HTI was able to deliver an automation solution that matched our processes, with minimal space requirements. The service and information provided by HTI during the decision-making process made it very easy for us to choose HTI as our preferred supplier.
HTI: How can the HTI device help you with the above?
Brett: Our X-TubeProcessor®_Smart equipment is capable of meeting the desired daily goals in a space that could be easily integrated into our site. They were easy to install and validate, so we could use you right away. The ease of operation of this equipment and minimal downtime has helped meet the needs of our customers.
HTI: How does the cooperation “across the ocean” work?
Brett: Working with HTI in different time zones has never been a problem. The initial installations and training were done via video calls at times that fell within our normal daily schedule. As things progressed, all questions about services and technical support were answered promptly. The information provided by the technical support team at each stage has been very helpful in resolving issues, and we have now created a comprehensive troubleshooting training module for the staff using the equipment.
HTI: What are the advantages of using X-TubeProcessor® equipment for you?
Board: ease of use and the ability to easily install the device are the main advantages of this system. HTI has designed the software and user interface to be very user-friendly. This makes it easy to train new users in daily operations. In addition, the daily output of the device is very advantageous when space is limited!
HTI: Is there anything you would improve about the equipment?
Brett: Since the devices are very easy to use, there are minimal changes I would recommend. Minor software changes that would be beneficial, e.g., example if all sample details were retained for certain programs (such as fluid density). As for the equipment deck, there are some small areas that are difficult to clean when needed. However, the newer X-TubeProcessor® model has some useful software upgrades and a simplified deck layout that makes routine cleaning and maintenance easier.
Genetic Signatures is an established global molecular diagnostics company that helps improve treatment outcomes by providing flexible PCR-based test kits under the EasyScreenTM brand for the detection of over 100 pathogens across a broad spectrum of infectious diseases. These test kits are based on Genetic Signatures’ unique 3baseTM technology, which improves PCR efficiency and reduces genetic complexity in pathogen detection. In addition, the flexible and automated workflow supports simplified detection of large numbers of pathogens in a single sample, known as syndromic testing, while maintaining throughput.
Genetic Signatures’ diagnostic solutions help a growing international customer base of leading hospitals and pathology labs streamline laboratory workflow, reduce time to test results, and improve patient management.
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