Binders (Pick & Place Transfer Robots)
There are seven binders on ARUP’s Automated Transport and Sorting System. These devices are also called “pick and place robots” because one of their main functions is to “pick” tubes from one location and “place” them in another location. In the case of ARUP’s automation system tubes are picked from the standardized transport carriers (STCs) on the chain conveyor and placed in the magnetic pucks on the MagneMover® LITE system. During this pick and place action the barcode on the specimen tube is read and reported to ESP, which “binds” or links that specimen barcode to the unique ID of the puck. That is why these robotic devices are also called “binders.”
ARUP’s automated transport has four binders that interface between the chain conveyors in Specimen Processing and the MagneMover® LITE system. A fifth binder connects the chain conveyor that is part of the ATS Automated Storage Sorter (TAZ). It is used by specimens that have not completed all testing and are being rerouted by the storage sorter back to the track for delivery to a sorter for the remaining tests. The sixth binder is immediately downstream from the thawing and mixing workcells so that the specimen barcodes can be rebound to pucks on the transport system. Finally, there is a seventh binder located on the transport system so that it can be used as back up if one of the other binders fails.
Each of the binders can achieve a pick & place speed of 2000 tubes per hour, including barcode reading. These devices were built entirely by ARUP’s Automation Engineering department. ARUP’s ability to design and build our own automation has been a key factor in the successful implementation of our world class automation. A narrated video of a pick and place binder in operation can be viewed by clicking here.