Many laboratory tasks are still carried out manually – but what are the challenges resulting from this and how can the laboratory automate a manual process? Which areas of expertise are required? How can you bring together the parties involved? Co-creation could be the solution with the primary focus being the joint development of a product. 1A project from Labor Berlin, diagnostics company Roche, and laboratory and medical technology supplier SARSTEDT shows how this could look in practice.
Mannheim – Nümbrecht – Berlin
Labor Berlin provided the starting point for this joint project with a desire to incorporate more automation into the central laboratory. This proved to be the ideal occasion to bring all parties together and develop a joint solution.
At Labor Berlin, workflow is already fully automated after centrifugation using cobas® connection modules (CCM) to transport samples to the analysis systems and the cooling repositories. SARSTEDT and Roche, in close collaboration with Labor Berlin, have developed a solution to fully automate the processes – now from the moment the samples arrive.
Previously, all samples had to be moved manually from the SARSTEDT Bulk Loader BL 1200 to the Roche cobas p 671 centrifuge unit. With more than 15,000 samples per day in Labor Berlin’s central laboratory alone, this was a monumental task. To connect the two systems, SARSTEDT developed the SORT CONNECT connection module. All samples are now moved to the Roche centrifuge unit by a robot. This saves vital time, as samples can be analysed more quickly and doctors can treat their patients sooner. For day-to-day work in the laboratory, the new solution means a simplified process that reduces the error rate and the manual work required for the highly qualified employees. The new automation solution is primarily intended for use in high-throughput laboratories; however, plans to offer the solution to customers in smaller laboratories are also underway. Thanks to co-creation, it has been possible to automate established processes even further.
“Advancing automation solutions in the laboratory is an important investment in the future for us. Thanks to strong partnerships, we are able to push ahead with innovative automation solutions in the high-throughput segment,” explains Christian Paetzke, Managing Director of Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH. The improvements to daily laboratory operations are becoming clear: the simplified process saves time and creates greater freedom for other tasks, where the skills of the highly qualified laboratory workforce are really needed. “With this solution, we have been able to improve our processes considerably. We look forward to making a significant contribution to developing laboratory operations further together with Roche and SARSTEDT,” states Nina Beikert, CEO of Labor Berlin. Two manufacturers collaborating with one another to create a joint solution is not particularly common in this sector. “Thanks to our many years of experience in automating pre-analytical processes, our constructive cooperation with Roche Diagnostics and the willingness of our customer Labor Berlin to support innovative solutions, we have succeeded in developing a new automation solution that can improve quality and efficiency sustainably in the future. We look forward to the results and the prospect of making this solution accessible to other customers together with our partner,” adds Rainer Schuster, member of the Board of Directors for Sales/Research & Development at SARSTEDT.
cobas® connection modules (CCM) are automation solutions that connect the functionalities of the pre-analytical cobas p 512 / 612 systems with cobas® analysis systems and systems from other disciplines and manufacturers. When combined with single or double centrifuges, the vast majority of the day-to-day work in the laboratory can be tackled in an automated manner. cobas® connection modules are designed for use in high-throughput laboratories with a throughput of up to 10,000 samples per hour.
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Roche employs around 17,200 people in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics sectors in Germany. The company has three major sites in Grenzach-Wyhlen (Roche Pharma AG), Mannheim (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH, Roche Diabetes Care GmbH and Roche Diabetes Care Deutschland GmbH) and Penzberg (biotechnology centre of expertise, Roche Diagnostics GmbH). Its areas of expertise cover the entire value chain for both the pharmaceutical and diagnostics sectors: from research and development, production and logistics right through to marketing and sales. In addition to handling Germany business, each of the sites also takes on global tasks. Roche is clearly committed to its German sites, having invested around 2.6 billion euros in them over the past five years. You can find more information about Roche in Germany at www.roche.de.
Labor Berlin is Europe’s largest hospital laboratory and has been one of Germany’s 100 most innovative mid-sized companies since 2018. With more than 700 employees and state-of-the-art facilities at 13 sites in Berlin, the company, which is an affiliate of Charité Vivantes GmbH, is responsible for the diagnostics of around 80 percent of hospital beds in Berlin. Together with its network of laboratories, it provides first-class diagnostics for over 24,000 hospital beds across Germany from Berlin. Labor Berlin currently analyses over 35,000 samples a day. For more information: www.laborberlin.com
SORT CONNECT is a new module from the SARSTEDT laboratory automation portfolio. It can be combined with variations of the Bulk Loader BL 1200 or the High Speed Sorter HSS NG. A robotic arm transfers individual tubes or entire racks directly from the BL 1200 or HSS NG to an external system, such as a laboratory line. As a result, the sample transfer process is automated and a stand-alone unit becomes an integrated system. What’s more, samples fed to the BL 1200 that are not intended for the laboratory line can be detoured beforehand and sorted into numerous racks, making work on the laboratory line much easier.
SARSTEDT develops, produces and sells devices and consumables for medicine and science. The company is known as one of the leading providers in this sector worldwide. Ever since the company’s foundation in 1961, it has continued to grow to the point where it now employs a workforce of 2900.
The SARSTEDT Group comprises 34 sales organisations and 15 production sites in Europe, North and South America and Australia. Its headquarters are in the German town of Nümbrecht in North Rhine-Westphalia. As a producer of high-quality medical consumables for diagnostics and life science, SARSTEDT enjoys a leading position in many markets with the
S-Monovette® blood collection system. With devices,pre-analytical automation solutions, and the new innovative TEMPUS600® blood sample transportation system completing the product range, SARSTEDT is a powerful partner for the entire pre-analytical workflow. It manufactures approximately 90 percent of its range in its own production facilities and markets the majority of its products via its own sales organisations. In this way, it is possible to achieve the highest level of quality, delivery capability and product support.
Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH
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