Applied Imaging / Leica Biosystems: SL50 – Automated Microscope Slide Loader
Our client approached Invetech to assist in the development of an automated system to load and unload glass slides onto a microscope stage. The product would be an ideal companion for high throughput imaging applications and suitable for the clinical diagnostic and life sciences markets
- Applied Imaging / Leica Biosystems
- SL50 Automated slide loader
Working with our client's team across the United Kingdom and United States, and with a specialist microscope stage manufacturer in Germany, Invetech was responsible for the turnkey design, development and transfer to manufacture of the world's first automated microscope slide loader.
The SL50 has been designed to be controlled by existing software applications. Once connected, it automates the process of loading and unloading slides onto a compatible automated microscope stage.
It is capable of enhancing many software applications such as digital imaging and archiving, telepathology, digital imaging for diagnosis and rare event detection.
Automating the slide loading/unloading process enables imaging functions to be carried out overnight, unattended and at remote locations.
Following development the instrument was transferred to our in-house manufacturing facility. For more than 7 years, our ongoing manufacturing and sustaining engineering support has included:
- Design upgrades, including new feature addition
- Ongoing product technical knowledge and support
- Product lifecycle support including proactive obsolescence planning
- Instrument meets latest regulatory requirements for safety and EMC
Our challenges included:
- Developing the mechanical automation to reliably operate in 24/7 laboratories
- Reliably handling slides in various sizes and quality
- Slide positioning accuracy to 3 micron
- Incorporating detailed end-user input in the design of Beta units to optimize the instrument design
We delivered our client's instrument from idea to market in just 14 months.
The development was completed in just 12 months from brief to delivery of Beta prototypes, and a further two months to deliver pilot production units.
For more than 7 years, our continued manufacturing assistance has delivered several hundreds of units world-wide and ensured reliable 24 hour operation.
This was the world's first automated microscope slide loader.