The LiCotel Series

Automated Plate Hotels for Robotic Integration

Ambient
Initially designed on customer request, LiCONiC plate Hotels have become the most popular workhorses in thousands of applications requiring automated open space storage. Back in the early 90’s LiCONiC for the first time introduced fully automated storage with single plate random access capability.

Today LiCONiC offers the most complete selection of plate hotels that cover all needs of modern laboratory automation. All LiCONiC Plate Hotels support full-random access. Unique flexibility is built into the design. Various options and a huge selection of accessories make each plate hotel configurable to best meet the specific needs of any integration. Designed and built especially for automation, LiCONiC‘s Plate Hotels provide full remote operation while maintaining extremely simple integration. Many years of experience and close focus on highly specialized technology made LiCONiC’s LiCotel Series plate hotels the market‘s most trusted choice for automated plate storage solutions.
The LiCotel Series instruments are incredibly fast. In addition to high speed plate transfer where applicable, intelligence has been added in order to guarantee safe and gentle plate motion. As a unique feature, speed can be adjusted to specific application‘s needs.

Above plots show typical access times for a LPX110. LiCONiC‘s PlateReady information allows for even further increase of throughput.
LiCotel Series Overview
LiCotel LPX880
Main Features
  • Capacities – from 44 to 880 MTP equivalent and more
  • Compact – smallest footprints in the industry*
  • Flexible – bench-top, stand-alone or under-bench configuration*
  • Fastest – access time down to 3 seconds*
  • Easy integration – 100% software compatible*
  • Unique orbital shaking – with amplitudes from 1 to 6mm*

  • * optional features
Capacities
Because of the instrument‘s extreme flexibility in supporting various types of labware, capacity-specifications are normalized to MTP equivalent size plates assuming 17mm height that includes the plate with lid. Capacities of the LiCotel Series instruments range from tiny 44 to massive 880 MTP equivalent plates.
Configurations
LiCONiC plate hotels have been designed for seamless integration into fully automated laboratory applications. Three product families have been developed that ideally cover specific needs of various integration challenges: the classic bench-top integration (BT), integration where the instrument stands on the floor (SA) and integrations where the instrument is located under the platform (IT) the latter just as LPR line.

Even more flexibility is added by allowing to freely chose the locations of operator’s panel, connector panel and of the transfer-station. Multiple transfer station locations are possible.
Dimensions
The LiCotel Series plate hotels are built to optimize work-cell space. Dimensions are kept consistent between models to allow for ideal mix & match. Instruments with different capacity perfectly align when set up next to each other.
Customization possibilities
LiCotel plate hotels are available with a wide selection of configuration choices. By choosing the right set of design characteristics the device can be optimized for almost all known applications. Our range of possibilities is continuously growing. Because of LiCONiC's strong engineering, we are able to adapt to the market demands. It is LiCONiC's policy to manufacture all products to customer’s requests and therefore ensure the expected performance in their environment.

Packages, Options and Accessories


Transfer Stations

Transfer Stations

LiCotel is available with a wide selection of transfer stations. The components used for manufacturing of all transfer stations are the most reliable and of the highest quality available. All of our manufactured components are electro-coated for the prevention of corrosion and contamination from external sources.

Standard Station – fixed station outside the StoreX system which can be accessed by the StoreX handler as well as by any external robotic system. Main features include: alignment pins for realigning the microplates in both horizontal directions, it ensures easy adjustment of X / Y position, height and rotation of the transfer station plus easy access to the microplate for external grippers. Presence of a microplate checked by the plate sensor.

Shuttle Station – was designed for the elimination of an "inter transfer module", space constrains and complications of adding robotic arms for distances of 170-1000mm. The source plates can be transferred from one work area to another with precision accuracy. This delivery system can be used for multiple functions and work-station designs. The belt driven system ensures smooth transfer and accuracy of delivery.

Turn Station – mounted outside the LiCotel system and rotates each microplate by 90 degrees before and after being accessed by the LiCotel handler. Since the LiCotel handler is transporting the microplate along its longer axis, this may be necessary if an external handling system requires the microplate in a different format. Rotation is controlled by the LiCotel system, no additional external software required.
It has similar main features to Standard Station

Swap Station – mounted outside the LiCotel system and consists of two transfer plates mounted on a swap drive rotating the transfer plates by 180 degrees.
The swap station acts as a plate buffer and as a plate extension shuttle. The distance of the actual transfer position is increased by 145mm. Two transfer plates act as a buffer for faster handling. Control of the Swap Station by the user system

Lift Station – when stand-alone machines are placed under the table they can be provided with a lift station to transfer the plates to an external system.
The lift station is normally in the upper position, when handler loads or unloads a plate to the station the station goes to the load position.

Parallel Slide Station – The parallel slide station design allows a LiCONiC unit to be integrated with an external liquid handler without the need of an additional robot. With its precise stopping point it ensures that the devices need to be taught only once for accurate load and retrieval of the storage plates. The transfer nest is spring loaded to ensure the longevity of the liquid handling tips.

Slide Station – designed for the use of non-articulating robotic arms that need additional clearance from the storage units. With its precise stopping point it ensures these devices need to be taught only once for accurate load and retrieval of the storage plates.

Dual Station – designed for the use by non-articulating robotic arms that need additional clearance from the storage units. With its precise stopping point it ensures that the devices need to be taught only once for accurate load and retrieval of the storage plates. The dual slide station can be used to place an STR Line (Periscope) product between two existing instruments. Plates from an STR Unit can be fed to both the external instruments simultaneously.

Manual Station – is intended for manual single plate feeding operation. This special nest has extra wide alignment cones for safe and simple placement of a plate into the transfer station nest. It includes a plate detection sensor.

iMotion Option

iMotion Option

Intelligent technology that allows fast sample movement without the risk of losing the integrity of stored material due to high accelerations.

Barcode Reader Option

Barcode Reader Option

Can be installed on the Lift Assembly. It allows the reading of barcodes on plates stored in the stackers. Barcodes have to be printed on the shorter side of the plates and have to face outwards to the LiCotel Lift Assembly.

Docking Shuttle Option

Docking Shuttle Option

This feature allows multiple usage of one single port on the robotic integrated system. In addition it makes service and maintenance work easier by facilitating removal of the LiCotel unit.

Orbital Shaker

Orbital Shaker

Orbital shaker with integrated auto-positioning for handler access. All functions required for access implemented autonomously. Driver compatible with non-shaker units, no special commands required for plate handling. All sub functions autonomously implemented. Available in 1/3/6 mm amplitudes with relative maximum RPM of 1200/600/400.

Linear Shaker

Linear Shaker

By accelerating and decelerating the carousel movement, a linear shaking function can be integrated in our carousel based units. Via software setpoints the amplitude and the speed can be adjusted.

Cassettes

Cassettes

All members of the LiCotel series store the plates in cassettes that can easily be handled by the operator. Cassettes are available for various plate dimensions. Even customized sizes are available at only slightly extra cost. All-metal cassettes are also available. The number of levels within the cassette depends on the type of microplate.

  • Main features:
  • stable construction
  • stainless steel
  • can be taken out of the system for loading, unloading or cleaning
  • can be exchanged between different systems
  • storage of microtiter plates with lids possible

Modular Cascading System Option

Modular Cascading System Option

With this option system can satisfy growing library need. The cascading approach allows to start automation at minimum upfront investment while leaving ways for later expansion.

It gives maximum flexibility for integration. Interface ports are compatible to the LPX Series instruments therefore giving access to the world's largest selection of transfer stations and other accessories. Collection can grow to the left or to the right and even addition of an extra robotic access port is possible. Access time on remote plates on a 2 stage system are below 90 seconds. Average pick and place times are 6 to 7 seconds.

Integration of LiCONiC Cascading System System is easy. LiCONiC's new 3rd generation driver package does all background and hardware related work while providing professional looking GUI for end-user access and service support.

Standard Software Features


STX Driver Package

STX Driver Package

It enhances user interface by providing the market's most complete and most powerful functionality at minimum programming costs. It includes everything needed to build a sophisticated, yet simple, interface for any plate storage application. All operations use drag & drop technology. The command set has been optimized using 21 very powerful and straight forward commands.

  • The package features:
  • intuitive and friendly user interface
  • drag & drop plate manipulation
  • device communication tools
  • climate managing tools
  • operation schedule
  • test and diagnostics module
  • error recovery system
  • security system
  • events, message and errors logging system
  • TCP/IP communication
  • remote access capability
  • easy client-software integration
  • multi-clients device managing
  • multi-device compatibility

STX Panel Package

STX Panel Package

It is a software package designed to control all types of LiCotel plate hotels. It allows to perform:

  • climate control, including climate logging and drawing of graphs
  • plate handling operations
  • incubator gate and carousel control
  • LiCotel production tests
  • executing low-level direct commands

Utility Software Package

Utility Software Package

Allows direct entering of commands (ASCII characters) and sending them to the Handling Controller. The commands can be entered as capital letters or prompt entries. It also allows usage of marcos – complete, preprogrammed command sequences.

There are few ready made programs being a part of the package: program to measure positioning times of the carrousel, program for positioning the carrousel randomly without gate movements, program for positioning the carrousel randomly including gate movements and program for positioning the carrousel randomly including combined positioning-gate movements commands.

UTX Active Control Package

UTX Active Control Package

Designed to ease the process PC to LiCotel communication using USB or Serial COM ports. Without it users need to use Win32 API and USB Human Interface Devices API to communicate with the devices.

LiCotel LPX880
The LiCotel LPX Line
LPX plate hotels belong to the classic line units for open storage applications. Capacity ranges from 44 to 880 MTP equivalent. These instruments consist of removable cassettes that hold plates during storage and a stationary lift mechanism that handles one plate between cassettes and transfer station. The ability to handle labware from shallow high density plates to tall tip boxes, combined with great configuration flexibility and a huge variety of accessories and options, make the LPX Line of instruments a true all-rounder for open storage applications. All members of LPX line can be equipped with various types of packages, options and a wide selection of useful accessories. For details please refer to Packages, Options and Accessories section of the web page and relevant flyer.

LiCotel LPR240
Need new rendering
The LiCotel LPR Line
The LPR line is designed to make compact workstations without compromise to the functionality of the LPX line. The LPR plate hotels are designed for under-the-deck integration. Such placement of the instrument ensures maximum system integrity and optimum usage of space. LPR plate hotels deliver the sample from the storage space through the opening in top of the device surface straight onto the space above the instrument with periscope lift so it can fit under any liquid handler deck or workstation. The lift mechanism is located in the center of the turntable and can rotate around its own axis. As the common interface of the plate hotel and the robotic environment there may be several transfer stations located around the opening in the deck in a circular arrangement. Such arrangement concept reduces bottle necks in throughput by optimizing required robot travel and eliminates the need for special transfer stations, extra robotic arms or extended grippers. This leaves ample room for additional equipment and increases the capacity of the automated line.

Like in the LPX Line the LPR handling will accept most plate types without modification or adaptation. Simultaneous use of various plate types is possible.

All members of LPX line can be equipped with various types of packages, options and a wide selection of useful accessories. For details please refer to Packages, Options and Accessories section of the web page and relevant flyer.

LiCotel LPE220
LiCotel LPE
The LiCotel OEM Systems
LiCotel OEM plate hotels make LiCONiC‘s technology available to customers who have the need for larger number of instruments over longer period of time. OEM versions seamlessly match into specific applications by adopting any given design, color and/or features. OEM Line instruments are manufactured with fixed design and competitive pricing.

For example LPE220 is the OEM version of the legacy LDR 189 MTP capacity plate hotel. Some of its improvements include: increased to 220 MTP capacity, faster access time and much higher flexibility for integration. LPE220 allows placement of the plate on one or more transfer stations. The plate hotel is freed for other activities while a plate is ready to be picked by the surrounding robotics. This feature opens new possibilities for speed optimizations. A housing with integrated user door protects probes and ensures tracking of user access. High quality temperature and humidity probes allow climate monitoring of the compartment.

The LPE220 is perfectly suitable for most integrations. Its compact dimensions and its increased capacity make it ideal for mixed plates applications.

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