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Primera announces Signature® Cassette Printer

Primera Technology, Inc. (“Primera”), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialty printing equipment, has announced its Signature Cassette Printer. 
Signature Cassette Printer is designed for use in pathology and histology labs to print high-resolution text, graphics and bar codes directly onto tissue cassettes. In the past, much of this labelling has been accomplished by handwriting information with a pencil or marking pen.
However, handwriting tends to be difficult to read, can be inaccurate and might even rub off during processing. In addition, the increasing use of 2D bar codes for accurate specimen identification also requires the use of a latest-generation direct-to-cassette printer.
Unlike other similar printers, Signature Cassette Printer utilises thermal transfer ink ribbons instead of solvent inkjet or laser ablation. There are many advantages to thermal transfer inks, including:
  • Virtually silent while printing
  • No smell or smoke
  • Unlike laser, does not require proprietary cassettes and no fume removal system is required
  • No ink tanks or print heads that dry out, need maintenance and have short expiration dates
  • Crisp, clear text, graphics and bar codes that won’t smear or rub off during or after processing
  • The ability to print colour on white cassettes, eliminating the need for coloured cassettes
  • Significantly lower acquisition cost than competitive units
Signature Cassette Printer is the final component of our complete solution for accurate and efficient specimen identification,” said Mark D. Strobel, Primera’s vice president of sales and marketing. “With Signature Slide Printer already in daily use at hundreds of facilities around the globe, labs can now install a total solution that’s all from a single vendor.” 
According to Mr. Strobel, “Patient safety is at the heart of our specimen identification solution. By utilising 2D bar codes printed directly onto the tissue cassettes and slides, specimens are precisely tracked each step of the way as they are processed.
Two versions of the printer are available:
  • SCP-M is a compact, robust printer that is small enough to fit next to the grossing station. One cassette at a time is loaded by the operator. Print speed is fast at about 6 seconds per cassette.
  • SCP-R is a fully robotic system that has four separate hoppers each with 40 cassettes for a total capacity of 160 cassettes. It does not rely upon gravity to feed cassettes into the printer. Instead, a robotic arm positively picks each cassette from the top of the desired stack and places it into the printer. After printing, cassettes are deposited onto an output rack on the front of the printer. Up to 7 cassettes can be placed onto the rack at a time. With the included extension tray, output capacity is increased to 17 cassettes.
An exclusive feature of Signature Cassette Printer is that a smaller lab can start with the manual-feed SCP-M. When processing volumes increase they can add the robotics module later. The same SCP-M printer is simply placed on top of the robotics module and connected via a USB communications cable.
SCP-M is available now worldwide. SCP-R will be available in June 2014. Both are sold and supported by Primera’s authorised healthcare distributors and resellers. Complete product details are available at Primera’s Twitter handle is @PrimeraEU.