Primera Technology, Inc has announced that its robotic-based auto-loading version of the Signature Cassette Printer, model “SCP-R”, is now shipping.
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. 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.
“The auto-loading version of our Signature Cassette Printer has already been well received,” said Mark D. Strobel, Primera’s vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s been shown at a number of pathology conferences this past year or so. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s without a doubt the most capable, reliable and cost-effective solution for labs, which need to update their tissue cassette marking procedures. With Signature Slide Printer and the manual-feed version of Signature Cassette Printer already in daily use at hundreds of facilities around the world, labs can now install a total specimen marking solution that’s all from a single vendor.”
Mr. Strobel added, “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 Signature Cassette Printer are available:
- SCP-M is a compact, robust printer that is small enough to fit next to the grossing station. The operator loads one cassette at a time. 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 and SCP-R are now available worldwide. Both are sold and supported by Primera’s authorised healthcare distributors and resellers. Complete product details are available at http://primera-healthcare.eu. Primera’s Twitter handle is @PrimeraEU.