Customized System Development Process
Our Sales Team will explain your options so you can get inspired by the variety of tools we offer. Hamilton also has a strong team of technical and scientific support specialist who have been there, done that. This group consists of experts in a variety of scientific disciplines who have a strong background in automation. The team includes the Business Unit Managers, Product Managers and Application Consultant Engineers who will join the discussion on request of the sales manager to ensure that no question remains unanswered.
Define the project with experts who understand your needs.
Once you are satisfied that Hamilton has the hardware, software and expertise to bring your automation dreams to life, we will make every effort to understand your requirements in as much detail as possible, so we can provide you with an accurate proposal. Our Application Consulting Engineers and Business Unit Managers will evaluate your protocols and consider your needs in regards to throughput, walk-away time, ease of use, data security, etc. while maintaining constant and open communication with you and your project team. Together we will create a User Requirements and Specifications Document (URS) in which we collect your requirements and explain to you how the proposed system will meet them. This document will be the basis for the design of the hardware and software.
Built-to-Suit Turnkey Automation
The requirements for the system are discussed in regards to:
- type of samples and reagents
- degree of automation
- data handling
Hamilton's application specialists analyze the protocol and suggest ways to optimize the automated process. This may include suggestions to:
- reduce the amount of samples for cost savings
- increase workstation resource utilization
- to increase flexibility of the protocol for easy adaptation to future changes
Application specialists perform in-house tests to check the technical feasibility of the suggested system and engineers use 3-D simulations to optimize the system in regards to:
- access to the system and usability of the system
- distances for plate transfers
- minimum space requirements
- requirement specifications are finalized
Final Design and System Assembly
Based on a design approved by the customer, the design is finalized taking into account aspects such as easy maintenance and serviceability.
The hardware of the system is manufactured and/or assembled at Hamilton's own works. The depth of production allows a high degree of flexibility for the design of custom parts. The complete system - including all peripheral instruments - is assembled to allow real-world tests.
Hamilton's VENUS software allows controlling the complete system - including instruments from other manufacturers. The method is programmed optimizing: user friendliness, flexibility and scalability - e.g. by using variables throughout the method, and data handling.
Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)
The Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is performed according to the FAT protocol at Hamilton Company Reno in the presence of the customer representative after completion of the method programming. The purpose is to verify that all the components are present and are operational according to the manufacturer specifications. The FAT then proceeds to verify that the system as a whole – hardware and software - is operational and all the methods perform the tasks specified in the Specification Document without error.
Our experienced service engineers will carefully install your system in the designated space which they have surveyed with you before, ideally during the design phase. The service engineer will test all Hamilton hardware and verify that it meets the specifications regarding accuracy and precision of the pipetting tools as well as the positional accuracy put forth in the specification sheet. You will be provided with an installation report detailing the accuracy, precision of each channel or 96-head/384-head. The report will also cover any Hamilton Heater/Shakers, Autoload Barcode Reader, Front Cover Safety Sensors and I-SWAP Grippers and show that they operate within their specified parameters.
The Installation Acceptance Test (IAT) is performed according to the IAT protocol after installation of the system at the customer site. The purpose is to verify that all the components are present and are operational according to the manufacturer specifications. The IAT then proceeds to verify that all components communicate as expected and all the VENUS and Scheduler methods run without error. If all test scripts are accepted, then the system is cleared for the Site Acceptance Test (SAT).
The Site Acceptance Test (SAT) is the final test performed on the system after installation and successful IAT at the customer site. The test scripts put forth in the SAT protocol are designed to demonstrate that the system (hardware and software) can carry out the movements and logical operations required to perform the processes described in the Specification Document. If all test scripts are accepted, then the system is accepted by the customer according to the order. All SAT runs are performed with water or Verification Solution P/N 173229 (PBS-Tween). For liquids that can not be tested during system design (hazardous reagents) liquids class adjustments will be made (if necessary) after successful SAT. The SAT protocol will describe the test procedure in detail and break them down into steps with acceptance criteria that can be assessed as either pass or fail. Incubation times may be shortened and batch size may be reduced to complete SAT in time allotted.