TREK Diagnostic Systems

Requirements

ITL’s relationship with TREK diagnostics began with a manufacturing deal for the Sensititre suite of instruments, used for diagnostic tests in clinical laboratories.

This included:

  • An automated inoculation delivery system to quickly dispense accurate doses in 96 well plates (now the Sensititre AIM)
  • A bench-top automated microplate incubating and reading system (now the Sensititre ARIS 2x)
  • An automated flourometric plate reading system which works in conjunction with the incubating and reading system (now the SensititreOptiRead)
  • A digital viewing system for use in antimicrobial susceptibility testing (now the SensititreVizion)

After a number of years of successful volume manufacture, components within the devices were beginning to become obsolete.

Having worked on solving smaller scale obsolescence on an ‘as-needed’ basis ITL were now challenged by TREK with future-proofing the range. One of the key issues involved was that FDA regulations for the redesigned devices dictate that performance must be directly equivalent to their predecessors.

Approach

ITL developed concepts based on detailed requirement specifications from TREK for the overhaul of the instruments that would become the AIM, OptiRead, ARIS and Vizion.

The concepts were based on the need to make the devices smaller, more efficient, more aesthetically pleasing and to embrace modern technologies that were expected to supersede those currently employed.

Results

ITL were successful in meeting all of TREK’s requirements by delivering the following:

  • Design of a common X-Y mechanism to be used in both the AIM and OptiRead, thus significantly reducing costs of production and lead-times.
  • Footprint reduction of the AIM whilst maintaining plate handling capabilities
  • Upgrading of the AIM user interface to include a touch screen
  • Use of LED and photodiode technology to replace the more expensive and less robust photomultiplier tubes previously used
  • Ensuring interfacing of new devices with existing software
  • All design work fully compliant to FDA regulations
  • Reduced manufacturing costs by design

For each of these solutions ITL provided TREK with:

  • Proof of principle instruments where new technology was implemented
  • Engineering prototypes for in-house testing by TREK
  • Support throughout the regulatory applications
  • Tooling, testing and quality assurance for components and casework

Having exceeded TREK’s expectations ITL secured the manufacturing contracts for the redesigned Sensititre range.

The transfer of the instruments into manufacture was fully supported by our Production Engineering team to ensure a seamless change to the redesigned products.

TREK diagnostics was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific who made the decision to retain ITL as their manufacturing partner as well as continuing with further R&D projects.

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