Product News: New Vial Identification System Designed to Eliminate Costly Labeling Errors and Boost Productivity

07 Apr 2014

Misidentifying and mishandling sample vials can cause lost samples, botched experiments and costly product recalls. Valuable analytical resources are wasted, laboratories can lose credibility, and, most importantly, false data can hinder downstream operations. The new Thermo Scientific Virtuoso Vial Identification System was developed to mitigate these hazards while also improving productivity. Thermo Fisher Scientific showcased the Virtuoso Vial Identification System during Analytica 2014.

“Customers tell us that accurate sample identification is a major challenge,” said David Edwards, product manager, vials and closures for Thermo Fisher. “When data appears to be transposed, there’s an opportunity for this to happen at the collection point; but there may also be seven or more opportunities for samples to get switched in the lab, depending on the workflow. Once a sample is in a vial, there’s no easy way to confirm that it is labeled correctly, and handwritten or adhesive labels can be inefficient at best and illegible at worst.”

Users’ biggest complaints about manual labeling center around illegible handwriting, smearing from solvents and general degradation over time. The Virtuoso system is designed to solve these problems by printing clear, indelible, detailed information directly on the vials.

The Virtuoso system’s software provides automated download of sample lists, on-demand system diagnostics and emergency sample labeling. Vial identification data can be input using the unit’s touchscreen or directly from the lab network. Thermo Fisher testing has demonstrated an eightfold increase in productivity compared to conventional manual labeling techniques.

Templates include standard required information, and users can customize them to suit their specific needs, including text, graphics, barcodes and logos. The images resist conditions found in most labs, including solvents and handling.

The vial identification system uses Thermo Scientific Virtuoso Vials for optimal performance, available in a variety of dimensions, glass colors and closures. The unit’s sleeve holds up to 10 vials for autoloading.