Automated Petri dish filler

Components:

  • Input unit – maximum 6 rows of Petri dishes
  • Medium cabinet/pouring unit - 6 types of agar
  • Stacking unit – maximum 6 rows of Petri dishes

Automated in process:

  • Destacking dishes from input unit
  • Taking off lid before agar pouring
  • Pouring right type of agar
  • Shaking
  • Automatically sorting and stacking in stacking unit by agar type

Manual actions before entering the machine:

  • Labelling
  • Lifting lid before pipetting
  • Pipetting
  • Filling magazine with Petri dishes (with sample) in right lane of the input unit

Measurements:

2,8 x 1,2 meter

 

Description:

This unit is designed to work ‘stand alone’ with no LIMS connection and will not read any barcode. The unit has six ‘lanes’. Every lane got its own ‘agar type’.

For example, lane 1 is for type X agar and lane 2 for type Y. The Petri dishes will be taken from lane 1 and lane 2 of the input unit to position 1 and 2 in the pouring unit. Position 1 gives type X agar, position 2 gives type Y agar. After filling the Petri dishes, the dishes will be transferred to lane 1 and lane 2 in the stacking unit. This works the same for every position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the Petri dishes are offered to the machine, the following has been performed by a technician:

  • Petri dishes are labelled/coded with sample information
  • Petri dishes are filled with sample
  • Petri dishes are sorted by agar type and then stacked in right lane in input unit

 

If all lanes of the input unit/magazine are filled the machine will fill automatically 6 Petri dishes in one run (if only 5 lanes of the input unit are filled, 5 dishes will be filled in one run). The machine takes one Petri dish of every lane and will transport them to the pouring unit. The lids will be taken off and the machine fills the Petri dishes (the pouring unit will detect if there is no dish at a certain position and will not give any agar on that position). After putting back the lids the dishes will be shaken for 35 seconds (ISO regulation) and stacked in the stacking unit. The Petri dish taken out of lane 1 of the input unit will be stacked in lane 1 of the stacking unit, etc.

To keep the machine ‘basic’, all stacks in all lines will be moved forward at the same time if the height sensor in one of the lanes is activated. It can happen that not all stacks have reached a stack of 6 while moved forward. 

If there is a need for an overlay, the dishes need to be placed back manually into the right lane in the input unit.

 

Options:

Agar detection system:

An option is to add a detection system to the pouring unit to see if there is already agar in the dishes. If detected, the system can add less agar than needed for the first layer. If the system works with this detection system overlay dishes can be run together with first layer dishes.

Forced cooling system:

In our ‘Kitty’ system we use a ‘forced’ cooling system so all dishes are solidified before stacking. We can add this to this system as well but the system will become longer.

Printer:

A printer can print the time of pouring onto the dishes.

Stacking unit:

Height sensor for every individual line of the stacking unit. This avoids stacks with less than 6 Petri dishes