Storage Manager


The Storage Manager controls the configuration of virtual stores, physical storage devices and their contents. Stores can be treated as virtual storage devices which can be used to supply or receive labware objects.

See the following screenshot which shows the Storage Manager.

The screen shot above shows a set of store names in the left hand pane. Stores can be added, removed and edited by right clicking on the store list. Two different types of stores are currently supported, as follows:

  • Random access stores – stores which can provide or take labware objects in any order, such as incubators and hotels
  • Stacker stores – storage devices which can only take or receive plates in a sequential order

The main pane of the storage editor screen shot shows a set of tabs, one for each physical storage device in the system. Each storage device tab shows a data grid that provides a view onto the current contents of the selected storage device and allows the user to set or clear labware object data for the given storage positions of the device by dragging and right clicking on the grid. Occupied store locations are shown in a grey color together with a color icon and text that can indicate one of the following:

  • object barcode
  • labware type
  • arrival date-time
  • elapsed time at location

The store grid outline color is shown to indicate the store that the locations are mapped to. Note that the store colors can be changed by the user. The following clipped screen shot shows a view of the store data grid toolbar with explanations of the functions following.

Start an inventory scan using internal barcode reader if fitted to the device.

Fill storage device with given labware type. Will open a dialog to allow user to select the given labware type.

Clear store

Import storage device contents from a data file

Export storage device contents to a data file

View barcode data

View object type names

View arrival time of objects at locations

View elapsed time of objects at locations

Toggles between a compressed view and full view of the storage device.

The data grid will show a rich tooltip when the mouse is hovered over a store location. The rich tooltip shows textual data describing the state of the store location and any object present. This is shown in the following screen shot. Note that the rich tooltip contains a copy button which can be used to quickly copy the text to the clipboard.

Plate Stacks

Plate Stacks are special kind of storage devices that operate by stacking plates one on top of the other. Plate Stacks offer high storage density and are simple and cost effective, however, they can only work in a Fist In Last Out ( FILO ) fashion.

In general Plate Stacks can only handle one particular plate type since the height of the plate and the stack height must be known in order to be able to correctly pick and place plates.

Plate measurements are critical to the accuracy of the picking and placing of plates to the stack. The two key measurements are required as follows. Note that these are configured in the Object Manager ( IE, labware manager)

Height Without Lid

From the example image of the two stacked plates below, this measurement is 14.35mm

Plate Stack Height

From the example image below, this is the difference in height for each plate added to the stack. EG, as shown below, 12.35mm , obtained from 26.7mm (two plate height) - 14.35mm (single plate height). Note that greater accuracy can be achieved by measuring several plates together.

Plate Stack Configuration

Plate stacks are configured in the Device Manager, as per the example below. The only configuration parameter that might require day to day changes to be made will be the Object Type parameter which tells the Plate Stack which plate type it holds ( and hence the plate height and stack height ). Note you can use the drop down to select the required plate type.