JP2007322289A - Conveyer - Google Patents

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Publication number
JP2007322289A
JP2007322289A JP2006153921A JP2006153921A JP2007322289A JP 2007322289 A JP2007322289 A JP 2007322289A JP 2006153921 A JP2006153921 A JP 2006153921A JP 2006153921 A JP2006153921 A JP 2006153921A JP 2007322289 A JP2007322289 A JP 2007322289A
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JP
Japan
Prior art keywords
sample rack
sample
position
plurality
transport
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
JP2006153921A
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Japanese (ja)
Inventor
Takashi Amamiya
隆 雨宮
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Olympus Corp
オリンパス株式会社
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Publication date
Application filed by Olympus Corp, オリンパス株式会社 filed Critical Olympus Corp
Priority to JP2006153921A priority Critical patent/JP2007322289A/en
Publication of JP2007322289A publication Critical patent/JP2007322289A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Abstract

<P>PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a conveyer capable of detecting a stepping position of a sample rack by simple and inexpensive structure, capable of smoothing stepping of the sample rack, and capable of miniaturization. <P>SOLUTION: This conveyer 41 makes the sample rack 10 holding a plurality of sample containers 11 with a prescribed array pitch step along an arrayed direction of the plurality of sample containers in every desired pitch. This conveyer 41 includes a single position detecting sensor 44 for noncontactly detecting the stepping position of the sample rack, and a controller for controlling the conveyer 41 to make the sample rack 10 step in the desired pitch, based on a position signal from the position detecting sensor. <P>COPYRIGHT: (C)2008,JPO&INPIT

Description

  The present invention relates to a transport apparatus that transports a sample rack that holds a plurality of sample containers at a predetermined arrangement pitch.

  An analyzer, for example, an analyzer that analyzes a biological sample such as blood, holds a plurality of sample containers containing specimens in a sample rack and transports them to a dispensing position, and dispenses specimens from each sample container into test containers. And analyze it. If the transport device does not accurately detect the step position of the sample rack when transporting the sample rack, the sample will be misaligned and a test report will be reported incorrectly. For this reason, the analyzer uses various transport devices that transport the sample rack to the sample dispensing position and advance the sample rack every pitch of the arrangement pitch of the plurality of sample containers.

  For example, the first transport device shown in FIG. 7 grips the sample rack Rs by the arm A and transports the sample rack Rs along the transport path W, and for each pitch of the arrangement pitch of the plurality of storage recesses Pc that store the sample containers. Have stepped on. At this time, the transport apparatus shown in FIG. 7 obtains the step position of the sample rack Rs by detecting the protrusion M provided at the position corresponding to each receiving recess Pc on the side surface of the sample rack Rs by the position detection sensor S. Are sequentially stopped at the specimen suction position Pv.

  The second transport apparatus shown in FIG. 8 is provided with a lever array Al having a plurality of switch levers L for position detection in parallel with a transport path Wp such as a transport belt that transports the sample rack Rs. In the second transport device, the plurality of detection levers L are sequentially pressed according to the progress of the sample rack Rs, and the switch is turned on. The second transport device detects the advance position of the sample rack Rs by turning on the switches by the plurality of detection levers L, and sequentially stops the plurality of storage recesses Pc at the sample suction position Pv.

  On the other hand, the third transport device shown in FIG. 9 is configured such that a photodiode or the like is arranged at the same arrangement pitch as the light emitting element array Ae in which a plurality of light emitting elements Le such as LEDs are arranged at an arrangement pitch corresponding to the arrangement pitch of the accommodating recesses Pc. A light receiving element array As having a plurality of light receiving elements Ls is disposed so as to face the sample rack Rs with the transport path Wp interposed therebetween. The third transport device detects the step position of the sample rack Rs using the fact that the optical path from the light emitting element Le to the light receiving element Ls is blocked according to the step position of the sample rack Rs, Are sequentially stopped at the specimen suction position Pv.

  Furthermore, the fourth transport apparatus shown in FIG. 10 has an optical element array having a plurality of reflective optical sensors Sop at an array pitch corresponding to the array pitch of the accommodating recesses Pc on one side of the transport path Wp for transporting the sample rack Rs. Aop is arranged. The fourth transport device detects the step position of the sample rack Rs from the light reflected from the sample rack Rs to the reflective optical sensor Sop according to the step position of the sample rack Rs, and has a plurality of receiving recesses. Pc is sequentially stopped at the sample suction position Pv (see, for example, Patent Document 1).

Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2003-83995

  By the way, since the 1st conveyance apparatus hold | grips and conveys a sample rack with an arm, and detects the advance position with the position detection sensor S, it can detect the advance position of a sample rack correctly. However, the first transport device has a problem that the structure of the arm for gripping and transporting the sample rack is complicated, leading to poor transport of the sample rack.

  In addition, since the sample rack and the switch lever are in contact with each other in the second transport device, the sample rack may be worn out or the sample rack may be disturbed due to contact resistance. In addition, the second transport device requires switch levers that serve as sensors as many as the number of sample containers, which complicates the structure and raises the cost of the transport device.

  Since the third transport device detects the step position of the sample rack in a non-contact manner by using light, the sample rack is not worn or has a step defect. However, in the third transport device, since the light emitting element array having the number of optical elements corresponding to the number of sample containers and the light receiving element array are disposed opposite to each other on both sides of the transport path, the transport device is increased in size. There's a problem.

  Moreover, since the 4th conveying apparatus uses the reflective optical sensor with which the light emitting element and the light receiving element were integrated, there is no problem in the point of size reduction. However, the fourth transport device requires sensors as many as the number of sample containers, which is problematic in terms of cost reduction.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above, and the step position of the sample rack can be detected with a simple and inexpensive structure, the step of the sample rack can be smoothly performed, and the size can be reduced. An object of the present invention is to provide a simple transfer device.

  In order to solve the above-described problems and achieve the object, the transport apparatus according to claim 1 is desired to provide a sample rack holding a plurality of sample containers at a predetermined arrangement pitch along the arrangement direction of the plurality of sample containers. A transport device that advances at each pitch, and the sample rack is desired based on a single position detection sensor that detects a step position of the sample rack in a non-contact manner and a position signal from the position detection sensor. And a control means for controlling the transport device so as to advance at every pitch.

  In the transport device according to claim 2, in the invention described above, the sample rack is provided with a plurality of positioning portions corresponding to stepping positions for each pitch of the plurality of sample containers. A positioning member that engages with any one of the plurality of positioning portions; a positioning unit that is controlled by the control unit; and the positioning member is engaged with a positioning unit corresponding to a step position. The sample rack is positioned at the step position.

  The transport device according to the present invention detects the step position of the sample rack in a non-contact manner by a single position detection sensor, and the sample rack advances at every desired pitch based on the position signal detected by the position detection sensor. Thus, the transport device is controlled by the control means, so that the step position of the sample rack can be detected with a simple and inexpensive structure, the step of the sample rack is smooth, and a single step along the transport device is possible. Since only the position detection sensor is arranged, there is an effect that the transport device can be reduced in size.

  In addition, since the transport apparatus according to the second aspect of the present invention is provided with positioning means having a positioning member that engages with any one of the plurality of positioning portions provided in the sample rack and positions the sample rack at each step position. There is an effect that the rack can be positioned at each step position.

  DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS Hereinafter, an embodiment according to a transfer device of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 is a plan view showing a schematic configuration of an automatic analyzer using the transport device of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of the transport device. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a sample rack used in the automatic analyzer of FIG. FIG. 4 is a plan view for explaining detection of the step position of the sample rack by the position detection sensor in the transport device used in the automatic analyzer of FIG.

  As shown in FIG. 1, the automatic analyzer 1 includes an analysis unit 2, a storage unit 3, a transport unit 4, and a control unit 5, and a plurality of sample containers held in a sample rack 10 under the control of the control unit 5. The sample is dispensed from 11 to a reaction container (not shown) of the analysis unit 2, and the analysis unit 2 analyzes the sample. In FIG. 1, the arrow indicates the moving direction of the sample rack 10.

  The analysis unit 2 includes a reagent unit 21 in which a plurality of reagent bottles are stored, a reaction unit 22 in which a plurality of reaction containers are arranged in the circumferential direction, and a dispensing arm 23. The dispensing arm 23 has a dispensing nozzle (not shown), rotates in a range indicated by a dotted line in the drawing, and dispenses the sample in the sample container 11 and the reagent in the reagent bottle to the reaction container in the reaction unit 22. The dispensing nozzle is cleaned by a cleaning unit (not shown) every time a sample or reagent is dispensed.

  The storage unit 3 includes a set lane 31 that moves the sample rack 10 to the transport unit 4 and a return lane 32 that moves the sample rack 10 returned from the transport unit 4 to the set lane 31. The storage unit 3 is provided with a sample ID reader 33 that reads the ID label 11 a of the sample container 11 and a rack ID reader 34 that reads the ID label 10 b of the sample rack 10 between the set lane 31 and the return lane 32. .

  The transport unit 4 includes a transport lane 41 and a return lane 42. The transport lane 41 is a transport device that transports the sample rack 10 continuously and advances it at a substantially intermediate dispensing position. As shown in FIG. 2, a stepping motor 43, a position detection sensor 44, and positioning means 45 are provided. And a control means 46.

  The stepping motor 43 conveys the sample rack 10 by driving a conveyance belt (not shown) and advances the sample rack 10. The position detection sensor 44 and the positioning means 45 are provided in the vicinity of the sample arm 23 on one side of the transport lane 41 as shown in FIG. The position detection sensor 44 is a sensor that detects the step position of the sample rack 10 in a non-contact manner, and has at least sensitivity corresponding to the length of the sample rack 10 in the sample container arrangement direction. As the position detection sensor 44, an optical sensor using an infrared ray or a laser beam, an ultrasonic sensor, or a capacitive sensor is used. The positioning means 45 includes a positioning member 45b that can be moved in and out of the main body 45a (see FIGS. 6-1 to 6-3). The positioning member 45b protrudes from the main body 45a and is disposed between two positioning portions 10c adjacent to each other, and engages one of the positioning portions 10c to position the sample rack 10 at each step position. The control means 46 controls the stepping motor 43 based on the position signal from the position detection sensor 44 so that the sample rack 10 advances at every desired pitch, and the control unit 5 is also used.

  The return lane 42 is configured in the same manner as the transport lane 41, but transports the sample rack 10 without advancing at the dispensing position.

  The control unit 5 controls the operation of the analysis unit 2, the storage unit 3, and the transport unit 4 that constitute the automatic analyzer 1, and a control device such as a CPU is used, for example.

  Here, as shown in FIG. 3, the sample rack 10 has a plurality of receiving recesses 10a for receiving the sample containers 11 at a predetermined arrangement pitch, and an inclined surface is formed at the front in the transport direction. The sample rack 10 has an ID label 10b printed with a barcode identifying the plurality of sample racks 10 on one outer surface, and a plurality of positioning portions 10c (see FIG. 4) provided on the other outer surface. Yes. The positioning portion 10c is composed of a plurality of protrusions formed in the vertical direction corresponding to the stepping positions for each pitch of the plurality of sample containers 11. The sample container 11 is attached with an ID label 11a for identifying a plurality of sample containers.

  The automatic analyzer 1 moves the sample rack 10 holding a plurality of sample containers 11 from the set lane 31 to the transport unit 4 and transports the sample rack 10 by the transport lane 41 with an interval of one. When the sample rack 10 is transported to substantially the middle of the transport lane 41 and the sample rack 10 reaches the sensitivity region of the position detection sensor 44, position detection of the sample rack 10 by the position detection sensor 44 is started.

  Then, as shown in FIG. 4, when the first sample container 11 of the sample rack 10 reaches the sample suction position Pv, the position detection sensor 44 determines the position of the sample rack 10 based on the distance L1 from the tip of the sample rack 10. Is detected. When the position of the sample rack 10 is detected in this manner, the position detection sensor 44 outputs a position signal to the control means 46. The control means 46 stops the stepping motor 43 based on the input position signal, holds the distance L1, and stops the sample rack 10 at the sample suction position Pv for a preset time. At this time, the control means 46 changes the control of the stepping motor 43 based on the position signal at which the first sample container 11 has reached the sample suction position Pv, and advances the transport mode of the transport lane 41 from continuous transport. Change to As a result of this change in the transport mode, the sample rack 10 is incremented for each pitch of the plurality of sample containers 11 thereafter.

  When the sample rack 10 stops at the sample suction position Pv, the automatic analyzer 1 sucks the sample from the first sample container 11 by a dispensing nozzle (not shown) of the dispensing arm 23 and puts the sample in the reaction container of the reaction unit 22. And the reagent sucked from the reagent bottle of the reagent part 21 is discharged into the reaction container. The reaction unit 22 causes the reagent and the sample to react in the reaction container for a predetermined time, and then analyzes the sample using the reaction product.

  The automatic analyzer 1 advances the sample rack 10 for each pitch of the plurality of sample containers 11, then stops the sample rack 10 and sequentially dispenses the specimen and the reagent into the reaction container while sequentially repeating the specimen. Analyzing. Then, as shown in FIG. 5, when the tenth sample container 11 of the sample rack 10 reaches the sample suction position Pv, the position detection sensor 44 determines the step of the sample rack 10 based on the distance L10 from the tip of the sample rack 10. The advance position is detected and a position signal is output to the control means 46. The control means 46 stops the stepping motor 43 based on the input position signal, holds the distance L10, and stops the sample rack 10. When the sample rack 10 is stopped, the automatic analyzer 1 drives the dispensing arm 23 to dispense the sample and the reagent into the reaction container and analyze the sample.

  After the sample rack 10 is stopped, the control unit 46 changes the control of the stepping motor 43 and changes the transfer mode of the transfer lane 41 after the stop time is changed from stepping to continuous transfer. For this reason, when dispensing from the 10th sample container 11 is completed, the transport lane 41 continuously transports the sample rack 10 until the next sample rack 10 reaches the sensitivity region of the position detection sensor 44. Then, when the position detection sensor 44 detects that the distance from the tip of the next sample rack 10 has become the distance L1, the control means 46 stops the stepping motor 43 and continues the transport mode of the transport lane 41. Change from basic transport to stepping. Thereby, the automatic analyzer 1 dispenses the specimen in the new sample container 11 held in the next sample rack 10 under the control of the control unit 5 and starts the analysis.

  In this way, the sample rack 10 in which all of the specimens have been dispensed is sent out along the transport lane 41 and moved to the return lane 32 through the return lane 42. At the same time, a new sample rack 10 is sent from the set lane 31 to the transport lane 41, and the work of analyzing the sample is repeated.

  As described above, since the transport lane 41 that is the transport device of the sample rack 10 only has the single position detection sensor 44 arranged along the transport lane 41, the transport device can be downsized. Further, the transport lane 41 moves the sample rack 10 for each pitch of the sample container 11 by a transport belt (not shown) driven by a stepping motor 43. Therefore, the transport lane 41 can advance the sample rack 10 with high accuracy. On the other hand, since the position detection sensor 44 has at least sensitivity corresponding to the length of the sample rack 10 in the sample container arrangement direction, it detects all the advance positions along the length direction of the sample rack 10. The sample rack 10 can be accurately stopped at the dispensing position. However, when the step position of the sample rack 10 is positioned with higher accuracy, the positioning means 45 is used.

  That is, for example, when the first sample container 11 of the sample rack 10 reaches the specimen suction position Pv, the positioning means 45 projects the positioning member 44b from the main body 44a as shown in FIG. The sample rack 10 is positioned at the first step position by engaging with the positioning portion 10c.

  When the positioned sample rack 10 is advanced along the transport lane 41, as shown in FIG. 6B, after the positioning member 44b is pulled into the main body 44a as indicated by the arrow, the length of the sample rack 10 is increased. As indicated by the arrows along the direction, the sample rack 10 is advanced.

  When the sample rack 10 is stepped by one pitch of the plurality of sample containers 11 in this way, as shown in FIG. 6-3, the positioning member 44b is again projected from the main body 44a, and the first and second positioning portions 10c, and the sample rack 10 is positioned at the second step position. At this time, the positioning member 44b is engaged with the first or second positioning portion 10c. The positioning means 45 appropriately positions the sample rack 10 at each step position in the same manner. At this time, each operation of the positioning means 45 is controlled by the control means 46.

  As described above, the transport lane 41 serving as the transport device for the sample rack 10 detects the advance position of the sample rack 10 in a non-contact manner by the single position detection sensor 44 having sensitivity corresponding to the length of the sample rack 10. Since the sample rack 10 is controlled by the control means 46 so as to advance at every desired pitch, the advance position of the sample rack 10 can be detected with a simple and inexpensive structure, and the sample rack 10 can be smoothly moved. Therefore, it is possible to reduce the size.

  Further, since the sample rack 10 is moved for each pitch of the sample container 11 by a conveyance belt (not shown) driven by the stepping motor 43, the sample rack 10 is advanced with high accuracy. Furthermore, if the sample rack 10 is set in advance, the sample rack 10 can be stepped at a desired pitch instead of every pitch of the sample container 11.

  In the above embodiment, the transport lane 41 transports the sample rack 10 with an interval of one. However, if the position of the last sample container 11 is stopped at the specimen aspirating position Pv and the position detection of the sample rack 10 is completed, the position detection sensor 44 can detect the position of the next sample rack 10 to be continued. The interval between the sample racks 10 may be narrower than one, and the front part of the next sample rack 10 may be in contact with the rear part of the sample rack 10.

  As described above, the transport apparatus according to the present invention can detect the step position of the sample rack with a simple and inexpensive structure, and the step of the sample rack can be smoothly performed, and the transport apparatus can be downsized. Useful, especially suitable for use with automated analyzers.

It is a top view which shows schematic structure of the automatic analyzer which uses the conveying apparatus of this invention. It is a block diagram which shows the structure of a conveying apparatus. It is a perspective view of the sample rack used with the automatic analyzer of FIG. It is a top view explaining the detection of the step position of the sample rack by the position detection sensor in the conveyance apparatus used with the automatic analyzer of FIG. It is a top view explaining the detection of the step position when a sample rack advances 10 pitches. It is explanatory drawing by which a sample rack is positioned in the 1st step position by a positioning part and a positioning means. FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram when the sample rack illustrated in FIG. 6-1 is advanced by one pitch. It is explanatory drawing by which a sample rack is positioned in the 2nd step position by a positioning part and a positioning means. It is a schematic diagram which shows the conventional 1st conveying apparatus. It is a schematic diagram which shows the conventional 2nd conveying apparatus. It is a schematic diagram which shows the conventional 3rd conveying apparatus. It is a schematic diagram which shows the conventional 4th conveying apparatus.

Explanation of symbols

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 Automatic analyzer 2 Analyzing part 21 Storage part 22 Reaction part 23 Dispensing arm 3 Storage part 31 Set lane 32 Return lane 33 Sample ID reader 34 Rack ID reader 4 Transport part 41 Transport lane 42 Return lane 43 Stepping motor 44 Position detection sensor 45 Positioning means 45a Main body 45b Positioning member 5 Control unit 10 Sample rack 10a Receiving recess 10b ID label 10c Positioning unit 11 Sample container 11a ID label Pv Sample suction position

Claims (2)

  1. A transport device that advances a sample rack holding a plurality of sample containers at a predetermined arrangement pitch for each desired pitch along the arrangement direction of the plurality of sample containers,
    A single position detection sensor for detecting the step position of the sample rack in a non-contact manner;
    Control means for controlling the transport device so that the sample rack advances at every desired pitch based on a position signal from the position detection sensor;
    A conveying apparatus comprising:
  2. The sample rack is provided with a plurality of positioning portions corresponding to stepping positions for each pitch of the plurality of sample containers,
    The transport device includes a positioning member that engages with any one of the plurality of positioning portions, and includes a positioning unit whose operation is controlled by the control unit,
    The transport apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the positioning member is engaged with a positioning portion corresponding to a step position to position the sample rack at the step position.
JP2006153921A 2006-06-01 2006-06-01 Conveyer Withdrawn JP2007322289A (en)

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JP2009180607A (en) * 2008-01-30 2009-08-13 Olympus Corp Automatic analyzer
WO2011122557A1 (en) * 2010-03-30 2011-10-06 アークレイ株式会社 Conveyance device, method of conveyance, conveyance program and conveyance system
JP2011237190A (en) * 2010-05-06 2011-11-24 Toshiba Corp Automatic analyzer
JP2015197437A (en) * 2014-03-31 2015-11-09 エフ.ホフマン−ラ ロシュ アーゲーF. Hoffmann−La Roche Aktiengesellschaft Sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
WO2015198764A1 (en) * 2014-06-26 2015-12-30 株式会社日立ハイテクノロジーズ Automatic analytical apparatus
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JP2009180607A (en) * 2008-01-30 2009-08-13 Olympus Corp Automatic analyzer
JP5930957B2 (en) * 2010-03-30 2016-06-08 アークレイ株式会社 Conveying device, conveying method, conveying program, and conveying system
WO2011122557A1 (en) * 2010-03-30 2011-10-06 アークレイ株式会社 Conveyance device, method of conveyance, conveyance program and conveyance system
US9075032B2 (en) 2010-03-30 2015-07-07 Arkray, Inc. Transport apparatus, transport method, transport program, and transport system
JP2011237190A (en) * 2010-05-06 2011-11-24 Toshiba Corp Automatic analyzer
US9969570B2 (en) 2010-05-07 2018-05-15 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. System for transporting containers between different stations and a container carrier
US10031150B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2018-07-24 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Laboratory sample distribution system, laboratory system and method of operating
US9598243B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2017-03-21 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Laboratory sample distribution system and corresponding method of operation
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US10450151B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2019-10-22 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Laboratory sample distribution system and corresponding method of operation
US10126317B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2018-11-13 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Laboratory sample distribution system, laboratory system and method of operating
US9575086B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2017-02-21 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Laboratory sample distribution system, laboratory system and method of operating
US9423410B2 (en) 2014-02-17 2016-08-23 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Transport device, sample distribution system, and laboratory automation system
US9423411B2 (en) 2014-02-17 2016-08-23 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Transport device, sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
US10012666B2 (en) 2014-03-31 2018-07-03 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
US9658241B2 (en) 2014-03-31 2017-05-23 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
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US9791468B2 (en) 2014-03-31 2017-10-17 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Transport device, sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
US9810706B2 (en) 2014-03-31 2017-11-07 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Vertical conveying device, laboratory sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
US9772342B2 (en) 2014-03-31 2017-09-26 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Dispatching device, sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
US9567167B2 (en) 2014-06-17 2017-02-14 Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. Laboratory sample distribution system and laboratory automation system
WO2015198764A1 (en) * 2014-06-26 2015-12-30 株式会社日立ハイテクノロジーズ Automatic analytical apparatus
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