IFA automation

The 1000th Sprinter to pass the final inspection on its way to the customer

A few days ago, the thousandth Sprinter passed EUROIMMUN’s final inspection which is the last stage before its installation at the customer’s premises. The IF Sprinter and Sprinter XL are two variants of a laboratory instrument for automated processing of immunofluorescence tests (IIFT).

The IF Sprinter, developed by the Italian company GSG RobotiX under the name of “e-Robot2”, was tested at EUROIMMUN in 2010/2011 and validated for processing with the first IIFTs. Dr. Panagiotis Grypiotis, who worked for EUROIMMUN Italia at the time and is now responsible for Product Management Automation at our headquarters in Lübeck, had been the one to initiate the introduction of this automated system. Problems with the previous automated IIFT processor and the increasing competitive pressure on the market were ultimately decisive for adding the IF Sprinter to our product portfolio. Since then, Maria Winter from the Division of Automated Diagnostics is responsible for the adaption and the continued developement of the Sprinter in order to meet the customer’s demands. This way, the device has proven to be a reliable performer in more than 300 laboratories by now.

At the beginning of 2012, the decision was made to offer the larger “e-Robot” from GSG RobotiX under the name of Sprinter XL in addition to the IF Sprinter, which is designed for small to medium throughput. Already at the end of that year, Maria Winter supervised the installation of the first systems at customers’ in Germany (Munich and Moers) and neighbouring foreign countries. Meanwhile, more than 500 Sprinter XL have been successfully integrated into the work routine of diagnostic laboratories and research institutions. The Sprinter XL is a flexible high-throughput automated system that, besides IIFT, also enables ELISA processing. The same as the IF Sprinter, it provides sample identification by barcode, sample dilution and transfer, and all incubation and washing steps.

The sales figures for the two automated processors increased continuously in the first years after market launch and have now settled at a high level of considerably more than 100 instruments per year. Most Sprinters are sold to China, followed by Germany and the USA. Almost all EUROIMMUN IIFT and ELISA tests for autoimmune and infection diagnostics or antigen detection are validated for use with the Sprinter systems. Due to this, both automated processors are able to support a large product range.

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