How a High-Capacity, Ultra-Low Temp Freezer with Robotic Handling Abilities Works

Accurately maintaining large inventories is a time-consuming process. It becomes even more challenging when dealing with thousands of identical-looking little vials, constantly going in and out of different freezers shared among multiple collaborators.

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Problem: Accurately maintaining large inventories is a time-consuming process. It becomes even more challenging when dealing with thousands of identical-looking little vials, constantly going in and out of different freezers shared among multiple collaborators. Furthermore, regulatory compliance, security, safety and temperature requirements could make the process much more difficult and would require the full attention of one or even several scientists.

For years, researchers have wanted a high capacity freezer that would store frozen samples at -180°C without all of the handling that comes with traditional LN2 storage.

Solution: One example of a solution to such issues is Angelantoni and RURO’s SmartFreezer which utilizes an advanced robotics system coupled with a liquid nitrogen tank. This quiet system, and others like it, are designed to be used at the workbench, but can also be put in the storage room. Storing and retrieving vials is simple; the robot will pick up vials from the tray and safely put them into the LN2 tank within the machine. The user-friendly interface on such products is also an important part of making the storage and retrieval process more intuitive. For instance, the SmartFreezer’s interface, powered by RURO’s FreezerPro software, allows the entire inventory to be always at a glance and also features touchscreen technology, adding to the system’s ease of use.


One of the internal storage disks inside the SmartFreezer’s LN2 tank.


Robot gripper holding the vial.

Compliance and user access are a premium. With the software on systems like the SmartFreezer, users are able to access only the inventory they are given access to using advanced administrative options and automated records of both storage and retrieval complete with a date and time stamp are readily accessible. These options make it easier to know where samples are and more importantly, where they have been.

Further benefits of systems like the SmartFreezer include: -180°C sample storage, a capacity of 17,000 vials, a precise robotics system that takes the human element out of the LN2 tank, WiFi or Ethernet connectivity, RFID and 2D barcode enabled to account for samples utilizing either methods of tracking, and enterprise-ready inventory management and compliance. Such a solution also allows users to access samples from a laptop, a desktop, an iPad or a smart phone from anywhere in the world.


The SmartFreezer by Angelantoni and RURO.

For more information, visit www.ruro.com/SmartFreezer

Categories: How it Works

Published In

Is the Rollercoaster Ride Over? Magazine Issue Cover
Is the Rollercoaster Ride Over?

Published: March 1, 2012

Cover Story

Is the Roller Coaster Ride Over?

The laboratory industry enjoyed several years of robust growth from the late 1990s until 2003. Record research and development (R&D) investments by the biopharmaceutical industry, in combination with the doubling of the U.S. National Institutes budget, allowed for continual double-digit growth rates.