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2014-15 Product Resource Guide: Liquid Handling Systems

Get fun facts about liquid handling systems, a list of questions to ask when buying liquid handling systems, the most recent liquid handling system releases, and an updated liquid handling system manufacturer's list in this section.

Top 5 Things You May Not Know About Liquid Handling Systems

1. Demand for automated liquid-handling systems parallels the larger automation marketplace. Generally, the need for automation is based on speed or throughput, consistency of results, and the value of a lab worker’s time.

2. A current trend is that users continue to specify high-end liquid-handling systems that serve “workflow automation” needs rather than single-liquid dispensing operations.

3. Another recent development is that though full-blown robotic liquid handling systems are formidable, integrated systems with steep learning curves, that complexity is somewhat mitigated through improved interfaces.

4. The liquid handling market is now addressing users who lack the automation and coding experience demanded by larger automation systems.

5. The original, big-money driver for lab automation was high-throughput screening of drug candidates. While that market still exists, the “numbers game” has reduced from millions or hundreds of thousands of compounds to just hundreds or thousands.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Liquid Handling System

1. What kind(s) of dispensing technology is (are) used?

2. Is the liquid handler automatable?

3. Can the liquid handler accommodate magnetic or plastic bead-based assays?

4. What is the volume range, and how many different sample vessel types may be used?

5. Ask about the software—is it integrated and user-friendly? Does it allow for pre-programmed and custom protocols?

6. What is the flow rate spectrum?

Recently Released Liquid Handling Systems

LabElite™ I.D. Capper™ Automated Decapping/Capping & Barcode Reading Device

  • Enables labs to combine decapping/capping and high-speed 2-D barcode reading in one device without any additional user interaction
  • Specifically designed to eliminate sample contamination and assist with sample tracking during end-to-end automated liquid handling processing
  • Can quickly process all common labware types, providing a simple solution for optimizing workflows
  • Also available without barcode reading as the LabElite DeCapper

Hamilton Storage Technologies

Versette Automated Liquid Handler

  • Features user-friendly programming, reliable performance and a choice of 96- or 384-channel pipetting heads
  • Supports 96/384 plate replication, plate stamping and serial dilution procedures
  • Designed to perform a variety of liquid handling tasks for a wide range of applications, including plate stamping, plate reformatting, serial dilution and many other applications in low- to high-throughput laboratories

Thermo Fisher Scientific 

QPrep Automated Workstation

  • Designed to perform multiple dilution, transfer and dispensing with 0.01 ml of accuracy in handling reagents
  • Accommodates 6 standard autosampler racks with option of customized racks to hold QC standards and option of HEPA filter
  • Allows user-specified methodology through integrated PC software
  • Features spike sample with internal standards, performs multiple dilution, and prepares autosampler racks

Questron Technologies 

PDS-100 Programmable Dispensing System

  • Uses precision stepper motors to control a variety of FMI’s patented valveless piston pumps
  • Features a range from 500 nanoliters per dispense to 2 liters per minute continuous flow
  • Accommodates all FMI pump sizes in both fixed and adjustable displacement configurations
  • Front face of the enclosure has an LED readout used to display menu driven programming, as well as membrane switches

Fluid Metering 

Liquid Handling System Manufacturers

3D Biomatrix 


Apricot Designs 

Aurora Biomed 

Beckman Coulter 




BioTek Instruments 

BioTX Instruments 



Douglas Scientific 

Drummond Scientific 


Fluid Metering 


Hamilton Robotics 

Hudson Robotics  



Labnet International  


Molecular Devices 


Questron Technologies  



Tecan Trading AG 

Thermo Fisher Scientific 


TriContinent Scientific  

TTP LabTech 


Zinsser North America