Microplates are the standard unit for performing genomics experiments. Each microplate has hundreds of wells, each of which contains a separate experiment. The large number of genomics experiments performed by Incyte necessitates automation. REM developed the Plate Sealer to fully automate the processes of foil handling and cutting, as well as heat sealing of the microplates.
REM developed the entire device, including all aspects of mechanical, electronic and firmware engineering.
The electronics are centered around an embedded PC which receives user input through both a touchscreen and serial port. Electrical subsystems include power regulation, actuator drivers and closed loop thermal control circuitry.
Firmware functions include management of the graphical user interface, control of the thermal and pneumatic actuators, and serial communications management.
Mechanically, the machine uses seven different sets of pneumatic actuators to process the plates, handle and cut the foil, and perform the seal.
Incyte spun off their laboratory automation division as Velocity 11 in 1999 which was later acquired by Agilent Technologies.