Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Diagnostic Testing Laboratories Rely on Robots Powered by FlatPAC AC-DC Switchers
The first digitally operated and programmable robot was installed in 1961 to lift hot pieces of metal from a die casting machine and stack them. Today, robots are in widespread use performing jobs cheaper or more accurately and reliably than humans in many commercial, industrial, and even laboratory environments. Generally, the field of laboratory automation comprises many different automated laboratory instruments devices, software algorithms, and methodologies used to enable, expedite, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of scientific research in laboratories. The application of technology in today’s laboratories is required to achieve timely progress and remain competitive. Laboratories devoted to activities such as automated clinical and analytical testing, diagnostics, and many others, would not exist without laboratory automation.
The Vicor customer is a manufacturer of robotic systems that automate functions for pharmaceutical, biotech, and diagnostic testing laboratories. A typical system uses a Cartesian coordinate robot with a multi-axis arm, but they make SCARA (Selective Compliant Assembly Robot Arm) robotic systems as well. They all combine hardware and software, which is usually transparent to the user.
The primary power supply for their various products have been FlatPAC AC-DC switchers for several years. Their DC requirements are very low power (5 V, 1/2 A, for example). The power supplies deliver power for sensors, solenoids, and motion control, feeding lots of loads. The FlatPAC combines the Vicor workhorse VI-200 family of DC-DC converters with a modular package and front-end subassembly to provide from 50 to 600 W of output power from one to three outputs.