Artel, Westbrook, Me, has released PCS software that is fully compatible with Artel’s current pipette calibration system (PCS) instruments. The company developed the new software to provide a fully integrated software solution that allows testing of all elements important to pipetting, including the operator’s technique, the pipette performance, and the pipette tip.

Kirby Pilcher, Artel.

Kirby Pilcher, Artel.

“Today’s labs are under more pressure than ever before, facing heavier workloads, stricter compliance requirements, and high staff turnover—all while maintaining businesses that save people’s lives,” says Kirby Pilcher, president of Artel. “We saw the need for a ‘clean sheet of paper’ design—software that would make a holistic approach to pipetting quality and pipette management easy to implement and efficient to use. With this offering we’re better enabling labs to generate consistent results, freeing lab managers to face other pressing challenges.”

The new software helps labs streamline their staff’s pipetting tasks in multiple ways. The user interface offers intuitive dashboards that track the calibration status of the full pipette inventory as well as performance assessments of all operators. It enables management to review and approve results from anywhere in the organization, keeping track of pipettes and operator performance.

Pipette calibration, interim performance verification, and operator training can be scheduled at specific intervals. Labs can also verify pipette performance on an ad-hoc basis, for example, before and after maintenance, following outsourced service, or whenever a problem is suspected. Calibration and inventory labels are generated directly from the user interface.

In addition, communication and reporting tools have been integrated as part of the package. Results of pipette calibration and operator training can be reviewed, and reports approved or rejected digitally. Email notifications regarding due calibration, competency assessments, and reviewable reports make workflow management a fluid and seamless process. Facilitating a lab’s compliance to 21 CFR Part 11, the software provides a complete audit trail. It also enables user authentication, privilege management, electronic signatures, versioning of calibration and training plans, and stores all information in a secure database.

PCS software also aids labs in facing one of the industry’s most persistent challenges: ensuring operator competency. Built-in operator assessment tools allow lab managers to standardize pipetting technique across an entire organization. They can schedule and document operator performance for compliance with internal and external regulatory requirements. The new software also allows labs to customize pass/fail tolerances for their pipettes and operators, based on their own specific requirements. Combined with regular pipette calibration, this ensures the highest level of liquid handling quality.

“Consistent pipetting skills are critical for consistent lab results, and we’ve been working for years with labs to develop training programs,” says A. Bjoern Carle, product manager at Artel. “We wanted to offer our customers a more turnkey method for training and assessments. Now, with the new software package, we’re putting those capabilities directly in the hands of lab managers.”

For more information, visit Artel.