Tuesday, 09 February 2016 11:54

How to get the most out of your Ziath Scanner

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Most of our customers find the setup of our scanner simple and easy and don’t need our help to get it working (though if you ever get stuck get in touch please; we’re only an email/phone call/carrier pigeon away!).  You should find that our scanners are easy to get up and running but did you know that there are a number of cool options you can use to customise your scanner’s behaviour?  I’m going to list out some of the less well known features below:

Automatic File Export

DP1

If you learn one trick from this blog then remember this one!  On the menu above you can see the automatic export option, on this select ‘if no read errors occur’.  This means that when a successful read (all wells read or empty) is done the result file will be saved.  The more astute amongst you will note the no read errors bit and ask why?  The reason for this is that the majority of read errors are due to ice build-up on the bottom of the tube and a quick clean will remove this.  You don’t want to clutter up your results with these files as you’ll be scanning again after you have cleaned the rack.

Open file after Saving

This is a new feature which was added as a response to a customer request and is a great idea (thank you Dan).  Basically it means that if you have automatic file saving activated and this option, then the file will open in the computer’s default program for the results file.  So if you have Excel files automatically saved and this ticked then right after scanning the Excel file will be opened allowing you to view/edit the barcodes straight away.  If you’ve got an Excel macro to add data and then upload scanned data to your database this is a great way to do it.

Text File Format

Suppose you want to customise the output of your scan results to fit in with your LIMS system or robot system; this will allow you to change the export format.  The current output looks like this:

However suppose you need to have ‘MY EXPORT DATA’ on the top line and BARCODE=”” around every barcode you can easily do this as shown below:

Now the results look like this:

Many of our customers have made great use of this feature and we’re pleased to announce it has been copied by other scanner manufacturers so it has made everybody’s life easier!

Activator

This is another feature requested by a customer (in Germany this time) and is something we should have talked about a bit more because it is cool!  For this to work you need the Ziath Linear scanner attached; you can then configure this option so that when a rack with a linear barcode is dropped on the scanner it will automatically detect the barcode and scan the rack.  So if you’ve got freezer or contaminated gloves on; you don’t need to touch the keyboard or fiddle with a button – just drop the rack on the scanner.  This works with all our single rack scanners and makes scanning so much easier!

Scan Time Questions

This is the last one!  Again this came from another user request; thanks Neil (can you see a pattern here – we do listen!).  Basically it allows you to ask the use a question before a scan happens and the result is in the output file.  So in the above example; when you click scan the following dialog box appears:

You can enter these details and they are exported with the scan result data.  This gives you a quick and easy way to attach data to a scan result without needing a full blown LIMS system

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Well, there you have it – that was a bit longer than I thought it would be but I’ve actually cut it down!  There are many more features available but not listed above such as a scan alarm, direct DB export and time out settings; I would say ‘read the manual’ but I know we are all busy and don’t have the time to plough through a big manual.  However that is what we are here for; if there is something you want to do that your Ziath scanner cannot do please ask.  If the feature doesn’t already exist then we can include it in future versions; as illustrated above.

If you would like more information about any of the above items or if you want to do something that has not been covered by this blog then please get in touch with us – easiest way is from here.

Read 7810 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 12:21

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