ARUP performs testing on patient specimens for hospitals around the world.
ARUP Clinical Laboratories in Salt Lake City, UT was formed in 1984 as an independent, full service reference laboratory by the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. ARUP performs testing on patient specimens for hospitals around the world, including military and government facilities, clinics, and major pharmaceutical firms. Reference labs such as ARUP perform the more specialized, or esoteric, tests that most hospitals do not perform, about 2,500 different tests in all.
In light of ARUP's double-digit growth it was determined that the ability to maintain this rate of growth could only be reached by implementing an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) for their freezer trays. They also needed to consolidate multiple sample types into one automated system, improve chain of custody quality for specimen samples. Additional automation was required for the picking and placing of test tubes.
A miniload AS/RS with infeed/outfeed conveyance in -4°F environment was installed.The AS/RS can store more than 2.3 million tubes in 5,220 trays and can retrieval up to 210 trays per hour. The system was designed to be expanded from one aisle to three aisles 5,220 trays, 2,349,000 samples, allowing continued growth for decades to come. The solution also included conveyance of lab trays to technicians and the legacy inventory system.
Daifuku was able to tackle the unique challenges offered by ARUP’s business model and develop a system that would give them a return on investment in only four years.
The automated transport and sorting system transports and sorts 22-26,000 new specimens per day. An additional 80% of that volume is returned to the track each day to route for additional tests or for storage on the AutoSorters, bringing the total daily volume on the track system to 40-45,000. The track has a capacity of 7,000 new tubes per hour or 100,000 per day. The Storage AutoSorters can each store 1,100 tubes per hour. AS/RS retrieval time for any single tube is less than 2.5 minutes. ARUP has achieved highly significant improvements in TAT, quality, and efficiency through automation.