My lab has adopted the IntellixCap 96 decapper systems from Azetna (formerly Brooks), but we have been having major performance issues and really slow support from Azenta on resolutions/repairs. Like, on the order of months to get a field engineer out.
I’ve been exploring a competitor’s system, the AlteCap Swift. Obviously, they claim it solves many of the problem present in older decapper models. They have also promised faster service and even in-house service training if desired. There are some features on this system that ‘seem’ better - e.g., drip tray for decapped caps, individual motors applying torque to each cap driver separately… but I haven’t tested this system at all.
My question is - does anyone have any experience with the Swift? I love its smaller footprint and apparent integration friendliness, but without any hard data to go on, it’s difficult for me to justify abandoning an old system for a new one.
I think the inventor of the AlteCap Swift also worked on the IntellixCap previously, and for the AlteCap Swift they incorporated features that were missing in the IntellixCap.
They demoed the AlteCap Swift at SLAS, maybe you can check it out then? You can ask for a demo unit to try out and see how it works for you.
What tubes are you using?
FluidX 0.5 mL externally threaded, 96 format.
By when are you trying to make a purchase decision?
Very soon. I am trying to decide whether implementing a trial unit and running some side-by-side stress testing is a good move.
So far, I’ve had nothing but performance issues with the IntellixCap. Plus, the need to rely on a vendor to come in and adjust the Z traverse for even the slightest differences in tube height I think is a huge inherent flaw with the IntellixCap. If there are sub-mm differences in tube height, there will be performance issues. The Swift solves this by scanning for tube height and adjusting on the fly.
I know all decappers can be subject to the same types of performance issues over time. According to the sales team at Altemis - they worked to mitigate these flaws. But I don’t have anything but anecdotal vendor info to go on at this point.
So, while I am certainly leaning towards this system as a means to ease my constant headaches, I still have to sell my lab leadership team on the extra cost and transition to a new system
You should absolutely ask for a demo unit and have a wide variety of tubes available, some new and some used of different lots. Writing a driver for it is pretty straightforward and there exists GBG/Tecan Fluent drivers for it. If you’re using Venus, check in with Hamilton folks.