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SX Barcode Readers

A number of different barcode reading options for complete security

Barcode reading of microplates using underarm reader

Barcode Reader Options

The Beeline SX incorporates the latest and fastest barcode readers available to provide the ability to automatically read the barcode ID of samples, reagents, controls and other assay related consumables. Sample barcode reading can be performed using either the underarm barcode reader or the Slide-In Rack (SIR). The choice depends largely on the deck space available. See below for further details.

Sample ID in mirrored sample racks

Underarm barcode reader

The underam barcode reader is mounted on the arm of the machine and moves around with the probe carriage. It points downwards onto the deck and is ideally suited for reading upward facing codes on microplates and microscope slides. When used in conjunction with a small mirror integrated into the microplate rack, it can also read the codes on the side of microplates. The barcode reader is a camera based reader and is able to read both 1D (linear) and 2D codes.

Furthermore, the underarm barcode reader can also be used for reading sample barcodes. Samples are loaded onto the deck in one or more sample racks. Each of these is located adjacent to a mirror which runs along the length of the rack and which reflects an image of the sample tubes up to the reader. This simple system enables the SX to use a single barcode reader to automatically read barcodes on all of the components of an assay thereby providing a high level of security with minimum complexity and cost.

This “mirror assisted” barcode reading is fast, reliable and cost effective. However, for applications requiring a Layout with a much higher sample density, we also offer the SIR Barcode Reader Module. See below.

Slide-In-Rack (SIR) Barcode Reader Module

The SIR barcode reading module is a separate mechanism which is mounted on top of the right-hand side of the Deck. It comprises a number of locations which accept special sample tube carriers. Each carrier has a capacity for 16 barcoded samples and each of these carriers is loaded into the SIR module in sequence by sliding it into its allocated docking position. The position of each sample in the rack is determined by reading “Sentry” barcodes on either side of each sample and which form part of the rack.

The SIR module incorporates an ultra-high speed sample barcode reader and a linear drive to automatically position the reader at the optimal distance for highest reliability of reading barcodes whatever printing density has been used. As each rack is loaded onto the SIR module, the barcode reader adjusts its position accordingly to maximise the speed and reliability of the barcode reading process.  This is especially valuable for the 288 position rack (18 racks each with 16 tubes) where relying on the depth of field of the reader would result in lower performance and a lower succesful read rate. Other features include:

160 Position SIR Sample Barcode Reader

SIR Main Features

 Audible feedback tones confirm correct scanning enabling operator to perform the loading process without having to refer to the PC.

 Three different capacities: 96, 160 and 288 sample positions

 Standard Carriers accommodate tubes with diameters between 10mm to 16mm e.g. Sarstedt 2.0ml up to 16mm Vacutainers/ Vacuette tubes. Others are available by special request.


Both the underarm and SIR barcode readers are fully configurable for all code symbologies commonly used in the laboratory such as Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5, Code 39 etc . Furthermore they are fully programmable and allow a vast number of options for manipulating codes before transmission to the Beeline e.g. removing or adding prefixes, checksums etc if required.