Control software for Multimek system

Multimek system with dual stackers
 The Beckman Multimek, with two Carl Creative stacker units.

A small biotech company had a 96-channel Multimek pipettor system.  We integrated into this system two Carl Creative stacker units.

Unfortunately the protocol execution software provided at that time by Beckman was not flexible enough to accomplish all of the desired operations with these devices; nor was it capable of dealing with a tip-changer device that we also added into this system.  For these reasons we created a simple programming interface to allow the necessary control of the system.

We created the control software, shown below, using Visual Basic 6.  The software allowed a user to create a step-by-step protocol that could invoke device-specific commands (such a plate movements, liquid transfers, etc).  The interface inlcuded the ability to use protocol variables and counters, and also allowed for looping.  It also included a convenient method to display user prompts.

Multimek control software