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CATS Cryogenic automated sample changer for macromolecular crystallography

CATS - IRELEC Cryogenic Automated Transfer System is a robotic system intended for macromolecular crystallography on Synchrotron beamlines. It enables frozen samples to be transferred automatically from a storage Dewar to an analyzing station by means of an original patented method.

Comprising a 6-axis industrial robot arm with a set of special tools, IRELEC sample changer is a reliable, flexible, multi-standard system, which entirely lives up to the expectations of scientific teams seeking performance and reliability in their experiments on Synchrotron beamlines since it was launched in 2007.

CATS has got a leadership position in European Synchrotrons, became the reference robotic station for the Chinese community at the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility and was chosen by one of the reference light source in the world: the Advanced Light Source in Argonne (IL, USA).

The distinguishing advantages of this system are:

  • reliability;
  • compatibility with the main standards used in the international Synchrotron community (Spine, Universal puck project, etc.);
  • compatibility with in-situ data collection in crystallization plates;
  • fully automated process management: LN2 level detection and storing Dewar automatic filling, shutter piloting  control, diffractometer electro-magnet control, barcode reading, automatic tool-changing, etc.

Through the years, the CATS permanently improved its efficiency and functionalities. A next level of performances is now accessible with IRELEC new sample changer ISARA.



CATS sample changer installed on the BESSY-II ID14-1 beamline – credit Dr Uwe MuellerPatented SPINE rotating gripperCryogenic storage DewarCrystallization plates gripperBarcode readingCATS standalone unit