Working with rack types
- In tube.tracker, rack is the term used to represent an object in which specimens are stored. A rack can either be a literal test tube rack that arranges specimens in a two-dimensional grid or it can be dimensionless like a bag. Typically there will be several standard rack types in a facility and these rack types can each be defined and maintained in tube.tracker to provide consistency for all users.
Opening the Rack Type Screen
- Click on Rack Types in the Navigation Menu under Maintenance.
- The Rack Type Maintenance Screen will appear. From here, new rack types can be created, active rack types can be deactivated, and inactive rack types can be reactivated.
Add a new rack type
For this example, a 72 specimen rack in a 6 by 12 grid will be created.
- Locate the Add New Rack Type section of the Rack Type Maintenance screen. It will be the last section of the screen, below Active Rack Types and Inactive Rack Types.
- Enter the information for the new rack type into the corresponding boxes as described below:
- ID: A unique series of letters and numbers used to identify the rack type. In the example above, MED is used as the ID for the rack named Medium 6x12. The best choice for a Rack Type ID is one that is short, descriptive, and uses standard abbreviations. Subsequent, similar containers with names Small 4x10 and Large 6x20 could then have the IDs SML and LRG.
- Name: A descriptive name for the rack type. This is the label for this rack type that users will see when selecting from a list of rack types. Just like a Rack Type ID, a Rack Type Name should also follow a naming standard and it should be relatively short. It is more important that the name be descriptive and recognizable than overly abbreviated. In the example above, Medium 6x12 is the name that is used. Subsequent rack types could have the names Small 4x10, Large 6x20, etc.
- Width: The number of specimen slots in a horizontal line across the rack's X-Axis.
- Length: The number of specimen slots in a vertical line across the rack's Y-Axis.
- Expire Time: The number of days specimens will remain active when stored in this rack type after which they will be marked as expired. Note: Using an Expire Time of 0 days will result in specimens expiring immediately when being added to this rack. Leaving the Expire Time text box blank will make the rack type expiration time the same as the expiration time of the container in which it is placed when this rack type is used.
- Click the Add New Rack Type button to create the new rack type as specified. The Rack Type Maintenance Screen will refresh and the new rack type will be displayed in the Active Rack Types section.
- Note: Creating a rack type with a capacity (width x length) greater than 625 specimens will force users to use Conventional Specimen Entry instead of having the choice between Conventional and Bulk Specimen Entry to lessen the likelihood of a session timeout occurring while adding specimens to a rack.
Deactivate an active rack type
- If a rack type is no longer being used, it may be deactivated so that tube.tracker users will no longer be able to work with it.
- Locate the rack type to be deactivated in the Active Rack Types section.
- Click the Deactivate button corresponding to that rack type. The rack type will be deactivated and will now be listed in the Inactive Rack Types section. Users will no longer be able to work with this rack type unless it is reactivated.
Reactivate an inactive rack type
- If a rack type was previously marked as inactive so that tube.tracker users could no longer work with it, but it once again will need to be used, it can be reactivated to allow users to work with it again.
- Locate the rack type to be reactivated in the Inactive Rack Types section.
- Click the Activate button corresponding to the rack type. The rack type will be reactivated and will now be listed in the Active Rack Types section. Users will now be able to work with this rack type once again.
Edit an existing rack type
- After a rack type has been added to tube.tracker, it's properties can still be changed.
- Locate the rack type that's properties will be changed in the Active Rack Types section.
- Click the Edit button corresponding to the rack type.
- The Rack Type Editing Screen will appear.
- Change the details of the rack type as desired. Refer to the Add a New Rack Type section for guidelines.
- Click the Update Rack Type button to save the changes or click the Cancel button to return to the Rack Type Maintenance Screen.
Special rack types
Dimensionless racks are a special type of rack in tube.tracker. An example of a dimensionless rack would be a bag. In a bag, the specimens are assigned numbers instead of X-Y coordinates as they are entered since bags do not necessarily keep the specimens they contain in place. There is, technically, no limit to how many specimens can be stored within a dimensionless rack.
To add dimensionless rack type in tube.tracker:
- Follow the directions on Adding a New Rack Type.
- For both the width and the length, enter a value of 0. This is the only time zeroes can be used when defining the size of a rack type.
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