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SiriusSlate® FAQ

What is SiriusSlate® PDA?

In short, SiriusSlate® PDA is designed to drive MTAC/Bohdan workstations with an unique software architecture allowing post-purchase automation sequence alteration and creation. With a vast set of building blocks in the tool kit, SiriusSlate® PDA can be programmed to handle complex weighing, liquid handling, bar code reading & labeling and much much more. Users have endless possibility within SiriusSlate® PDA.

Where can I get a demo of the software?

Please contact to arrange a free online webinar where our product specialist will conduct an interactive session to demonstrate the software application.

Is it easy to install and run?

With a few clicks, the software will be fully installed on your PC. If you have I/O control information of the workstation, you are fully empowered to build everything from the ground up. Or, Sirius Automation can pre-build the basic modules for you which can be refined later to fit your needs. On-site installation is also available.

Do you offer on-site training?

Yes! Our product specialists can come to your lab and help you get up to speed quickly with our structured learning process.

Can we build methods offline with this software?

Absolutely! SiriusSlate® PDA is designed with intelligence to detect the presence of the robot. If the hardware is not found, the software automatically runs in an offline mode through which you can still work on building your favorite methods! The offline-built methods can be easily imported into the copy driving the actual robot.

What do you mean by 'the software actually learns ..'?

Ok, without any user interactions, SiriusSlate® PDA is simply a blank sheet of paper. The user has the responsibility of knowledge infusion by informing hardware configurations (ports, balance settings, syringe parameters, etc), designing automation sequences, configuring reports, and much more. By leveraging SAI’s proprietary software design patterns, the software empowers the user to continuously refine the building blocks which will contribute to the stability and performance of the final executable methods/processes. Essentially, the more you use it, the better it becomes! Oh, yes, each SiriusSlate PDA will have its unique personality over time!

Can the database be shared by multiple SiriusSlate® PDAs?

Yes! SiriusSlate® PDA is designed to optimize the operation workflow and one of the key features is database sharing. This feature optimizes the data coordination among the workstations and eliminates the risks of data mishandling.

Does it have tiered security entitlement?

Yes, SiriusSlate® PDA offers four security entitlement levels – Admin, Super User, Advanced, and Regular. Each level is entitled to access a different set of application components. For example, “Regular” user can only start the run without permission to modify parameters or methods while “Admin” user has access to everything. Admin assigns entitlement expirations, and records reasons and notes behind changes.


Usage Tips

How to access Process Architect?

You may access Process Architect either by clicking on the toolbar button or by editing an existing process listed in the Job Viewer (assuming appropriate security entitlement level).

How to build a reusable module?
  • Go to Process Architect
  • Click on the button “New” located on the right-hand side of the screen. Choose type “Module” and give it a name.

  • Choose type “Module” and in this example, “My Test Module” is typed in as the name of the module.
  • Description can be anything and it can also be viewed in a tooltip displayed when you put your mouse cursor over the this module in the Resource Pool after it’s built.
  • Run Time Display (as the name suggested) will be seen when this module is executed during a run.
  • Check the box “Used in Utility” if you need to access this module in the “Utilities” screen or in the Teach.
  • Check the box “Invoked during Workstation Initialization” if you want to run this module upon the start of the software.
  • Click “OK” on the dialog and you will enter into the edit mode for this module.
  • Drag and drop the items from the Resource Pool over to the Content view. During the drag and drop, certain parameters will need to be entered depending on the nature of the item. In this example, we constructed the module with 2 native functions – Message and Digital Output.

  • Click “Save” to save the module for future use.
How to build an executable process?
  • Go to Process Architect
  • Click on button “New” located on the right hand side of the screen. The following screen will be displayed.

  • Choose type “Process” and in this example, let’s build a weighing process.
  • We use a combinations of previously built modules (RackToBalance and BalanceToRack) and native functions to construct this process.

  • What this process does is that the robot transfers a sample to the balance, weighs it and then transports it back to the rack.
  • If you don’t like what the module (for example) “RackToBalance” delivers, you may modify it to suite your needs (see how to do it in the next tip).
  • Select an icon to represent this process (since it will be listed in the Job Manager along with other processes!). Click button “Pick Icon” and the following screen will appear.

  • After an icon is chosen, don’t forget to configure the report! Click “Report Config” button to enter the screen below.

  • In the report configuration, pick and choose the items you’d like to display in the report and you may arrange different order and rename the columns any which way you prefer!
  • After the report is configured, click on “Save” to save the process.
  • Done. And now the process is visible in the Job Manager ready to serve you!

How can I modify an existing module?
  • Go to Process Architect
  • Find the module you’d like to modify in the Resource Pool
  • Either double-click on the module or highlight the module and click on “Edit” button at the top of the Resource Pool.
  • Now you have entered into the edit mode for this module. The content of the module is shown in the Content view.

  • To add steps, simply drag and drop new items from the Resource Pool to the Content view.
  • To remove a step, highlight the step in the Content view and click on the “left arrow” in the middle of the screen.
  • To modify a step, (NOTE: only native functions can be modified here. If the step is a module, you need to open that module and edit it), double-click on the native function and the content of which will be displayed for you to edit.

  • Here we changed the Output# from 4 to 7.
  • After all the modifications are done, click on the “Save” button in the Process Architect to save the changes.
    NOTE: All other modules/methods/processes that reference this module will be automatically updated.
How to continue a run?
  • Click on “View Executed Jobs”

  • Find the job that needs to be continued. The End Time for that job will be blank as shown in the picture below. Then click on “Continue”.

  • Log in.

  • You will be prompted with the next vial to run.

How to copy data reports automatically to a network folder?
  • Click on this button

  • Click on “Advanced”

  • Set the folder to copy the report to under “File Management”.

  • Restart the software
How to connect to a remote Sirius database?
  • Find out the host name of the PC running the database.
  • Open SiriusConfig.ini at c:\SiriusAutomation\SiriusSlate® PDA\backing store on the PC which has the new installation, and change “localhost” (scroll all the way down in the file) to the host name.

How to change the data report file extension?

To change the data report file extension, follow these steps:

  1. 2.
    3. After completing these steps, restart the software.


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