RE: [Histonet] Excelsior processor in Biotech/Pharma facilities

From:"Weber, Susan (VHACLE)"

Hello Tracy!
Although I am not a current user of the Excelsior, I used the earlier
generation machine for quite some time and was responsible for the
purchase of it. I found that for a low volume lab/small staff lab, the
Excelsior was a wonderful product especially when utilizing the rotation
system properly. When you get past the concept of seeing the reagent
bottles and rely on the processor to "do it's own thing" ie; rotation by
alcohol quality etc. It is a great machine. You must ALWAYS! ALWAYS!
remove the used, old , crummy reagents when it rotates...if not it is a
Disaster!!! I felt it was a reliable machine and my co-worker and I
really liked it (I do not know the difference between the "old vs new
software". I also liked the NetMon feature of the equipment and was a
beta testing site for home monitoring. (My PC died and they found out
that the software they were using was not Mac friendly! Most software,
games, programs, etc. aren't PC and Mac anyway!) In a high
volume/multi-user environment, it seemed that some techs had a hard time
with the rotation management of the Excelsior. I also use the VIP and as
usual, it is a reliable workhorse. I really felt that the Excelsior
saved money, and reagent use and most definitely tech time. 

Susan M Weber HT(ASCP)
Histology Supervisor
Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
10701 East Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
(216) 791-3800 X6154

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Tracy
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:26 AM
Subject: [Histonet] Excelsior processor in Biotech/Pharma facilities

Hi folks,

        We are looking into getting a new processor in our lab.  We are 
trying to decide between the VIP and the Excelsior.  Several of us are 
most familiar with the VIP, and like the ease of use and # of cassettes
holds, the rest of our group though familiar with the VIP like the idea
conserving reagents by using the Excelsior. 

That said
I am looking for information from the biotech/Pharma community on the 
Is there anyone out there using this processor outside the clinical lab?
Does it work well on rodent tissue?
What about hard tissues?
Paws (mouse and rat)

My next question is for people familiar with the earlier models of the 
Excelsior as well as the newest model. (clinical or research)
I find the software for the older model very cumbersome and not user 
Is the software on the newer machines any easier to use for the average 
Is it as easy as using the VIP, or Pathcenter? - follow the prompts sort

of thing.
I would appreciate any input folks have.

Tracy E. Bergeron, B.S., HT, HTL (ASCP)
Associate Scientist III, Pathology
Comparative Pathology Laboratory
Biogen Idec
14 Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
Direct:  617-914-1115
Fax:  617-679-3208
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