Sensors and Grippers and Trays - Oh My


What is going on in the cosmos? We seem to be receiving a lot of calls and emails regarding the ABI 3730 autosampler.  A very common error reported is: “Autosampler Detect a Non-assigned tray”.  

This can be an especially tricky issue to deal with since the autosampler relies on many moving parts. To walk you through this problem and get your machine back up and running, we’ve compiled a few tips we’ve learned from dealing with these machines in the field.

Most of the time when we see this specific issue, we can chalk it up to to a sensor on the autosampler. There are three sensors on the ABI 3730 autosampler gripper, and if just one isn’t working you’ll continue to get the same error. We do recommend that all three of the sensors are replaced at the same time to get the most life out of each sensor. These sensors are relatively inexpensive, and a set of three will run you about $500 including shipping.

The process of replacing the sensors is fairly simple. For all of you DIY fans, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide that will take you through installing your brand-new sensors.

Sometimes however, the problem does not lie with the sensors. If you’ve installed all of the sensors and you are still receiving the same error, this could mean that the wires inside of the gripper have reached their “end of life” and it may be time to replace the gripper.  Check to see if the autosampler ground wire is still attached.


If you notice that it is still connected and you are still getting error messages, the gripper will need to be changed.  This will require a visit from your SeqGen engineer.  If you are under service contract, no problem – no charge. If you are not currently under contract, we would be happy to provide a quotation for the part and visit.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always solve the problem. If you’ve installed new sensors and a new gripper, yet you still get the same error message, it means that the entire autosampler will need to be replaced. This is a pretty costly piece to replace if you are not under contract, so you’ll want to make sure to exhaust all of your options before resigning yourself to this step. 

Hopefully you’ll just have to pop in a few new sensors and your machine will be back in working order. If the problem turns out to be a little more complicated, don’t worry yet. SeqGen can still replace the parts you need for about 20-30% below manufacturer cost. As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.


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Written by Susan Henry

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