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Last updated: January 15, 2021

pathology blood slide storage vertical carouselIf you're thinking about modernizing, retrofitting, or building new storage areas for blood slide storage, vertical carousels are the way to go. 

Mandates require hospitals and medical laboratories to implement tissue block and pathology slide storage for a specific timeframe. While the retention timeframe can vary depending on the specimen, this storage can last for up to 10 years.

Medical professionals face a set of challenges when storing slides for this length of time. Those challenges include confidentiality, retrieval, storage space, tracking, and weight limitations. Using a vertical carousel helps those in the medical field meet these challenges. A microscope slide storage system can be designed for active laboratories to put slides right at the operator's fingertips.

Read about how to eliminate misfiles and automate the filing of glass slides.

Understanding the Vertical Carousel for Blood Slide Storage

Hospitals and laboratories can save up to 75% of their floor space when using a vertical rotating carousel for blood slide storage. In addition to increasing pathology lab storage density, this microscope slide storage system also easily supports the slide and tissue blocks' weight.

Storage on a carousel includes using standard trays and placing them within the unit on carriers. There's no need for staff to walk and search for slides. Instead, this system automatically rotates according to the operator's input until the slide tray they need stops directly in front of them. In doing so, these automated retrieval and storage systems save operators a considerable amount of time searching. 

A vertical carousel's design is ideal for storing:

  • Blood bags
  • Bottles and vials
  • General medical and laboratory supplies
  • Microscope slides
  • Microtiter plates
  • Paraffin blocks & cassettes
  • Petri dishes
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Record cards
  • Test tube racks
  • Water bath racks

BIM Pathology Blood Slide Storage Vertical Carousels                  revit bim models




Wt Fully Loaded

Avg Access Time





Note: All units are 71.26" wide by 36.4" deep

SSG-115-1310N 86.6 2,469 lbs. 6,343 lbs. 4.6 13 286 274,560 pathology blood slide vertical carousel
SSG-115-1410N 88.6 2,580 lbs. 6,752 lbs. 5 14 308 295,680
SSG-115-1510N 94.5 2,716 lbs. 7,186 lbs. 5.4 15 330 316,800
SSG-115-1610N 98.4 2,841 lbs. 7,609 lbs. 5.7 16 352 337,920
SSG-115-1710N 104.3 2,978 lbs. 8,044 lbs. 6.1 17 374 359,040
SSG-115-1810N 108.3 3,099 lbs. 8,463 lbs. 6.4 18 396 380,160
SSG-115-1910N 114.2 3,236 lbs. 8,898 lbs. 6.8 19 418 401,280
SSG-115-2110N 118.1 3,359 lbs. 9,319 lbs. 7.1 20 440 422,400
SSG-115-2110N 124 3,498 lbs. 9,756 lbs. 7.5 21 462 443,520
SSG-115-2210N 128 3,635 lbs. 10,191 lbs. 7.9 22 484 464,640

Why Facilities Should Use Vertical Carousels

Those who work in the hospital or medical settings understand the challenges of storing glass slides. Even though the slides are small, their weight quickly adds up when stored in a box. That makes them difficult to handle and, due to their weight, they could damage the shelves where they're stored. These boxes also take up a considerable amount of space.

There's no value in unused space. The vertical carousels put that space to use and keep inventory organized and easily accessible.

When medical facilities harness vertical carousels' benefits for blood storage, that means inventory control and quick access are part of the operator's everyday routine. Here are some additional reasons why medical facilities should incorporate a carousel storage solution:


storing microscope slides automatic vertical carousel vsrThe design of each carousel system ensures the inventory is in a sterile environment. Because all items receive protection, there's less risk of cross-contamination within the microscope slide storage system.

Inventory control

 Using a storage carousel is an optimal way of managing supplies. In doing so, facilities can reduce overstocking, eliminate shortages, remove expired items, reduce cataloging errors, and take inventory with better accuracy results.


Hospital leadership wants to make sure they can reduce or eliminate workplace injuries. Because a carousel features excellent ergonomics, there's no longer the need for operators to climb, lean, or stretch when accessing hard-to-reach items.

Managing a microscope slide storage system means facilities are keeping histology lab specimens. In addition to needing them in hospital departments, physicians' offices also depend on retrieving diagnostic or surgical tissue specimens. Histology technicians process and mount the tissue onto microscope slides, which is then used during the diagnostic process.

Therefore, these microscope slides must be kept long-term and in an accessible place for testing. Previously, histology lab slides were kept in a filing cabinet or boxes. However, this method caused damage and other issues with retrieving the slides. It doesn't matter if facilities need long or short-term storage; a carousel can help prevent damage while creating easier access.

How Vertical Storage Improves Efficiency

pathology lab blood slide storage systemImproving storage efficiency in a medical facility is a priority, especially when handling large quantities of pathology lab storage. Notable features of vertical storage carousels are that it's possible to design them with temperature controls. That way, IV bags, medications, and sterile core supplies have the refrigeration they need.

For example, medical facilities can tie their carousel into the pharmacy fulfillment and supply chain management software tools they're using. That way, the speed in which they retrieve medical products and prescriptions increases.

Glass slide and paraffin block storage also take up a considerable amount of space, which isn't always easily accessible. Using a storage carousel solves both of those problems. 

Benefits and Features of Vertical Carousels

Professionals face many challenges regarding keeping track of storage in today's business environment. Due to the variety of moving pieces, it isn't easy to know what's in an inventory and its location. That's where the benefit of using a vertical carousel comes into play. Not only is the blood storage and tissue block easily accessible, but they're also secure and efficient.

Additional benefits include:

  • Save up to 75% of the facility's floor space
  • Accessibility is 100% ergonomic
  • Improvement to blood slide storage security
  • Productivity increases when search time reduces
  • There's less risk of damage due to slide mishandling

These automated storage systems feature slide storage trays that place directly onto carriers. Then, as soon an operator requests one, the system automatically rotates until the slide they need is at an ergonomic height. There's no longer the need for staff to bend down to lift heavy trays of specimens. Instead, the carrier tray slides out of the storage system and allows them to carry it quickly to a work counter.

Additional features include:

  • Controlled access: With their two-part locking system on their security doors, the storage items inside automated storage carousels are inaccessible to unauthorized users.
  • Ease of use: Thanks to its push-button control system or computer-integration, users receive items automatically at their workstations.
  • Ergonomics: Each carousel features a workstation at waist-height that users can adjust for sitting and standing. These adjustments meet ADA requirements. The workstation's overhead lighting also increases visibility.
  • Flexible design: Professionals can choose a carousel featuring eight or up to 31 carriers. That way, it's possible to find a microscope storage system to accommodate each department within the facility.
  • High capacity: Each shelf level of the carousel features up to nine and a half linear square feet, increasing the facility's storage capacity compared to traditional storage methods.

Technical Specifications and Design

As e-commerce continues to proliferate, so are the needs for better-designed material handling systems. Typically, companies use in-house engineering teams. Architects and designers provide innovative storage solutions to athletes, colleges, hospitals, law enforcement officials, libraries, military professionals, and more.

General Technical specifications

  • Up to 11' wide rotating shelves
  • Up to 33' high storage machine
  • Optional pick-to-light technology
  • Optional inventory management software

Waste-Reduction Storage Solutions

It isn't uncommon to see offices, be it a government or medical professional, to have unused overhead space. Implementation of a vertical carousel means a reduction or elimination of that wasted space. The technical specifications for each of these systems vary by height, weight, storage capacity, and more. Here are some examples:

Model: SSG-115-1310Nblood slide tissue block pathology lab automated storage

  • Height: 86.6
  • Weight: 2,469 lbs.
  • Weight Fully Loaded: 6,343 lbs.
  • Average Access Time: 4.6
  • Carriers: 13
  • Trays: 286
  • Slide storage capacity: 274,560

Model: SSG-115-1410N

  • Height: 88.6
  • Weight: 2,580 lbs.
  • Weight Fully Loaded: 6,752 lbs.
  • Average Access Time: 5
  • Carriers: 14
  • Trays: 308
  • Slide storage capacity: 295,680

With expert designers on-staff, it's possible to experience integration with existing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software and robotics. Implementing vertical storage solutions into a business involves several architectural and design phases.

Architectural and Design Phases

  1. Site evaluation and spec creation
  2. CAD drawings/Revit Models
  3. Presentation of plans
  4. Project integration with existing systems
  5. Installation

Vertical Storage Solutions for Blood Slide Storage

Southwest Solutions Group® is an innovative leader in designing and installing blood slide storage systems. Reach out today to one of our designers by phone or email. They'll help you decide which of the automated vertical carousel is best for your pathology lab storage. For more information, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message.


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