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Purchasing Guide: Lab Automation and Robotics

Automating everyday lab tasks can free up your lab employees for other, more complex undertakings while improving data quality and reproducibility

by Lab Manager
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Automating everyday lab tasks can free up your lab employees for other, more complex undertakings while improving data quality and reproducibility. From single-function instruments to complete workstations, automation and robotics can perform many different functions in your lab. When purchasing these instruments, make sure to consider your future plans and whether the platform can be expanded to meet those needs. For a list of automation and robotics manufacturers, see our online directory: LabManager.com/auto-robotics-manufacturers

6 Questions to Ask When Buying Automated Lab Equipment:

  1. Would a standalone robot or an automated workstation be more suitable for your application?
  2. How much space do you have for equipment?
  3. When will staff need to intervene in the automated workflow? 
  4. What is the cost-to-benefit ratio of the automated equipment?
  5. What software comes with the instrument and how user-friendly is it?
  6. How will you implement the equipment in your lab? (Consider not only the physical installation, but how you’ll notify your staff of the changes and train them on how to use the new instrument.)

Considering an Autosampler?

While autosamplers can enhance lab productivity, they often come at a heavy price tag. Hence, it is important to consider whether there is scale and experimental needs to support the purchase decision. Autosamplers are typically used in high-throughput labs handling thousands of samples per day with low sample variance, such as in diagnostics labs, to boost efficiency and minimize human error. Is your lab’s sample throughput high enough to justify an autosampler?

A Three-Step Approach to Successful Lab Automation

Introducing automation to your lab is no small task. It requires consideration and communication at every step. This article breaks down the process into three steps—evaluation, implementation, and resolution—and shares critical factors that must be addressed in each step. To access this roadmap to successful lab automation, visit LabManager.com/three-step-automation