Automating everyday lab tasks can free up your lab workers 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 Automation and Robotics:
- Would a standalone robot or an automated workstation be more suitable for
- your application?
- How much space do you have for equipment?
- Is the workflow completely automated or will staff need to intervene at some point?
- What is the cost-to-benefit ratio of the needed equipment?
- What software comes with the instrument and how user-friendly is it?
- 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 the new instrumentation.)
The Big Picture
Whether to automate your lab can be a very important decision you make as a lab manager. The choice can be as simple as choosing the automated version of a benchtop instrument or as complicated as adding an entire automated system. Lab Manager’s Automation Big Picture series will guide you through the process. LabManager.com/PRG-2022-automation-benefits
Automation technology is playing a role in the evolution of bioprocessing. In the next few years, single-use bioprocessing will be more automated and common, with closed systems supporting continuous manufacturing for upstream and downstream activities. Currently, fully automated systems can deliver flowrates and pressure rates to process a 2,000 L bioreactor. These systems will also have Raman spectroscopy technology added in-line to provide real-time Raman analysis. With the appropriate software, these systems can be connected and controlled while analyzing process data in-person or remotely.