Visitors to analytica 2020 can experience the laboratory of the future in a special show that is unique in the whole world: 18 partners from science and industry have joined forces to demonstrate device networking, collaborative robotics and user interaction, using the example of eight workflows from real-world applications. In the associated Forum, experts give lectures on the current state of digitization in the laboratory.
From laboratory planning through sample logistics to data management, digital technologies will revolutionize the laboratory world—experts are unanimous about that. However, the new opportunities that this change will actually open up often remain vague, even for industry experts. In the special show Digital Transformation (Hall B2), analytica will therefore demonstrate in specific terms how daily work in the laboratory will change. The special show consists of an Action Area and a Forum.
“Key topics in the laboratory of the future are going to be digitization, miniaturization and automation,” explains Dr. Felix Lenk, head of the SmartLab Systems research group at the Technical University of Dresden (read an interview with Dr. Lenk here). With his team, he is organizing and designing the Action Area dedicated to the topic of Laboratory 4.0 at analytica 2020. A total of 17 industrial partners could be enlisted, who are for the first time working together on this scale to implement lab-of-the-future workflows. They include companies such as eppendorf, Düperthal, LAUDA, Merck, Mettler Toledo, Olympus, and innovative start-ups. The laboratories presented will be created exclusively for the world’s leading trade fair.
Action Area with flexibly convertible workflows
At the center of the Action Area, in alternating demonstrations they show two complex laboratory workflows. For this purpose, the area is converted several times a day. “The laboratory of the future must be able to adapt flexibly to ever new tasks. We are demonstrating here how this can work in practice,” explains Dr. Lenk. This setup includes robot arms that support the laboratory staff in manual activities. Semi-transparent data glasses, so-called mixed-reality glasses, make information and data easily available. The networked equipment—including pipettes, dispensers, pumps, scales and centrifuges—guarantees a consistently digitalized and standardized workflow. All data converge in a digital lab journal.
Six smaller hands-on workflows are grouped around this central workflow. Visitors can actively take a hand there and try out laboratory-of-the-future processes. These workflows show, for example, networked temperature controls in bioprocesses, digitized optical analyses, and control of exothermic reactions.
To ensure flexibility of the smart laboratories, at analytica modules in honeycomb form are used, which can be newly combined again and again. In recent years, this design has proven advantageous for use in the laboratory, since it allows for particularly space-saving combinations. For analytica, the honeycomb modules are equipped with extensive engineering and fitted with interfaces that make them universally connectable. analytica visitors will thus experience what is currently the world’s most flexible laboratory-of-the-future concept.
The Action Area is complemented by the Forum Digital Transformation. In lectures and discussion rounds on all days of the fair, manufacturers, associations and institutions will give an overview of the current status and future applications of digitization in the laboratory.
Networked know-how: analytica 2022 simultaneously with automatica
“We expect that the digitization trend will continue to keep the laboratory industry busy in the coming years and will again be the focus of analytica 2022,” says analytica Exhibition Director Susanne Grödl. Visitors can then benefit from particular synergies: For due to a tight schedule on the Munich exhibition grounds, analytica 2022 will take place at the same time as automatica, the world’s leading trade fair for intelligent automation and robotics. As the leading event for the automation and robotics industry, automatica will occupy seven halls with over 900 exhibitors and welcome more than 45,000 visitors. Date for both events: June 21–24, 2022.