Everyone is talking about digitalizing society and industry. Doing so will also have an enormous influence on the laboratory. analytica, which takes place in Munich from May 10–13, 2016, will examine the challenges facing manufacturers and users and what solutions are already available for the intelligent laboratory.
In the future, the increased complexity of laboratory processes will call for the use of integrated automation and digitalization solutions. The objective is to transform manual processes into automated ones and to integrate them into laboratory information management systems (LIMS). Particularly when it comes to growth-oriented industrial laboratories, it is important to improve efficiency, optimize structures and increase flexibility. Essential prerequisites and factors of success for reaching those objectives include state-of-the-art, high-resolution, communication-capable analysis systems, functional automation solutions to monitor reaction parameters and product quality and ensure rapid data availability, and efficient data management.
Concrete system solutions for smart labs
At this year's analytica, experts will present corresponding tools as well as software and networking solutions in theory and in practice. “This year we will look to the future and focus on the latest solutions for the intelligent laboratory,” says Susanne Grödl, Exhibition Director of analytica. “analytica's visitors can gather the latest future-oriented information on everything from robotics and laboratory automation to handling Big Data.” Among other things, LAUDA will present thermostats and circulation chillers with various interfaces. For the first time ever, its exhibits will include optimized thermostats for bath applications and circulation thermostats for external applications in which the operating unit is completely independent of the thermostat and can be placed wherever it is needed. A new joint initiative is also exploring promising new possibilities: nexygen®—THE NEXT GENERATION LAB—is a coalition of the German companies Köttermann, Memmert, Hirschmann, 2mag and Sartorius, which are exhibiting together at analytica to show what they have to offer the laboratory of the future. The employees of the equipment manufacturers and service providers have joined forces to develop products with optimum customer utility. They include innovations that increase useable space in the laboratory and surfaces that perform tasks such as stirring, heating, cooling and weighing.
The objective: Networking laboratory processes
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA is also working on using LEAN management to optimize laboratory processes. The team of researchers who work with Andreas Traube, Head of the Department of Laboratory Automation and Biomanufacturing Engineering at Fraunhofer IPA, has developed new approaches for networking laboratory and analysis processes in the value chain covering everything from sample logistics to documentation that will be presented at analytica. By successfully implementing their objectives, the team of researchers did an exemplary job of bridging the gap between the life sciences and automation technology. “We live in an age of increasingly personalized products. As a result, laboratories that are used to research and test products in various branches of industry are becoming a key factor in the product development process,” predicts Traube. “Networking key laboratory elements such as laboratory processes, data analysis, equipment and operating personnel are essential elements for an efficient smart laboratory. The technological foundation for this is already available. These technologies will have an enormous influence on and change laboratories in the years to come!”