Laboratories are constantly adopting new technology whether it be new equipment or software. One of the most impactful solutions in recent decades is in laboratory automation systems. Automation utilizes software that automates equipment and robots to operate with minimal human supervision, which in turn improves efficiency and the quality of results.As more laboratories are integrating automated systems into their environments, researchers are also able to perform more tests and achieve results with less time and resources. Read on to learn about five of the benefits of laboratory automation and why this technology is here to stay.
1. Reduced Error
One of the top benefits of laboratory automation is error reduction. As human error is a significant risk in any lab setting, automating key tasks such as pipetting precise quantities of sample and recording data ensures the collection of consistent, error-free results. Automation robots can assist with this, too, as they are programmed with a workflow that is meant to reduce inconsistencies in all steps of a process.
2. Increased Productivity
Labwork processes involve repetitive motions and protocols which can be mundane and decrease the productivity of lab staff. By using automation robots to execute these repetitive tasks, scientists can focus their resources and time on writing papers and ideating for new projects or products. Staff can even program instruments to perform tasks while they are away, allowing them to attend meetings, consult with colleagues, and work on higher-level priorities without halting work in the lab.
Automated laboratory robots can complete tasks ranging from sample labeling to microplate handling, while laboratory scheduling software can automatically schedule lab resources and calculate workforce capacity for the short- to long-term. By using software and robots together, the increased productivity lab staff can achieve is definitely a major benefit of laboratory automation.
3. Cost and Space Savings
Another benefit of laboratory automation is cost reduction. Besides reducing costs through increased productivity, automated robots can reduce waste as they are more accurate and efficient in using reagents.
Furthermore, current lab scheduling software and automation robots are able to provide numerous functions typically without taking up much physical space and using the available space effectively. While lab automation has been costly in the past, it’s become more affordable now. This makes automation systems a viable investment even for smaller labs.
4. Safer Working Conditions
Laboratories have strict protocols to protect the staff, equipment, and test samples from mishaps. However, accidents still happen for several reasons.
By using the safety features in lab automation software, accidents can be prevented. For instance, safety limits can be set that will trigger a warning alarm if they’re exceeded and even program the software to stop the test or experiment automatically.
Unlike humans, automated equipment is precise and doesn’t get tired; they don’t make errors or cause accidents. Safety is one of the most important benefits of laboratory automation.
5. Customizable Laboratory Automation
Laboratory automation software is widely customizable to suit a lab’s requirements. Labs can select the modules according to their needs and even change them in the future as requirements evolve. Since new updates are continually made available, labs can ensure that systems are secure and function with the latest features.
As you can see, there are numerous clear benefits of laboratory automation. Coupled with the decreasing cost of adoption, most labs, even small ones, can take advantage of automated systems to increase productivity and advance their research. Plus, with new advancements constantly being developed for automated systems, they will soon be a regular fixture in all labs worldwide.
For more information about laboratory automation and products, contact Hudson Robotics today.