From bulb pipetting to handheld pipettes to electronic pipettors, laboratories worldwide are modernizing through the addition of complex machinery and robotic assistance. This growing trend has helped scientists increase their productivity and overall laboratory throughput. Many of these instruments are self-sustaining and require little human support. Where many might think a human technician is responsible for overseeing all of these laboratory automation products, laboratory scheduling software
can instead be used to coordinate the productivity of these instruments fully.
How Does Automation Help the Lab?
Laboratory automation products provide numerous benefits to the lab environment. These benefits include reducing the time it takes to perform repetitive tasks, thus increasing the scientist’s available time to complete more demanding tasks. Furthermore, these products reduce human error while increasing the reproducibility of results.
Another benefit to using automation is the ability to collect data remotely. While this capability allows scientists to multitask other products in the lab as previously mentioned, remote data collection can be greatly beneficial for overnight and long-term experiments where the scientist cannot always be present.
While scientists may need to leave the lab for time, the automated products can continue to collect data given they have the proper set-ups to function. Where a human technician can oversee this role, laboratory scheduling software makes it easy to coordinate these robotic functions.
Laboratory Scheduling Software for High Lab Throughput
Laboratory scheduling software can range in capability and levels of automation oversight, while others can oversee hundreds of instruments at a time. When scheduling hardware to work in sync with each other for an experiment, it is important that all the instruments are connected to the same software and can be scheduled as needed. Look for software that makes this easier by offering an intuitive interface displaying flow-charts and manageable protocols, allowing for easy and flexible customization.
In addition to fluently automating single experiments, these electronic technicians use high throughput software to help oversee time differences between machineries and overlapping experiments. This allows for optimized multitasking, increasing work throughput and overall efficiency.
Potential Downsides with Laboratory Scheduling Software
With all the benefits of supporting laboratory scheduling software for improving efficient coordination of laboratory automated products, a few potential downsides must be considered.
For instance, few software programs can coordinate many instruments across different manufacturers on the same program, where some software may be limited to instruments from a single supplier. As a result, this limits the maximum potential efficiency in the lab. This is especially evident for labs that are unable to source all their instruments from the same supplier.
Furthermore, scheduling software for complete lab automation is a relatively new field, where some lab instrument interface software may not yet be easily customizable or user-friendly. The goal of laboratory scheduling software is to be simple and easy to use, where complicated programming can hinder fast progress.
These downsides can be overcome by understanding the needs of your lab and doing thorough research to understand how different products can of use to you.
Using Laboratory Scheduling Software for Your Lab
Hudson Robotics has been the leading supplier for laboratory automation products for almost 40 years. By using Hudson software, such as the SoftLinx Lab Automation Software, scientists can be assured that over 200 instruments from various manufacturers are fully supported.
Simple directions allow technicians to maintain instruments and replace consumables, such as tip boxes and reservoirs, as needed. Similar to the SOLOsoft software used for electronic pipettes, SoftLinx has a simple interface that is flexible, customizable, and easy to understand.
Laboratory scheduling software from Hudson Robotics can help coordinate your lab by overseeing pipetting, testing pH, picking microbial colonies, performing molecular extractions and ELISAs, and more.