What is A LAE Approach to Lab Automation?
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One view of a working laboratory is that it is a place where people work at different tasks to achieve a goal [test results, running experiments, evaluating data, etc.]. From the standpoint of Laboratory Automation Engineering, a laboratory is a place where processes are used to carry out peoples work and those
processes can be integrated into systems that can improve:
- a researchers ability to understand the results of an experiment and plan the next step in a
- a technician’s ability to evaluate test results and release products for shipment,
- a scientists understanding of data integrated from multiple sensors and data sources.
The key difference is that in one situation technologies are used to help people carry out individual isolated steps in an otherwise manual process, while in the other, systems are designed to off-load people from managing processes to allow them to concentrate on planning, evaluating data, and discovering new knowledge.
The LAE methodology looks at how work is being performed in a laboratory, models the processes, and then designs process-directed automation systems to enhance peoples ability to work and integrate data flows from processes to make people more effective and productive. Product choices are based on their fitness for the application, ability to support the implementation of the process model, and meet integration requirements.