analytica 2024: a guide to Laboratory 4.0

Greater efficiency through laboratory robots and artificial intelligence

18-Jan-2024
© Messe München GmbH

At the Digital Transformation special show at analytica, visitors can experience the networked laboratory of the future live.

A milestone on the path to Laboratory 4.0 has been reached in time for analytica 2024. With the laboratory & Analytical Device Standard, LADS for short, a communication standard is now available that connects software systems and analytical and laboratory equipment from different providers.“ The digital transformation of the laboratory world is progressing inexorably. Vendor-independent equipment communication will now significantly speed up this development,” says Susanne Grödl, Deputy Exhibition Director analytica at Messe München. “With analytica, we invite you to take a look into the networked laboratory of the future.”

The analytica special show Digital Transformation in Hall B2, for example, shows how fully automated laboratory processes from sample preparation to analysis and evaluation can be achieved thanks to seamless equipment communication. All the details about LADS will also be available at the stand of the industry association SPECTARIS, which played a key role in driving the development of the plug-and-play communication standard.

Digitalization relieves the workload for laboratory staff

One of the highlights of the analytica special show Digital Transformation is the autonomous laboratory robot Kevin, which especially takes over routine tasks from laboratory staff. Kevin can, for example, transport samples and supply systems with reagents, pipette tips, and many other items. The mobile helper was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) and is now being prepared for series production by the United Robotics Group. Both Fraunhofer IPA and the United Robotics Group will be exhibiting at analytica.

Visitors to the special show will also experience the benefits of digital warehousing, including online inventory management, and automatic label printing. All that not only increases efficiency in the laboratory, but also occupational safety, since incorrectly or inadequately labeled reagents and improperly stored hazardous substances thus finally become a thing of the past. There are many more digitalized and automated applications to discover at the stands of the about 1,000 exhibitors and in the analytica forum presentations.

“Laboratory digitalization is not about replacing individual equipment, software updates, or new programs, but about a fundamental change,” as Susanne Grödl points out. “This is a huge challenge that is all the easier to master the closer equipment manufacturers, software developers and users cooperate, and the better the transfer from research into practice succeeds.” analytica offers the ideal platform for all players to exchange ideas. The special show Digital Transformation, for example, is being organized by analytica together with a dozen exhibitors, including the equipment and software providers Gerstel, Integris LIMS and Mettler-Toledo, the industry association SPECTARIS, and laboratory equipment suppliers such as Düperthal Sicherheitstechnik and SmartLab Solutions.

Artificial intelligence as a driver

The fact that artificial intelligence is increasingly finding its way into the laboratory world is particularly evident at the analytica conference, the scientific highlight of analytica. Medical diagnostics is leading the way, using artificial intelligence in tumor diagnostics, for example. The conference session “Applications of AI Algorithms in Laboratory Medicine” on the afternoon of April 10 will focus on that topic. Artificial intelligence can be used not only in medicine, but also generally in imaging and spectroscopy, as the closing lecture of the all-day symposium “A Dream Comes True: Fantastic News from Analytical Chemistry” on April 9 will show. Several series of lectures at the analytica conference will also focus on managing research data. In view of the ever-increasing flood of data, especially in life sciences, digital solutions that go far beyond Excel spreadsheets are urgently needed.

“The combination of trade fair, practice-oriented supporting program and scientific conference offers plenty of inspiration for the digital transformation of the laboratory world,” as analytica Exhibition Director Armin Wittmann sums up. “analytica in Munich is therefore the ideal guide to Laboratory 4.0 and, as the flagship of the international trade fair network, sets standards in laboratory digitalization. It thus provides the global laboratory community with the right know-how to make well-founded investment decisions for a successful future.”

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