By Paul Kendall
Analytical laboratories have to provide sound results in a short time. Speed and reproducibility play a significant role here. Modern automation technology saves time, increases quality and reduces costs for the transport and distribution of samples. Ready-to-install subsystems from Festo are opening up new possibilities for efficient processes in laboratory automation.
It takes very little time to give a blood sample at a doctor’s surgery. However, the many different steps required in a laboratory in order to reach an accurate diagnosis demand a great deal of time and concentration on the part of the laboratory employees. When blood is taken, for example, the first thing is to be done is capture the individual data, such as the patient’s name or the analyses to be carried out, which are then encoded in a barcode on the sample vial. Once the samples reach the laboratory performing the analysis and the data have been retrieved, the next step is centrifugation, where high-speed rotation is used to separate the blood into solid and liquid components. Only then can the laboratory check the sample for specific antibodies or viruses.