It’s hard to imagine a single person screening 100,000 compounds a day on a routine basis. Pipetting thousands of samples by hand not only sounds awful but would most likely end up in sloppy results along with really bad tendonitis. Luckily, today this and many other large and repetitive tasks can be completed thanks to automated robots.
Lab automation tools not only make it easier to do big experiments faster but at the same time, it increases experimental reproducibility and data quality in a cost-effective manner. If you’re wondering whether you should incorporate automation in your lab, here are 3 signs that maybe it’s time to take the leap.
1. There are repetitive tasks in your lab that are a bottleneck to productivity
Bottleneck processes are the prime candidates for automation. Since their throughput determines the efficiency of your production workflow, that’s where incorporating automation can have the most impact. Whether your bottleneck step revolves around sample preparation, screening or even barcode reading, automating it will increase productivity.
2. Your results are not reproducible
If your lab is unable to get consistent and reproducible results, then you might need to incorporate automation. By reducing the human to human variances and errors, you’ll be able to increase the reproducibility of your data, especially if you deal with large sample numbers.
3. Your overall experimental/production cost is too high
Using automation can decrease your waste and increase savings in several ways including giving time back to researchers to spend their time on more important tasks, reducing reagent volumes, and enabling the use of limited shelf-life reagents by increasing the throughput. These are huge benefits, not only for drug developers but also for service industries such as next-generation sequencing and synthetic biology which focus on minimizing unit costs.
Automation is changing the way science is being done by increasing research productivity and enabling the development of robust and reliable workflows. So, are you ready to take the leap?