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Simulation as a Tool for Optimising Automated Laboratory Equipment and Process Control

: Schüle, A.; Kumar, A.P.; Besler, A.

Association for Laboratory Automation:
EuroLab Automation '99. Second Annual Conference and Exhibition. Final Conference Programme and Abstract Book
Oxford, UK, 1999
EuroLabAutomation <2, 1999, London>
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Automatisierung; Laboratorium; Laborautomatisierung; Laborgerät; Prozeßsteuerung; simulation

Volltext: In the near future complex automated laboratory equipment, which combines various individual systems, will be needed for processing large numbers of samples. In analytical laboratories maximum equipment utilisation and a quick and due processing of various numbers of samples is important. The fact that number and kind of samples over the day cannot easily be estimated in advance, makes high demands on the controlling of the sample flow. This makes a dynamic adaptability of the sample flow necessary. Here simulation is a tool for modelling and examining various laboratory automation configurations with regard to flexibility and optimised sample flow as well as for checking various approaches for optimisation and maximisation of equipment specific throughput and finally the laboratory output. The use of simulatio n technology provides a high planning reliability and helps to avoid planning mistakes in an early stage. The talk will give insight into the structure and the use of simulation. Based on a real-life laboratory process the assembly of a model, the use and the possible results of simulation will be shown. Herein an optimal material flow- and throughput and an optimal equipment layout will be ascertained. The performance of the system in operation will be visualised and analysed. A system, being in its development stage, is represented realistically in a detailed simulation model. Thus, bottlenecks of material flow are localised easily and the equipment selection and dimensioning can be reviewed. With selective simulative examination of different optimisation approaches the clinical laboratory can be provided with important data for economical- and investment decisions. It also provides the basis for testing the different information technology landscapes.