search.noResults

search.searching

note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
Data: Instrumentation


Tis chapter will consider the different classes of instruments and computerised instrument systems to be found in laboratories and the role they play in computerised experiments and sample processing – and the steady progress towards all-electronic laboratories. However, the choice of best-of-breed laboratory instruments and instrument systems can present challenges when it comes to getting everything to work together in a seamless way. Te final part of this chapter will look at the issue of standard data interchange formats, the extent of the challenge, and some of the initiatives to address them.


Simple laboratory instruments


Devices such as analytical balances and pH meters use low-level processing to carry out basic functions that make them easier to work with. Te tare function on a balance avoids a subtraction step and makes it much easier to weigh out a specific quantity of material. Connecting them to an electronic lab


notebook (ELN), a laboratory information management system (LIMS), a lab execution system (LES), or a robot, adds computer- controlled sensing capability that can significantly off-load manual work. Accessing that balance through an ELN or LES


permits direct insertion of the measurement into the database and avoids the risk of transcription errors. In addition, the informatics soſtware can catch errors and carry out calculations that might be needed in later steps of the procedure.


14 Te connection between the instrument and


computer system may be as simple as an RS-232 connection or USB. Direct Ethernet connections or connections through serial-to-Ethernet converters can offer more flexibility by permitting access to the device from different soſtware systems and users. Te inclusion of smart technologies in


instrumentation significantly improves both their utility and the labs’ workflow.


Computerised instrument systems


Te improvement in workflow becomes more evident as the level of sophistication of the soſtware increases. It is rare to find commercial instrumentation that doesn’t have processing capability either within the instruments’ packaging or, through a connection to an external computer system. Tis offers more flexibility and access to a wider array of resources, including data storage and an improved user-interface. Where there is an option, the choice of


dedicated computer-instrument combinations vs. multi-user, multi-instrument packages is worth careful consideration. Te most common example is


chromatography, which has options from both instrument vendors and third-party suppliers. One of the major differences is data access


and management. In a dedicated format, each computer’s data system is independent and has to be managed individually, including backups to servers. It also means that searching for data may


be more difficult. With multi-user/instrument systems there is only one database that needs to be searched and managed. If you are considering connecting the systems


to a LIMS or ELN, make the connections as simple as possible. If an instrument supported by the soſtware needs to be replaced, changing the connection will be simpler. Licence costs are also a factor. Dedicated


formats require a licence for each system. Shared- access systems have more flexible licensing considerations. Some have a cost per user and connected instrument; others have a cost per active user/instrument schedules. In the latter case, there are eight instruments


and four analysts, of which only half may be simultaneously active, licenses for only four


“Connections are only part of the issue. The more significant factor is the structure of the data that is being exchanged: how it is formatted; and the organisation of the content”


instruments and two users are needed. One factor that needs attention is the education of laboratory staff in the use of computer-instrument systems. While instrument soſtware systems are capable


of doing a great deal, their ability to function is oſten governed by user-defined parameters that affect, at least in chromatography, baseline- corrections, area allocation for unresolved peaks, etc. Carefully adjusted and tuned parameters will


www.scientific-computing.com/BASL2017


Science Photo/Shutterstock.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44