5 Big Reasons Why Automated Liquid Handling Is Good for Business

For those who are running a business, automation is not the first thing on their minds. Concerns such as keeping up to date with new federal regulations or employee management may come up first. This is especially for businesses in the field of healthcare, such as medium-sized diagnostic laboratories, or those starting out in the pharmaceutical industry.

However, automating processes such as liquid handling can offer so many benefits for businesses in this industry. Here are 5 of the biggest reasons:

Automated liquid handling
photo credit: Northwestern Medicine

Faster, more accurate processing

Like most kinds of automation, the foremost benefit of installing an automated liquid handling system in your business is efficiency. Without this system, your laboratory aides will still have to manually fill up each pipette for each diagnostic test. If your facility is handling hundreds of samples every day, this will take up a considerable amount of time; time that you may not necessarily have.That’s not to mention the fatigue your employees will experience doing these tasks day in, day out. That fatigue from manual handling may lead to wastage and errors in the long run. With an automated system, all you need to do is to program the machine correctly and it will do the tedious work for you.

Reduces the risk of contamination

Manual pipetting doesn’t only have a higher risk of manual errors—such as spills—happening. There’s also a bigger risk of contamination present. At best, this can mean spoiled specimens; at worst, this can mean wrong test results that can put a patient’s life in danger.

Minimize the risk of workplace injuries

We’ve already mentioned the fatigue earlier. But that’s not the only thing that your laboratory aides have to endure after a long day of manual lab work. Due to repeated hand movements during manual pipetting, your employees may be at risk of developing repetitive strain injuries. This may result in them missing some days of work or worse, looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

Pipetting heads of a liquid handling robot
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Customized setups are available

You may think that your diagnostic laboratory is not big enough to reap the rewards of an automated liquid handling system. After all, most commercially-available systems boast of being able to handle hundreds of pipettes at the same time. However, what not a lot of people know is that there are smaller builds available that can be customized to fit their laboratory’s needs.

For example, a medium-sized laboratory can make use of customized motion systems for eight to sixteen pipettes. Custom systems can be also made to fit smaller facilities, such as replacing linear stages with multi-axis ones. Existing builds can be also modified to include other additional features.

It’s not just for healthcare-related businesses

Granted, most of the examples cited above are for laboratories or diagnostic centers. However, these automated systems can be also used for other fields. One example is the food industry, where liquid ingredients must be handled in a sterile environment to prevent contamination.

These five benefits are just a general overview of what a business can stand to gain when they install an automated liquid handling system in their facility. As these five points demonstrate, it’s truly worth it to invest in automation.