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Why Automation is Crucial in the GC Lab

Why Automation is Crucial in the GC Lab

September 20, 2022
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In a recent report, McKinsey & Company calculated that lab automation increases productivity in the lab by 25% or more1. That type of increase can make a real difference in the GC lab.

A previous blog introduced the significance of adopting Industry 4.0 strategies for GC labs; the topic warrants a deeper dive into the specifics of utilizing automation to improve productivity and reduce errors.

Lab managers, bench staff, analysts…everyone working in a GC laboratory wants to avoid time-consuming, repetitive tasks – as manual tasks can risk reproducibility, especially when it comes to sampling.

In the GC workflow, sample processing and preparation requires time and impacts the outcome of the analysis. Bringing automation to the gas chromatography lab can promote accuracy, increase throughput, and free up time so analysts can focus on other important matters.

As a specific example, here is how the new GC 2400™ Platform addresses automation:

  • Fully automated sample preparation
  • Features software that auto-recognizes and autoconfigures the different autosamplers, removing the need for manual intervention
  • Software-driven integration of the steps of the GC workflow

Automation not only increases productivity, but it also enables scalable solutions to match growing laboratory needs.

With a fully automated workflow, labs benefit from the continuous monitoring and reporting of instrument performance and status. This allows potential issues to be identified before they cause unexpected downtime.

A GC system that allows remote monitoring and live status updates allows labs to intervene earlier in cases of unexpected analytical situations. In addition, remote connectivity combined with automated set-ups can help minimize errors, especially when it comes to repeated and manual tasks.

For example, the GC 2400 Platform was designed to allow live status notifications. The detachable touchscreen allows the continued monitoring, in and outside the lab. Lights and sounds on the hardware give information at a glance on the status of the system.

This accelerates the decision-making process for intervention, helps reduce downtime, and increases ROI. In fact, use studies demonstrate this type of automation and connectivity reduce equipment breakdowns by up to 70% and can lower maintenance costs by up to 25%2.

To learn more about how automation can drive the implementation of Industry 4.0 in the GC lab, download the article.

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1. McKinsey & Company. 2021. Digitization, automation, and online testing: Embracing Smart Quality Control.
2. Ibid


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