Process automation - no longer for a select few

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Automation, Control system, Laboratory

UK laboratory equipment specialist Lab-Plant says it can bring
process automation within the reach of the majority of
laboratories, pilot plants and mini-production facilities with the
launch of its Lab Manager process control computer system.

The system is claimed to provide users with the means to reduce costs while at the same time improving quality, consistency and productivity.

"Laboratory process automation, which used to be feasible only with extensive planning, enough equipment to fill a cupboard, a large budget and an IT specialist, is now possible through a single compact device,"​ according to Lab-Plant.

The box - the size of a PC - replaces the traditional 'switchboard' filled with individual components and cabling. External measuring converters, loop controllers, controlling equipment, power supplies and other components are no longer needed, says the company.

Lab Manager is scaleable from simple data logging duties to complex process control, allowing it to migrate from the laboratory through pilot plant to full production.

The company​ also notes that the system provides insight into how a process can be automated at an early stage, potentially reducing product development timescales and bringing projects to market more quickly.

Lab-Plant director Greg Smith said that the Lab Manager system "really is automation made simple. Complex recipe-control, multi-stage synthesis, controlled distillation or polymerisation for example can now be achieved at the push of a button".

"This system and its ancillaries will now mean that complex process automation becomes financially and logistically viable to far more organisations than the present exclusive minority,"​ he added.

Lab Manager was developed by German company HiTec Zang in collaboration with a number of European research facilities.

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