Several surveys have revealed the factors that will drive laboratory equipment design in the future. Besides the current environment and recession, several other criteria are likely to play an important role in setting up the lab of the future:
- Instrumentation and technological change: Advances in computers, software, electronics and new materials will drive lab instrument design. Software capabilities will expand and this will greatly improve diagnostic and data analysis capabilities.
- Energy use: The focus will definitely be on “green”. Sustainability, energy conservation and using less to achieve more will be among the most important factors affecting lab equipment design and function.
- Space constraints: There are already several models of different types of lab instruments designed to save space – from centrifuges to different types of analyzers and spectrophotometer. Continued miniaturization and standardization for a small footprint will save bench space and result in smaller and better instrumentation.
- Staffing: Lab equipment design will focus on high-throughput, low-consumption format with less overhead, simplified and automated operation, and less personnel requirements.
- Flexibility: Manufacturers of lab equipment will focus on developing instruments that offer the user the capacity to adapt it to meet their specific needs. Instruments will offer various options to enhance flexibility and will come with greater capabilities, more responsibilities and enhanced sharing functions.
- Accuracy and speed: These factors have always driven lab equipment design and will continue to do so in the future. Focus will be on accuracy in sample and data processing with reliability, consistency, and accelerated analysis times.
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