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Ways to Improve Production with Laboratory Automation

Medical supplies are a vital part of keeping people safe and alive. Getting medical equipment and life-saving medications and vaccines is more important now than ever before. To solve these manufacturing woes, Hitachi is bringing more production capabilities to America to equip medical manufacturing companies with laboratory automation to expedite the production and delivery of pharma and medical products.

Improving Production with Laboratory Automation

Hitachi’s innovative Fusion for Industry was created with the idea of helping American manufacturing companies improve production standards through the application of cutting-edge technology. Joined in the concept by five forward-thinking partners – JR Automation , Flexware InnovationSullair , Hitachi Industrial Equipment & Solutions America, and Telesis Technologies – Hitachi is shining a light on what is possible for domestic companies and their factories in the digital revolution. The continually evolving field of laboratory automation aligns with Fusion for Industry’s goal of enabling new and improved processes by developing novel technologies and supporting a variety of use cases across diverse areas of specialization.

hitachi laboratory equipment

What is Laboratory Automation?

The future is now. Laboratory automation supports minimum interaction across workflows using advanced robotics and connective technologies. Through seamless integration of automation equipment and software, Hitachi’s automation capabilities can streamline various laboratory processes ranging from centrifuging to sample portioning and analysis, increasing the efficiency and safety of lab work.

Automation can also aid in scaling and in getting the products to people faster. JR Automation’s Greg Kelly explains how automation is affecting the manufacturing processes for medical devices and the resounding benefits of it. Watch his interview video to see how JR Automation is implementing automation to help in the medical device manufacturing sector.

Additionally, Hitachi can help labs achieve standard industry goals, including lowering overall costs of services, increasing throughput, creating greater testing efficiency, reducing experimental error, tracking samples, maintaining supply inventory, keeping track of supply usage, and improving the accuracy and reliability of data.

JR Automation FlexChassis Automation High-Speed Assembly Line

Is Laboratory Automation Efficient?

To ensure efficient laboratory operations, it is particularly important to consistently monitor inventory to avoid supply chain disruptions that could cause the lab to forfeit revenue. One laboratory automation expert says labs should begin to see themselves as their own supply chain, no different from any other supply chain that transforms raw materials into products and gets those products to the customer. In the case of laboratory supply chains, however, patient samples (the raw materials) are transformed into results that are delivered to a healthcare provider or a requesting lab, potentially resulting in new best practices that could be adopted to streamline a lab’s operations. As you can discern, Hitachi has the vital tools and capabilities no laboratory should be without.    

medical sample equipment
laboratory equipment
One way Hitachi can increase efficiency and safety in the lab is by eliminating human participation in the tedious and potentially injurious task of hand labeling tubes. This time-consuming job is better left to automated labeling machines that can quickly fill, read barcodes, and return tubes to the rack. Automated labeling also eliminates the strain on fingers and hands brought on by repetitive hand labeling. As a leader in the coding and marking industry, Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems (HIES) and JR Automation have the technology to consign hand labeling to the dustbin of lab history. HIES’ automated labeling machines also reduce the number of lab technicians you’ll need to label tubes, saving that expense.

Laboratory Automation Solving Medical Problems

Laboratory automation has been very important in the supply chain for the medical sector. While many American manufacturers are returning stateside to reduce their reliance on global supply chains – four in five companies have shifted production to the U.S. in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and, more recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine – Hitachi and its subsidiary partners have been here all along, lending their industry-leading expertise to a variety of healthcare and other organizations.

laboratory automation machine

Manufacturing in the medical and pharma sectors can benefit from laboratory automation with two solutions.

Solution #1: Supply Chain Simulation & Digital Data

One of the ways Hitachi effectively helps manufacturers increase efficiency is through AI-based supply chain simulation, which can be defined as an artificial simulation of a physical system.

Supply chain simulation, through the implementation of so-called “digital twins,” is a way to identify supply chain bottlenecks and achieve sustainability goals. These digital twins can create digital copies of product lines, manufacturing systems, warehouse inventory, and other processes that allow supply chain managers to gather data, predict supply, and streamline operations.

Laboratory Data equipment

Other benefits include the ability to measure the impact of potential changes in the supply chain, review how components in the supply chain interact, and test upgrades and changes before implementing them live.

Solution #2: Invest in the Best Products and Services

Of Hitachi’s Four Pillars of Fusion, two of them – Technology Fusion and Factory Fusion – are essential components in creating the factories of the future that will include supply chain simulation as a standard tool. Manufacturers can rely on our more than a century of innovation and technical achievement to engineer systems, technologies, and infrastructures that are vital to America’s sustainable future.

Hitachi’s companies are known for harnessing sustainable energy, promoting smart manufacturing, and utilizing leading-edge technology to reduce disruptions from global supply chain shocks, climate change, or production and warehouse issues. Hitachi companies tailor products and services to meet your needs, modernize your systems, and reinforce your operational resiliency in the event of the unexpected.

Laboratory Automation Systems
laboratory testing

JR Automation, one of Hitachi’s partners in Fusion for Industry, is particularly suited to the needs of the modern laboratory environment, which relies on robotic technology to accomplish a host of important and mundane tasks. As a leading provider of automated manufacturing and robotic technology, JR Automation provides integration solutions to customers around the world.    

FlexChassis™ Modular Automation Platform was recently developed and released to the public. The FlexChassis is a highly configurable platform that enables faster time to market with less production and business risk.

Add functionality to the best-in-class high-speed assembly line. Flexware Innovation, experts in digital integrations and technology software can take your automation platform to the next level by integrating software throughout your system for end-to-end automation and data visibility.

Next Generation of Manufacturing

As the industry has evolved from coal and gas to electronics and nuclear, greater complications have arisen that require multiple new technologies to make the manufacturing process more streamlined and efficient. Digitalization and automation are becoming more important as labor shortages and supply chain disruptions become more common.

Now more than ever, companies work with partners that share a similar vision in supporting American manufacturing resilience and sustainability. Click “Learn More” to get the latest news and updates from industry experts.


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