The Digital Lab

The Digital Laboratory - It's time to clean up!

Dec 18, 2019 12:00:00 AM / by Paul Planje

Laboratory clearing out - It's time to clean up!

If you ask people who have nothing to do with working in the laboratory about their first thoughts on the subject of the laboratory, the answers will be quite uniform. You will often hear "sterile clean rooms", sometimes also "technically sober surroundings" or "always perfectly tidied up". And yes, in some cases these ideas may even correspond to reality. However, in 2020 we will also see much more laboratories in which stacks of paper are lined up one after the other. Surrounded by folders and files, with printed regulations in front of them on the laboratory table, work is done, researched and analyzed. Particularly in science and teaching, extensive documentation is essential in order to record observations and results permanently on the one hand - and to share them on the other.

The sharing of information is not always easy in a laboratory. Even if paper does not need any interfaces and the information stored on it can be viewed at a glance: Paper-based work is not optimal. If people are not physically present, if the urgently needed journal is safely locked away or the handwriting of the colleagues is once again illegible, the procurement of information becomes time-consuming and error-prone.

More space in the lab through digital processes
Imagine any paper disappearing from your lab. What would that leave? Exactly - a workspace that offers enough space for analytical, focused and experimental work. However, files, folders and slips of paper are not only in the way, but represent a real contamination potential, especially in sterile rooms. With digital data capture in a centralised overall system, the storage and retrieval of documents becomes superfluous, the flow of information is optimised and work is rationalised.

What do you think? Does digitization in the laboratory represent a substantial gain in space or do you not see any great advantages in exchanging files for the cloud? We look forward to your opinions!
Paul Planje

Written by Paul Planje

Ich arbeite seit 1992 an Themen wie Effizienz und Produktivitätssteigerung. Zunächst in den Bereichen Labor und Forschung. Hier machte ich meine Erfahrungen mit analytischen Instrumenten und Automatisierung. Mit dem Wechsel in den Vertrieb kamen Unternehmenslösungen wie Scientific Data Management Systems (SDMS), Laborinformationssysteme (LIMS), Laboratory Execution Systems (LES), Elektronische Laborzeitschriften (ELN) und Dokumentenmanagementsysteme (DMS) hinzu. In den letzten Jahren habe ich mich mit der Digitalisierung von Prozessen und deren Messungen beschäftigt. Seit 2019 leite ich die iVention DACH-Region und unterstütze unsere Kunden beim Einstieg in die digitale Laborwelt.