Just like every other field, laboratories are always evolving and changing. What was cutting edge just a few years ago may now be seen as behind the times. If you are going to be competitive in this line of work, you need to make sure your lab is staying in touch with the latest and greatest that the market has to offer.
With this article, we’d like to quickly touch on four of the lab equipment and technology trends that you should be paying attention to in the months and years to come.
You probably aren’t going to be surprised to see this one on the list. It seems that cloud technology is touching just about every area of business, and labs are no different. The flexibility offered by the cloud is simply incredible, and it is one of the main reasons that this type of computer has so much to offer the laboratory world. Whether it means technicians getting alerts on their phones, or the ease of uploading data as it is acquired, cloud technology has the potential to change the way laboratories operate.
Focus on Sustainability
This is another point which is not at all unique to laboratory work. All kinds of businesses are placing an emphasis on making their operations more sustainable. This is done for a couple of reasons – there are environmental benefits to be considered, as well as potential financial gains. Something as seemingly simple as sharing equipment in open labs may help to improve efficiency. Also, labs can do the earth a favor by making sure to recycle when possible. Recycling is not a new idea, of course, but keeping it in mind when buying equipment and getting rid of old items is a nice step in the right direction.
A Move Toward Automation
Every lab technician can appreciate the value of automation. While some work done in a lab can be exciting and engaging, other work can be, well, repetitive. That’s where automation can come into the picture and play a valuable role. If you are able to use a machine which can complete the repetitive steps of a given experiment with incredible consistency, the time which would have been spent on that job can be used more effectively elsewhere.
As technology advances, pieces of laboratory equipment are becoming smaller and smaller. For one thing, the way lab equipment can now be constructed allows it to be smaller, since it is often possible for components to perform more than one function. Also, the samples which are required for certain types of testing are getting smaller, meaning the machines used to test them can shrink, as well. In the end, money should be saved as a result of using smaller equipment, and you should find that more storage and shelf space in your lab will become free.
If you run a lab and want to remain at the forefront of your specific field, tracking technological developments is a necessary task. The four items highlighted above are just a sample of what is new and exciting in lab trends.