INDUSTRY 4.0: THE MAIN TRENDS FOR THE LABORATORY

Laboratory 4.0
15
October
2021

Industry 4.0 and digitization projects open new opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector, and also closely affect laboratories.

The drive towards efficiency is leading laboratory industry leaders to rethink the innovative ways in which their facilities operate. The expression "Laboratory 4.0" is now synonymous with innovative concepts of automation and digitization in every aspect of laboratory work.

 

The Industrial Revolution

The birth of Industry 4.0 was preceded by three industrial revolutions, in a journey that led from Industry 1.0 to 4.0 following these stages:

  • 1.0 (mechanization) - late 18th century: use of machines powered by water and steam
  • 2.0 (electrification) - late 19th century: development of mass production via the modern assembly line
  • 3.0 (automation) - early 1970s: use of electronics and information technology to automate production
  • 4.0 (networking) - today: creation of intelligent grids of machines and processes

 

Fundamental trends of Industry 4.0

As we said, "Industry 4.0" refers to the creation of intelligent networks of machines and processes, obtained through information and communication technologies. Among the main 4.0 trends for the laboratory are:

  • Big Data / Predictive Analytics / Connected Lab: the term "Big Data" is used to describe the analysis of those data that cannot be analyzed with traditional methods. This can happen for different reasons: the data can be too complex, too changeable, too poorly structured or simply present in too large quantities.
    However, Big Data refers not only to analysis, but also to the processing of data of this type (huge, changing, complex). In the so-called "Connected Lab", the individual data is combined into large pools and then processed.
  • Internet of Things (IoT - Internet of Things): The Internet of Things is the expression that describes all those technologies that allow everyday objects to communicate with each other. Each individual object is equipped with sensors, software or other technologies that connect it to other devices via the internet. In this way, the various connected devices can exchange data.
  • Virtual Processes / Virtual Reality: refers to technologies that exploit image processing sensors to facilitate object-man-machine interactions.
  • Robotics / Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning: Artificial intelligence deals with the automation of intelligent behavior and machine learning. Robotics, on the other hand, is the branch of artificial intelligence that concerns the automatic reproduction of human work.
    Artificial intelligence has already gained a place in people's private lives (e.g. in smartphones or fitness devices).
  • Speech Recognition / Laboratory Assistants: This trend concerns the methods by which computers can recognize and access verbal (human) language.
    Industry 4.0 opens up enormous opportunities and the methods of its implementation in the laboratory are among the most stimulating issues present today.

Ioi for the Laboratory 4.0

Ioi - Integration of instruments fits perfectly into the Industry 4.0 scenario and more precisely in the Laboratory 4.0. Having Ioi in the laboratory means operating through a paperless working method, streamlining processes and collecting, analyzing and storing data electronically. Ioi not only integrates the analysis tools in a single platform but is able to communicate with company management systems, creating an integrated environment in which consult data quickly and easily.

In the pharmaceutical field, data digitization is what most easily allows you to be in compliance with the concept of Data Integrity defined by the EU GMP Annex 11 at European level and by FDA 21 CFR Part 11 in the United States. In other industrial sectors, the benefits of an integration platform such as Ioi are linked to process efficiency and time savings.

With a view to an Industry 4.0 evolution, Ioi - Integration of instruments represents an innovative and complete solution.

 

 

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