Data management, linear motors, robotics and globalization were four areas of high interest at the recent fifth annual Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference in San Diego—and we were ready at our booth to support the show tagline with information, inspiration and innovation.
There was a lot of interest from show-goers about how they can collect masses of data seamlessly and effortlessly through automation equipment, without the need for a second data processing instrument. They were looking to newer automation hardware for the solution and also seeking smaller instruments and reduced footprint in designs (fewer on-board CPUs). We were pleased to highlight some of our data management capabilities at our stand.
Linear motors and direct drive motion
We saw instrument builders looking to move away from conventional belt and lead screw driven systems and move to direct drive systems that use linear motors as the primary drive element.
A number of designers said they struggled to deal with some of the inconsistencies from machine to machine when using conventional component lead screw and fixed belt arrangements. They also said noise in the lab has become a key issue for their customers.
As a result many show-goers were quick to key in on the mSR linear stages on display at the show.
Many instrument builders were looking to more quickly deploy more automation. Specifically, instrument builders were looking for modular robotic platforms that can be tweaked to address the needs of their different instruments without having to start from scratch with each new design. The were aggressive with their time lines and the number of instruments they want to deploy.
This highlights the need for motion suppliers and solutions partners to be able to provide more than just a single design—they need a solution set that is modular for versatility across a number of different platforms. We were eager to talk about our modular solutions, our partnering experience, and the trends driving change in life science robotics.
Many OEMs at the show had representation from around world. A number of the design teams we met came from more than one continent, demonstrating that research, design and manufacturing no longer take place under one roof. The teams were pleased to learn about our global reach that allows us to support product design and development from one location and manufacturing from another location on the other side of the world.
Watch for our upcoming blog about the products we featured at the show.
This article contributed by Electromechanical & Drives Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.