LIMS Software in the World of Internet of Things (IoT)

Next-business generation smart manufacturing processes: LIMS advances beyond digitalization, supporting high-tech processes for a Laboratory 4.0.

Nowadays, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, digitalization, and Machine-to-Machine are becoming increasingly discussed topics. They are part of the world of Internet of Things (IoT), one of the significant changes due to Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution.

What Does IoT Mean?

Basically, "Internet of Things", also known as IoT, concerns a network of virtually connected physical devices. For example, a lab equipment network, which would entail different measurement devices for different methods, produced by different manufacturers.

In this article, the impact of LIMS software in digitalizing smart processes for Laboratories 4.0 will be discussed. Specifically, [FP]-LIMS, a LIMS software solution designed by the German software developer Fink & Partner GmbH, will be analyzed.

Speaking in terms of science, the most accurate definitions of IoT have been establishing on the market since 2010, specifically during the Third Industrial Revolution. IoT is a networked interconnection of objects, often equipped with ubiquitous intelligence, to increase the Internet's use by integrating the objects via embedded systems, according to Xia, Yang, Wang, and Vinel (2012).

The outcome should be a large network of digital interacting devices that require little to no human power to be managed. By 2017, up to 8.4 billion IoT devices would have been interconnected through machine-to-machine (M2M) with the potential to reach 20.4 billion by 2020 (According to Li, Yu, and Zhao, 2018).

This all results in the stimulation of new social and economic development through the integration of the rising trends of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G wireless technology. Wireless technologies are crucial for the development of IoT, making the change in the fourth industrial revolution.

(Li, Yu and Zhao 2018: 5).

Figure 1. Image Credit: Li, Yu, and Zhao 2018: 5.  

The IoT has the goal and the potential to deliver users with smart services. It can raise standards of security and its privacy questions can offer new challenges to governance bodies (Li, Yu and Zhao 2018).

IoT has become increasingly important in the success of smart manufacturing processes. The abrogation of human power and the reduction of costs is implied by devices interacting with each other.

All the IoT-devices in a laboratory can be connected via LIMS software since it is designed to collect, merge, archive, track, and evaluate all the data that would usually be manually imported by laboratory technicians.

Another benefit of LIMS is that it can avoid human mistakes by the automation and digitalization of processes. Quality can be simultaneously increased. LIMS software solutions also have many modules and interfaces adapted to the most specific needs of laboratories and smart manufacturing processes.

2020 has been a year of changes due to COVID-19 and the changes that it has brought to society. As well as a natural evolution of IoT, digitalization has become a necessity in order to reduce contact. The safety of IoT devices has also been a discussed topic in the last months.

Often, laboratory technicians ask themselves if the online storing of data is safe. This is the point where [FP]-LIMS becomes important. An interface by the software developers at Fink & Partner’s is being developed to achieve a secure certificate and a digital identity that provides laboratory data safety and enables the next-generation laboratory's escalation.

In summary, LIMS software solutions implementation integrates the construction of a Laboratory 4.0, in which digital processes connect the equipment and there is safe storage of data in digital clouds.

Sources

  • Xia, Feng; Yang, Laurence T.; Wang, Lizhe; Vinel, Alexey (2012): Internet of Things. In: Int. J. Commun. Syst. 25 (9), S. 1101-1102. DOI: 10.1002/dac.2417.
  • Li, Shancang; Xu, Li Da; Zhao, Shanshan (2018): 5G Internet of Things: A survey. In: Journal of Industrial Information Integration 10, S. 1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jii.2018.01.005.


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Fink & Partner GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Fink & Partner GmbH.

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