What Should You Consider Before Automating Your Lab

Four Things to Consider Before Automating Your Lab

(Updated November 2021)

Laboratories across the globe are looking for ways to increase throughput capacity and operate more efficiently. While laboratory automation improves productivity, elevates experimental data quality, reduces lab process cycle times, human error, and subjectivity, it is important to ensure automation is the most suitable solution for your needs.

As an industry leader, Xylem Lab Solutions is committed to serving as a one-stop resource for all your laboratory needs. We are committed to sharing our expert knowledge and resources with you to ensure you are well-informed and comfortable with your decision, prior to allocating any resources towards such a large operational shift. To help with your decision, we have compiled a small checklist of the primary considerations prior to upgrading your laboratory equipment.

If you are considering upgrading the entire laboratory, or simply incorporating automated devices, such as an AutoSampler, please use the following information to assist with your upcoming decision.  

1) Goals and Expectations

Industry Goals & Expectations 

  • Is your lab competitive with other industry laboratories?
  • What are your competitors doing to combat bottlenecks?
  • What equipment/devices are they using to maintain high-throughput capacity?
  • Will automated equipment provide any opportunity to capitalize on the current market?

Laboratory Goals & Expectations 

  • Be sure to consult with your laboratory staff about their expectations of automated equipment. Be sure to find products that match their expectations.
    • Do they think one or two devices would help? Or should you consider upgrading the entire lab?
    • Is the equipment they’re using affecting their job in any way?
    • Is their equipment safe?
  • Consult with lab team to discuss current lab processes and identify inefficiencies
    • What procedure requires the most attention and time?
    • What portion of the sampling process creates the biggest bottleneck in a single sample cycle?
    • Where do they experience wait time?
  • Define your needs.
    • There are numerous products to select from, and a majority of the products are highly-sophisticated. Defining exactly what you’re looking for will be helpful when you start browsing products. 

What to Consider Before Automating Lab

2) Cost-Effectiveness


  • What type of budget is allocated for capital improvements?
  • Does it make sense, financially, to continue operating without automated equipment?
  • Will the identified bottleneck(s) cost increase with time or sample quantity?
  • Consider hidden costs – installation, taxes, maintenance, transportation costs, etc.


  • Are the investment gains favorable to the initial cost?
  • What other resources, other than money, are expensed due to the identified bottleneck(s)? Consider the following:
    • Physical Resources – materials, storage capacity, benchtop space, etc.
    • Human Resources – staff, expertise, capacity, etc.
    • Intellectual Resources – Brand, Industry, Consider employee time, throughput capacity, data quality, etc.

Four Things to Consider Before Automating My Lab

3) Timeline 

  • How much time will need to be reserved for training purposes?
  • Are lab employees comfortable with using automated equipment or devices?
  • When can the automated devices be installed and fully functional?

4) Vendor and Products 

  • Does the vendor help with implementation and installation?
  • Are there training guides, sessions, or resources available post-installation?
  • Do you have a single representative that can visit your site if necessary?
  • What does their service process look like?
  • Will you need multiple units? Or a single device?

Whether your laboratory is looking to implement a single product to improve efficiency or an entire system, Xylem Lab Solutions serves as an excellent resource for industry expertise and high-quality lab equipment. With extensive product portfolios and automated equipment, our experts want to ensure you are well-informed and comfortable throughout the entire process. Visit our Lab Solutions for more information on lab automation. Consult a Laboratory Expert for your lab project.

Xylem Lab Solutions | YSI

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