Improving Lab Productivity and Operational Efficiency Using IoT/M2M Technology

Operational Issues Impacting the Environmental Laboratory Industry
Poster Presentation

Presented by R. Marfil-Vega
Prepared by T. Yanagisawa1, R. Marfil-Vega2, K. Ono1, T. Yoshida1, Y. Maeda1, K. Watanabe1, T. Inoue1
1 - Shimadzu Corporation, 7102 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD, 21046, United States
2 - Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, 7102 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD, 21046, United States

Contact Information: RMMARFILVEGA@SHIMADZU.COM; 410-910-0884


In the wake of the Coronavirus global pandemic, several industries and analytical services providers, including pharmaceutical companies, food processing facilities, personal care products’ manufacturers, water and wastewater treatment plants and environmental laboratories, faced the challenge of maintaining operations under critical conditions.

Under these circumstances, in order to continue daily operations and an analytical work, emerging workflows in which operators externally access the analytical data system in a lab through a VPN connection, process data on the server, and create reports have become a necessity. In order to minimize the time the analysts spend in the lab, a system for remotely controlling the instrument or monitoring the operation status using a Web browser built into the instrument or in the analytical data system is also utilized.

Other routine tasks for laboratory operations have been also impacted due to COVID pandemic: management of consumables, periodic inspections, and troubleshooting protocols in the event of instrument’ malfunction or failure. However, for the purpose of minimizing infections during the pandemic, on-site staff at many companies has been limited. As a result, there is a risk that the overall management of the laboratory will be disrupted, or that service engineers will have difficulty to access the laboratory, even if the instrument fails.

In response to these issues, M2M (machine-to-machine) technology, which enables machines and information systems to exchange information with each other without human intervention, has been applied, allowing personnel to remotely monitor the operating status of instruments and to manage both the instruments and consumables from an external location. Even if instrument’s malfunction occurs, the downtime can be reduced by performing a preliminary diagnosis remotely and performing appropriate repairs.

In this presentation, we will discuss the use of IoT/M2M technology to improve lab productivity and operational efficiency in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic.