By James O´Brien


You’ve done your testing on the benchtop and proven that your new biotechnology innovation works in your hands. Now comes the exciting part – turning your solution into a breakthrough product that is ready for broader use and commercial launch. To get there, you need to optimize your processes so that you can ensure they are robust, operate within defined tolerances, and facilitate scale-up. What’s the fastest and most efficient way to get this done so that you can focus on your next bioscience advancements?


Custom engineering of your laboratory automation system can help optimize your biotechnology discoveries and bring them to market faster and more efficiently.Custom engineering of your laboratory automation system can help optimize your biotechnology discoveries and bring them to market faster and more efficiently.

Biotech innovation requires automation innovation

Optimization requires changing multiple parameters and generating statistically sound results based on the use of many replicates. Scale-up for production demands speed, reproducibility, and reliability. Once you have protocols that work in your hands, it simply isn’t practical to continue with manual processes to optimize product performance, validation procedures, and production workflows while still meeting your time-to-market targets. Taking innovative concepts through to commercial application is a job for automation. However, off-the-shelf automation solutions may not be up to the task—especially when innovations entail entirely new protocols.

Biotech innovation drives custom engineering

Your latest biotechnology innovation may not conform to the existing laboratory automation standards for consumables, components, automatable modules, or software. Innovation does not develop within such constraints. Attempting to build an automation solution using components that don’t meet all of your requirements can limit your flexibility as you try to optimize your workflow.  Creating a de novo solution could divert your efforts and sacrifice your time-to-market. An automation solution that combines both custom-engineered developments and existing products may enable you to optimize your workflow while maintaining the flexibility and speed you need during your final stages of product development. 

Biotech automation solutions: moving beyond the ordinary 

When you have automation needs that don’t yet exist as standard lab solutions, it’s time to consider collaborating with dedicated laboratory automation system engineers who will work with you to investigate, invent, and integrate new approaches that will take you beyond standard options.

You’ll know it’s time to consider collaborating with a custom engineering team when:

  • You need to focus your expertise on bioscience, not inventing lab automation instrumentation.
  • You have unique application workflows.
  • Even a custom-configured instrument isn’t exactly what you need.
  • You need innovation in automation to match the innovation in your biotechnology.

A custom automation engineering partner should listen to your needs and be able to offer the dedicated resources needed to work with you throughout the most dynamic phases of your project to create fully optimized and tested systems that are tailored to your unique requirements. Collaborating with system engineers who will push the boundaries in laboratory automation can help you to push the boundaries in biotechnology.

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About the author

James O'Brien

James O'Brien

James is a VP at Tecan responsible for the Tecan Integration Group, a part of the Life Sciences Business, which specializes in custom automation solutions for customers. He has worked in a variety of roles for Tecan over the last 14 years in service, product management, marketing, and sales operations. Prior to joining Tecan, James worked in high throughput genomic research at Johns Hopkins University. He is passionate about creating innovative solutions which solve the lab automation problems of tomorrow.