Interdisciplinary Production Engineering in Life Science

  Photography of the iCell demonstrator Copyright: © WZL  

The life sciences represent a rapidly growing market. Recently, this behavior could be observed in the course of the Corona pandemic, when laboratory capacities for the evaluation of PCR tests had to be built up quickly. Market growth inevitably generates an increase in orders. Particularly in areas characterized by a high proportion of manual work, such as laboratories, this can only be compensated for by increasing the number of staff or, in the short term, by increasing the workload. Neither of these options can be implemented sustainably. For this reason, we are researching ways to transfer the results of Industry 4.0 to laboratories as part of projects such as iCellFactory or NewTranslation, thus relieving employees and leveraging unused potential.
The automation of laboratory processes in particular presents a major challenge, as both product and process dynamics must be taken into account and conventional, rigid solutions cannot be readily applied. The analysis of processes in the field of medical device development should contribute to an accelerated execution of first-in-man studies, while maintaining or even improving quality.