Never used automation before?
If your company is considering laboratory automation solutions and wishes to automate a manual process, a piece of laboratory equipment, or a complete sample preparation or sample analysis process, then PAA can help. We understand that automating your manual process for the first time may appear challenging. Our team of highly trained and experienced laboratory automation sales and technical staff can help you turn your ideas into reality.
All projects will follow the PAA approved “Stage and Gate” process, consisting of the following stages:
Stage and Gate process
The following steps show the Requirement and the Solution at each stage:-
The User Requirement Specification (URS) describes what you would like your automated system to do. This will include examples of the sample preparation/analysis methods, work flow, expectations e.g. sample throughput and any other information we need to understand. The URS is an important document as it specifies the deliverables and your aspirations for performance. From this flows the design documentation and acceptance criteria. Normally, this is a document supplied by you, the customer. However, we can assist with the preparation of the URS, if you have not written one before.
Once we have an agreed URS, we will provide a quotation, detailing our proposal and the cost. Typically, there are multiple iterations of a quote, especially on larger platforms, as we work together to come up with the best solution for your budget.
Once the system has been ordered, we move into the design phase. In this phase, we detail how the control software will function and design the enclosure to house the instruments and the robotic components. A set of design specifications are created, which will require your approval before the system is built.
Once we have agreed the design, PAA model the system, create CAD drawings and finally a scoped Design Document, outlining the deliverables and criteria of the project. The document is baselined and signed by all parties giving approval to proceed with the project. As with the quotation, there are typically a number of iterations of the Design Document and we must take our time to ensure we get the best solution.
Once the system has been designed and approval has been given to proceed with the project, we move into the procurement phase. In this phase, a set of Bill of Materials (BOM) are created to ensure all the ‘Commercial off the Shelf’ (COTS) and Bespoke parts required to build your system are listed and any risks understood.
Once a BOM has been created, the parts are ordered – some of which are specific to each project and can take some weeks to arrive. At this point you are allocated a Project Manager who will create Project Documents including a Project Plan to share with you, along with regular Customer Reviews so you can track the Progress of your Project. A set of documents, in draft, will be required at this stage for the Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) and PAA will assist you build those requirements.
Once the parts have been received in-house, we move to the Build and Integration stage. This includes mechanical, electrical and any software builds that are required and moves onto the integration stage.
Our mechanical, electrical and software experts work together to build the enclosure to house the instruments and the robotic components. It is then handed over to our integration specialists who will work with you to step through and create the methods, and teach the instruments and robots to perform your assays.
The Build and Integration phase is scoped to your project but larger systems can take some time to complete.
At the end of this phase you will be invited to come and observe the FAT being undertaken. Once the system has passed, and the FAT has been signed off by all parties, any rework is undertaken ready to ship the system to your premises.
Once the system has been received at your premises, we move to the Install and Commission stage. This is where we hand over the system to you and ensure all end users are trained in full.
Our specialised Installation Engineers will install and commission your system for you on site. They will undertake a final Site Acceptance Test (SAT) which mirrors everything undertaken in the earlier FAT to ensure the system is working correctly. The SAT will be signed off by all stakeholders. Our Engineers will then issue a set of manuals and ensure all staff are trained. Any post-SAT rework will be undertaken at this stage. This usually consists of some minor snagging.
Once the system has been installed, commissioned, training of end users undertaken, and any rework completed, we sign off the project.
Your project is handed over to our Service Team and we continue to support you for as long as you need our help.
A post project review is undertaken with you to gain any feedback, so that your next project with us is even more favourable.