Optimizing laboratory instrument usage through your LIMS



Most laboratories have similar requirements. Samples are registered; samples are received into the laboratory; resources are allocated; tests are scheduled, raw results are entered, final values are calculated and may be compared to expected values, reports are issued and laboratory metrics may be published. Of course a LIMS is designed to automate this process but could play an even larger part in the allocation of resources if it could automatically allocate sample tests to the appropriate laboratory instrument. The pre-allocation of instrument time to awaiting samples allows laboratory equipment to be used with maximum efficiency and automatically balances workload across the laboratory. This enables the efficient management of capacity in order to meet tight deadlines while minimizing overtime and costs. Matrix iPlanner is an optional module for the Matrix Gemini LIMS that optimizes laboratory instrument usage by taking into consideration the booking of pre-requisite tests, the test order, sample availability dates and instrument capacities.


Easy viewing

Matrix iPlanner allows the color-coded instrument plan to be viewed via desktop or browser clients in the form of a Gantt chart. Color coding allows easy identification of the status of an individual instrument. This means the user can see at a glance whether an instrument is not being used, is partially booked, fully booked or even off-line for maintenance or calibration. This highlights any capacity bottlenecks. For partial bookings, the system displays the number of sample tests booked and the capacity (e.g. 4/10 showing 4 samples tests booked on an instrument with a capacity of 10). When an instrument booking is highlighted, a list box gives details of the samples to be run on that instrument at that time point. A simple point and click approach allows samples to be moved from the current booking to an alternative date or instrument to allow waiting time to be reduced.

Flexible Booking

Matrix iPlanner’s impressive booking algorithm automatically books tests for the selected sample(s) onto the available instruments for testing as soon as possible before the target completion date. All tests for the selected sample(s) are booked simultaneously. If the sample (or child sample) tests cannot be booked within the allocated dates to the correct instrument type then the user is immediately alerted so that work can be rearranged appropriately, or if necessary, further instruments brought on-line. Tests can be grouped together so that they are done in a particular order. Test Groups may also be ordered so that they are done in sequence. It is also possible to group different samples together, where necessary, to ensure tests on these samples are performed on the same instrument.

Benefits for the laboratory

The use of Matrix iPlanner brings significant benefits for the laboratory:

  • Automatic booking of samples to correct instruments for testing
  • Ensures samples are tested in the correct sequence
  • Makes efficient use of laboratory resources
  • Maximizes laboratory efficiency and throughput

Download the Matrix iPlanner Brochure.

Matrix iPlanner is yet another example of how Autoscribe Informatics has enhanced the Matrix Gemini LIMS to further facilitate laboratory management and automation.