While smart technology has changed our personal lives in remarkable ways, its adoption among analytical laboratories has been slow, in part due to the fact that an ample amount of staff has been readily available to work on site. Now labs are looking for solutions to support challenges associated with reduced staff and remote working needs.
The good news: Agilent has been anticipating the need for smart technologies in the lab, and there are tools ready now to help labs adapt to new ways of working.
Agilent introduced Smart Alerts in 2019 as a instrument diagnostics tool. Using Smart Alerts, lab teams are alerted when they need to change consumables or when there is a problem with an instrument that needs attention. One of the attractive features of Smart Alerts is that it can work in the lab without an internet connection; it only needs to connect to the internal e-mail server.
In recent weeks, Smart Alerts has been used to support a remote workforce. In Shenzhen, China, a large lab using GC/MS instruments as part of quality control needed to run their instruments around the clock. Local regulations did not permit this without personnel on site or a remote sensing capability. The CrossLab team was able to install Smart Alerts on the instruments in minutes, then configure the Agilent server to send alerts to the lab manager's email inbox, accessible on his smartphone. Now, instruments can run as needed, and remote personnel can ensure they keep operating.
Smart Alerts has been installed recently on instruments running in the hard-hit Silicon Valley area as well, where it has been useful in helping with reduced lab staff: "Soon after Smart Alerts was installed on our new 1290 Infinity II LC," one LC user in San Francisco shared, "I experienced an instance where a run was cancelled because a sample vial was not loaded. An auto email alert was sent immediately notifying me about cancelled run status. This was great!" Another user points out how Smart Alerts saves time: "We had a leak error on our 1260 Infinity II LC during testing. It was useful to receive an auto email alert without having to physically check the system."
Agilent GC instruments have been getting smarter and smarter. And now more than ever, their remote connectivity functions are becoming even more important.
"You can access Agilent's GCs remotely, so long as you have access to a virtual private network (VPN)," says Eric Denoyer, associate VP of marketing.
"Our instruments are ready; if lab managers want secure remote access, they simply need to arrange it with their IT teams, and it can be done."
Historically, the primary route for connection and control has been at the instrument's keypad or through a local computer. With the new features built into the full line of Agilent Smart GCs, users can now remotely connect to access system status, troubleshoot even operate the system remotely. This can be a powerful capability, especially in times of limited lab access.
Join us May 13 or 14th for live demonstrations on how Smart Alert technology works.
If you miss the live demo, no problem, view it on demand.
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