Lab Design Optimization

Automation of Microbiology Lab


THE PROBLEM

The optimized microbiology lab configurationMedical testing facility, PCL Alverno, is the future recipient of several innovative technologies to their microbiology laboratory.  These new devices are large, but aid in simplifying several processes by adding automation to tasks that would previously involve multiple personnel performing multiple tasks.  The existing layout of the facility was not conducive to these new units and needed to be reconfigured.  It is very inconvenient to shut down the facility for any inordinate length of time, so planning the new layout beforehand is essential.    PCL Alverno turned to CIVS to aid them in generating a proposed layout for the lab by creating the lab virtually.


THE PROJECT

Scale construction of facility based on blueprintsUsing blueprints of the lab and the new automation units, CIVS created a scaled virtual representation of the environment in its entirety.  The virtual lab was then configured to resemble the current layout at PCL Alverno.  Once completed, members of the microbiology lab came to CIVS and engaged in a planning session allowing them to reposition and maneuver objects in the lab.  Things considered during the process included, walk space, regulations, storage allocation, the size of the new units, convenience and others.  The staff was able to go on a virtual tour of their new configuration, walking the aisles and evaluating the layout without physically moving anything in the lab. This was beneficial because the new units had not yet been delivered.


THE OUTCOME

Meeting with collaborators and using the VR systemFollowing the completion of the optimization session, PCL Alverno had a clear plan for reconfiguring their laboratory in preparation for the new automation units.  In addition, the virtual environment was also used to create a virtual tour video of the microbiology lab that was featured at an Innovators Café hosted at their facility and for future marketing.  In conclusion, this project has established a collaborative relationship with a company focused on innovation and bettering the community.


Sponsor: PCL Alverno
Collaborators: W.T. Evert Ting, Ph.D.

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