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Labman Automation case study RARUK Automation


Leading automation distributor RARUK Automation has recently supplied a series of collaborative robots (cobots) to Labman Automation. The UK-based company specialises in creating world-leading custom laboratory automation solutions. Labman is the only UK certified systems integrator (CSI) for Universal Robots in the lab automation space. Two of Labman’s recent innovations feature the UR3e and UR5e Universal Robots cobots supplied by RARUK Automation.

MultiDose is an automated solid dosing system that combines a Mettler Toledo XPR solid dispensing balance with a cobot arm. Labman looked to design a platform that could seamlessly integrate within a laboratory’s operations and therefore designed the system to be collaborative and work hand in hand with lab technicians carrying out other processes within the lab. To facilitate this design choice, Labman chose the Universal Robots UR3e robot arm. Due to intelligent sensors, the robot can detect if it comes into contact with a person and will go into protective stop. This makes it safe for cobots to operate alongside human workers which is ideal for lab environments.

‘When evaluating the technology choice on the market for collaborative robots, it was clear to us that the solutions provided by Universal Robots were second to none in terms of quality, ease of use and support.’ Says Matthew Smith, Project Manager at Labman. ‘Furthermore, we are able to harness the advanced features of Polyscope for deploying the robots into novel applications, making them an obvious choice for Labman going forward.’

MultiDose from Labman Automaton featuring UR robot.

Labman identified the demand for an intuitive solid dosing solution with greater usability than existing alternatives, with the versatility to integrate the system into larger workflows. Therefore, building an open platform architecture was important and something that could only be facilitated by the use of collaborative robotics. The solution has also been adapted for applications that require solid dispensing to be carried out in a Class 1 laminar flow environment or in an inert Nitrogen or Argon atmosphere.

A major benefit of the solution is that it frees up lab technicians to fulfil other tasks. The MultiDose system can save several hours per day spent manually weighing out compounds, which increases efficiency meaning that products and experimental data can be accessed faster by the teams utilising the system.

The Collaborative Formulator
Another Labman solution that involves robots supplied by RARUK Automation is The Collaborative Formulator. The system is an open platform collaborative system designed to intuitively formulate coloured products. Utilising a UR5e cobot to tend the formulating system, The Collaborative Formulator has an impressive dispensing accuracy of 2 mg and self-teaching algorithms for calculating robot coordinates and colourant dispensing parameters.

collaborative formulator from Labman Automation

Owing to the collaborative robot arm, the Formulator benefits from the flexibility to be loaded and unloaded on an ad-hoc basis with minimum safety training or the need for tedious startup routines. The robot arm slows down and pauses for safe interaction and live, in-run vial transfers due to integration with a low-level LIDAR scanner further adding to the simplicity of the system operation.

Cobots provide other benefits for Labman’s offering to customers, by providing a flexible solution which can be re-deployed to other systems for future uses. The Collaborative Formulator’s smart rack LED lights and status light colours are customisable for different event types which allows further adaptability for future processes.

Setting A New Standard for Lab Robotics
As Universal Robots’ only UK Platinum Partner, RARUK Automation is pleased to assist Labman with its growing portfolio of smart robotic lab solutions.

‘It’s always a pleasure working with Labman on their Universal Robots projects.’ Says Tony Bailes, RARUK Automation’s Robotics Sales Engineer for the North-East. ‘The level of technology they create is something to behold and it’s fantastic to be able to support applications which show just how advanced the Universal Robots e-Series is.’

Equally, Matthew Smith details the expertise and support offered by RARUK Automation, which has proved beneficial for Labman:

Collaborative Formulator from Labman Automation

‘Working with RARUK Automation for the supply of Universal Robots collaborative robot arms has always been a pleasure, along with the MiR and ER-FLEX robots which support Labman’s mission to provide transformative automation technology to laboratories in a wide range of industries. We are always on the lookout for suppliers that truly understand the products they are selling; the majority of our applications extend beyond a simple pick-and-place application.’

‘RARUK Automation and Tony have continued to go above and beyond to support Labman in the procurement process of these arms and are only ever a phone call away if we require support. In what is a crowded marketplace RARUK Automation certainly set themselves apart from the crowd.’ Concludes Matthew Smith.


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RARUK Automation on 01462 670 044 or email us at