The SiLA PMS standard allows for a conjoint way interfacing process management systems. The communication standard covers as of now the following use cases:
A universal SiLA PMS implements both, service consumer and provider; hence it facilitates implementation of:
- Pipetting Workstation in a larger automated system
- External requested execution of a method in the system controlled by the PMS
- Robotic platform which is controlled by a basic PMS
- Recovery routine after errors
Consumer PMS (formerly Basic PMS)
A terminal (topmost) SiLA PMS, which is a service consumer and does not implement a service provider; hence it facilitates implementation of:
- Sample management software
- Order Processing System
- Monitoring System
Provider PMS (formerly Device PMS)
A SiLA device PMS, which represents a SiLA compliant proprietary black box and thus enables upgrade of:
- Legacy devices and Systems
A SiLA PMS accesses all kinds of data and information; hence it should be enabled to track data from multiple sources (in compliance to the SiLA data capture standard):
- Measurement data
- Environmental data
- Sample tracking data
- Tracking of consumables (Reagents, Plates, …)
- Audit trail
In lab automation there are a lot of situations, where device sharing would be of benefit, however tackling this task without SiLA is time-consuming and tedious. A SiLA PMS should be enabled to handle the following situations “automagically”:
- Incubator(s) acting as sample storage (compound library) which delivers plates to two or more independent automated systems (controlled compliant to SiLA).
- Short duration sharing of resources by two automated systems (e.g. reader)
- Sharing of resources by two automated systems on short notice
- Storage device as buffer coupling two independent Systems
Another frequent issue in lab automation is the grouping of devices. A SiLA PMS should therefore tackle the following situations without time-consuming configuration:
- Multiple devices shall act as one device (e.g. Incubators, compound of incubators).
- Get a plate with barcode without knowledge of detailed location of the plate.
- Un/load resources which are controlled by the PMS (e.g. up/down scaling)
- Failure safety through redundant components
As of now six use cases are addressed by the SiLA PMS standard workgroup. In the future we hope to implement further use cases and looking forward for your participation in the standardization of process management systems. Since the SiLA Standard is actively developed by a team of SiLA members we like to encourage you to make your voice heard.
* Please note: The features Device Grouping and Device Sharing are not yet part of the SiLA Standard. However, idea papers exist and if you feel this is your topic, please adress yourself to the group leader.