The requirement for non-contact liquid handling systems is boosting the automated sector, a Frost & Sullivan (F&S) Western European Liquid Handling Market survey has found.
The F&S survey suggests that a rising need for high throughput data is accelerating the move towards increased automation within the western European liquid handling sector.
Growth in automated systems such as electronic pipettes and automated bench-top instruments is being spurred by government investment in bioclusters and research parks, the study finds.
“Laboratories prefer automated liquid handling systems, which can reduce working hours for personnel
F&S senior analyst Srinivas Sashidhar
F&S analysis suggests that the western European liquid handling market, which includes manual systems such as pipettes and pipette tips, has earned revenues of $525 million (£325m) so far in 2014, with that figure expected to rise to $890 million (£551m) by 2021.
Increasingly, laboratories that require liquid handling systems opt for non-contact dispensing as sterile methods of liquid handling becomes essential.
“Laboratories prefer automated liquid handling systems, which can significantly reduce working hours for personnel,” said F&S Healthcare senior research analyst Srinivas Sashidhar.
“However, market participants must overcome several shortfalls before large scale laboratory automation is possible,” Sashidhar said.
By way of example, Sashidhar said that the lack of open standards in product development and data transfer affects the compatibility between different components. As integration complexity grows, software compatibility too becomes a challenge.
Sashidhar also cited the higher cost of automated liquid handling equipment as a barrier for some laboratories when considering liquid handling purchases.
“Manufacturers must build automated equipment and accessories that are flexible for use with different liquid handling systems,” Sashidhar said.
“Collaboration with reagent manufacturers will help create a greater number of validated protocols and widen the scope for expansion in the western European liquid handling market.”