ABB Robotics partners with XtalPi to build intelligent automated laboratories

December 2023

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ABB Robotics partners with XtalPi to build intelligent automated laboratories
Over one hundred ABB GoFa™ collaborative robots automate laboratory workstations, accelerating R&D in the chemical and life sciences sectors.

ABB Robotics and XtalPi have entered a strategic partnership to produce a range of automated laboratory workstations in China. The new, automated laboratories will boost the productivity of R&D processes in biopharmaceuticals, chemical engineering and chemistry, and new energy materials.

XtalPi is dedicated to driving intelligent and digital transformation in the life science and new materials in the chemicals industry. In 2022, the AI tech company bought over 100 GoFa cobots to create automated laboratory workstations at its testing facility in Shanghai, China. This year, XtalPi officially launched the automation-centric brand XtalPi Intelligent Automation with the purpose of aiding researchers through automation equipment. Together with ABB Robotics, XtalPi Intelligent Automation is using GoFa™ cobots to automate the synthesis and crystallization processes involved in developing new drugs and materials for its target industries.

The automated laboratory workstations can be customized to meet specific requirements, using different modules to complete various experiment steps. ABB’s GoFa cobots take on repetitive, manual tasks, while also working non-stop, accelerating the pace of experimentation. The large volumes of high-quality data generated will help to boost the efficiency of the Design-Make-Test-Analyze research cycle and provide a solid foundation for driving AI for science.

The GoFa cobots are used by XtalPi Intelligent Automation to develop preparation workstations, diluting and filtration workstations, reaction workstations, UPLC testing workstations, glovebox workstations, sample warehouses, and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) to make lab research and development faster and more efficient.

Each automated workstation can perform hundreds of different experiments, with ABB’s GoFa cobots operating in a range of challenging environments, including glove boxes – with no moisture or oxygen– while performing intricate tasks such as opening lids and the placement of lab equipment, liquid handling, sample addition, filtration, dilution, magnetic stirring, rapid sampling and UPLC testing, with minimal supervision required. AMRs equipped with GoFa cobots transfer samples automatically between workstations, increasing efficiency while further reducing costs.

Equipped with a GoFa cobot and four rotating columns, automated sample warehouses provide compact and efficient storage and retrieval for laboratory reagents, making the process more efficient and entirely traceable.

This is ABB Robotics’ latest project in the lab automation market, which is seeing significant growth with a revenue of USD 5.1 billion in 2022 expected to rise to USD 7.1 billion in 2028.

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