Due to technological advances in laboratory instruments and increased process throughput, data volumes in modern analytical laboratories have increased significantly over the past few decades. Integrating laboratory instruments with Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) is one of the best ways to improve the automation of laboratory processes and manage data efficiently. Our I-Collector middleware system enables the integration of instruments with our LIMS system, LabCollector. To enhance this integration, we have developed an innovative system, I-Collector Hub. More security, data storage, web interface to control the system, read on to learn more.
LabCollector’s I-Collector is the ultimate middleware for instrument automation. It is a service configured to run in the background. It acts as a middleware, which can communicate with LabCollector, as well as with various laboratory instruments.
I-Collector is the name given to the whole system. But I-Collector is composed of multiple applications and plugins that can process data or simplify the client use.
Learn more on I-Collector Middleware. You can also read our blog to learn more about LabCollector Automation system.
What is I-Collector Hub?
I-Collector Hub is a secure physical connection point between the instruments and I-Collector Middleware/LabCollector. It simplifies data acquisition and automatic connection of instruments in the laboratory. Its role is to be a “physical bridge” between the instruments and I-Collector Middleware.
Data from the instruments is sent directly to the I-Collector Hub via the local network. This data is then sent to I-Collector using the HTTPS protocol. I-Collector can be hosted in the cloud or on-premises. The data from I-Collector is then sent to LabCollector in the relevant module or add-on via an API.
I-Collector Hub is using a Raspberry PI, to avoid maintenance and take up less space in the lab.
I-Collector Hub can be used in two different ways:
I-Collector Hub for Instruments
I-Collector Hub for Data Loggers
What makes automation with I-Collector Hub more powerful?
The major advantage of using I-Collector Hub is to be able to secure all the data when sending but also when saving the data and the data logs. Indeed, to secure the acquisition of data as well as the sending, specific protocols are used like SFTP, TCP/IP, HTTPS for instruments or HTTP, HTTPS for data loggers. All received data and data logs are also stored on a database server using MySQL.
The most important difference with the use of the I-Collector Hub compared to I-Collector “alone”, is the presence of a physical data storage. Indeed, thanks to a 16Gb memory card storage, all data received from the instruments are stored in I-Collector Hub. In case of an internet outage, this data is stored and will be automatically sent back as soon as the connection with I-Collector is restored.
In addition, the storage logs are also stored in order to check that all data received during the reactivation is identical to the log. All logs are visible via the I-Collector Hub interface (see pictures below).
With the I-Collector Hub, you can automatically set up the instrument connections. The instrument connections are set up directly on I-Collector. When setting up the Hub, it automatically receives the information from I-Collector and configures the connections on the Hub.
No manipulation is required on the user side. It is maintenance free and does not require any human intervention after installation.
I-Collector Hub is the ideal tool for automation
I-Collector Hub is a true plug & play system. No maintenance, greater security and above all a one-week data backup in case of connection problems.
Automation is now a major asset in the search for efficiency and profit. With I-Collector Hub, receiving data from instruments is simple, automatic, and secure. No more transcription errors or data loss. Everything is tracked and visible to the user through the web interface.