The core of any system is its controller. As this is where everything comes together and where the user interacts with the system, this key component requires in-depth consideration.
Until now, system controllers were largely individually-designed and implemented again each time a new system was integrated. With its Device Control and Data Interface Standard (DCDIS), the SiLA initiative has succeeded in defining a standard for the behavior of process management software. Using Laboratory Automation Control Suite (LACS – a framework based on this standard), new system controllers can now be developed more quickly, more efficiently and, above all, more cost-effectively. Development and validation efforts are restricted to the customer’s specific GUI and database model. Processes running in the background, such addressing devices, scheduling, database access and recording and logging, are already implemented and validated. This makes the controller largely independent of the connected device hardware. Therefore, devices can be replaced by comparable ones from different manufacturers if they are defective, or if the process is modified, without having to change the controller. A new level of system configurability has been reached: a system can grow with the process and is not just suitable for a single process.
As processes have become so easy to create and modify, special programming knowledge is no longer required. The simple alterability of the process and configurability of the system makes automated systems so variable that they make economic sense even for small or temporary applications.