Innovation in Manufacture

Toolsquare's Laboratory Equipment Optimiser (LEO)

Introducing Toolsquare’s Laboratory Equipment Optimiser (LEO) – your solution for real-time management of equipment and users, empowering laboratories to operate with greater efficiency and precision. With LEO, labs can easily control machine access and access detailed usage data, allowing them to implement tailored policies. By optimising machine usage and ownership, LEO helps reduce resource consumption and costs. It also streamlines machinery inventory, promoting efficient resource utilisation and reducing waste. In essence, LEO promotes sustainability while enhancing user accessibility.

How does it work?

In the laboratory, each machine is integrated with a dedicated LEO unit. Users need to authenticate themselves before they can use the machine. These units do more than just grant access; they also show important safety procedures and let users report any problems. Plus, the platform keeps a detailed record of all machine use, helping lab managers monitor everything and make improvements as needed.

The Toolsquare platform allows users to easily find and book available machines. Lab managers can use the platform to oversee the lab and manage access permissions.

Here are some detailed practical advantages:
1. Higher machine productivity
a. Less downtime
i. Users are aware they are known and will therefore behave more responsibly. This results in phenomenal reductions in machine breakage – 95% reduction in repair costs was recorded at a VIB lab (Flemish Institute of Biotechnology) –
ii. Users can easily report issues, reducing downtime
b. Faster awareness of problems and therefore faster resolution
c. Better occupancy rates (now 10 to 15%) through
i. Steering of usage times
ii. More effective occupancy by suggesting correct reservation duration. If necessary, confront users with unnecessarily long reservations
iii. Sharing machines with other departments
2. Rationalisation of equipment portfolio
The combination of today’s low utilisation rates and the dual presence of some machines in different parts of the organisation gives huge potential for improvement. By giving users access to more machines, the machines can be used much more efficiently. This is possible only if a number of conditions are met:
1. For the machine owner:
a. The latter is willing to make machines available to more users only if there is control over their use.
“”Without Toolsquare, I would never make the device available to the community”” (group leader VIB)
b. This only works in the long run if the machine owner also derives financial benefit from each machine use. Digital timekeeping is therefore indispensable.
2. For the user:
a. The latter can easily find suitable machines throughout the organisation. This can only be done through a user-friendly digital platform.
3. Data on machine use
a. Cost allocation for accurate accounting
b. Better investment decisions
i. Investments can be postponed by spreading usage peaks
ii. Data on required capacity
iii. Possibilities to use machines together with other labs/departments
c. Optimisation of maintenance frequency based on running hours
d. Phasing out low utilisation machines. Without data, conversations about this are very sensitive and stressful. Decisions on phasing out can have many benefits:
i. 2nd hand value
ii. End of maintenance costs
iii. Lab space is freed up for other equipment
e. Demonstrable which machines are used in the evening or at night so that measures can be taken for safety or supporting infrastructure services.
f. Tracking energy consumption

4. Unique planning and management software
a. Only tool that can connect ALL machines
i. Analogue, digital, via computer
ii. Any brand
b. So you get all machines and all users on 1 platform.
c. Integration with your other management processes and tools: accounting, reporting, maintenance,…
5. Improved safety with access control
a. No training = no access
b. Lab manager assigns access rights
6. Enforceable procedures
a. Access only after agreement on the Toolsquare LEO unit
b. Can be about safety (are you wearing safety glasses?), machine procedure (is the extraction on?) or SOPs

7. Streamlined processes for all parties:
a. It becomes the go-to tool for users when they need a machine:
i. Upfront:
1. Where can I find the right machine?
2. Is it available?
3. Do I have permissions for it? If not, I request them.
4. I want to reserve them (in development)
ii. In the lab:
1. Reporting problems
2. Assigning machine time to one of my projects (in development)
b. With our current customers, the Toolsquare platform is permanently open on the lab manager’s computer. This way, he/she is always up to date and can take short cuts for:
i. Resolving problems with machines
ii. Assigning access rights
iii. Processing administration
c. At Toolsquare, the manager or director can find all data
i. To monitor the performance of the lab
ii. To take decisions, e.g. about investments.
iii. To follow up whether investments pay off: occupancy rates, minimisation of downtime,…

Comparison Toolsquare LEO vs Scheduling system

Features Toolsquare LEO Scheduling Tool

Access control ✅ ❌
No access for untrained users

Digital notebook ✅ ❌
Interface for input of data at the instrument

Issue reporting ✅ ❌
Interface for notification of issues at the instrument

Procedure enforcement ✅ ❌
No consent = no access to instrument

Real time insights ✅ ❌
Cockpit for lab manager to know what is happening in the lab

Exact use data ✅ ❌
Booking data = approximate
Toolsquare data = exact data

Scheduling ✅ ✅
Book your equipment for efficient equipment use

In conclusion, Toolsquare’s LEO is a top contender for the Innovation in Manufacture and Sustainability in Manufacture award. Its seamless integration with lab equipment and real-time management features boost efficiency and precision, setting new standards in operations. By regulating machine access, optimising resources, and promoting sustainability, LEO helps labs cut down on waste and enhance overall efficiency. It’s a powerful tool that aligns perfectly with the goals of modern manufacturing. With LEO, labs can innovate while being mindful of sustainability, making it a standout choice for recognition in manufacturing innovation and sustainability efforts.

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