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Lab2lab software design - 11.0

Director is the core control software component of a lab2lab system, monitoring and controlling the movement of samples within the system. Within the application are various logical control units. At the top of these is the Scheduler. Below this is the Transport layer. It receives instructions from the Scheduler to handle the movement of a vial either from a device to the Router or from the Router to a device. Other sub modules take care of activities such as initiating an analysis by an instrument or controlling the movement of the Buffer. 

Director uses the site Ethernet network to communicate with other lab2lab hardware and software components. All lab2labdevices use the same network control module, which runs firmware developed by SPT Labtech. The firmware processes output commands sent from the lab2lab Director software (e.g. to open a Blow valve) and sends back updates and confirmation messages about the state about the of the I/O. Each networked device also sends a “heartbeat” signal every ten seconds. The signal not only assures the Director application that the device in question is still "alive" but also lists the status of all inputs and outputs.  

Communication between lab2lab software applications is undertaken using Microsoft .NET Remoting technology, hence all PCs used must have the Microsoft .Net Framework (version 4.8 or higher) installed. 

All data sent between the Director application and peripheral devices is encapsulated in UDP (User Datagram Protocol) data packets, sent over TCP/IP. This is an extremely compact method for data transfer, hence lab2lab adds negligible traffic to your network.