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    Minicomputer Automation of Multi-Instrument Physical Chemistry Laboratory I: Management Science Methodology Used in System Definition, Specification, and Functional Design

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    This study describes the methodology used in the conceptualization, design, and implementation of a minicomputer system to automate data acquisition, reduction, and analysis from a multi-instrument facility at Glidden-Durkee's Dwight P. Joyce Research Center. The instruments to be automated consist of gas chromatographs, gel permeation chromatographs, a disk centrifuge photosedimentometer, a light-scattering photometer, an autoviscometer, a torsional pendulum, an ultraviolet visible spectrophotometer, and a liquid chromatograph. Both the existing and the desired methods for servicing these instruments are described and then used in showing how management science was used to specify the minicomputer system objectives in terms of system hardware/software characteristics. The steps taken in matching the system characteristics with vendors' stated capabilities are discussed and include designing and using a benchmark to simulate the system and evaluate vendor service and software/hardware functioning, detailing of the functional software requirements, and programming/testing of the system. Recommendations are provided, based on these experiences, for the attainment of system objectives within the constraints of in-house and vendor resources. Finally, an up-to-date evaluation is included of system performance with regard to the original specifications.


    computers, laboratories, minicomputers, data acquisition, gas chromatography, gel permeation chromatography, disk centrifuge photosedimentometer, real-time operations, minicomputer laboratory system design, laboratory instrument automation, minicomputer benchmark specification, minicomputer software requirements

    Author Information:

    Haeske, DC
    Senior operations research analyst, Glidden-Durkee Division of SCM Corp., Cleveland, Ohio

    Provder, T
    Technical manager, Glidden-Durkee Division of SCM Corp., Strongsville, Ohio

    Committee/Subcommittee: E31.40

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33344S