CLA affirms its leadership in automation

CLA Clinical Laboratory Automation SA, also more simply known as CLA, was founded at the end of 1996 to provide high tech automated systems for medical analysis laboratories. Under the leadership of Dr André von Froreich, owner of several medical analysis laboratories in Hamburg, Germany and Patrick Fleury, a microtechnology engineer and the current CEO, the company commercialised Sample Management System (SMS) for automatically moving samples. While SMS was initially developed to reduce the cost of blood tests by automating the entire screening process, it has since been adapted and modified for use in number of other fields. Most notably, CLA has become a cutting-edge partner for clients involved in watch movement assembly.

Building on its thirteen years experience in implementing automated systems, CLA is  able to create robotic systems that are tailored to the latest market requirements. In addition, the company has become a centre of expertise for Mitsubishi robots in Switzerland. CLA has also been working on new measurement products and since 2006 has been selling BARImètre, a high performance instrument for torque measurement. The company offers its clients a comprehensive service delivery model, providing design, programming and compliance tests, as well as installation and maintenance of its equipment. It has experience in supervising projects involving different suppliers.

CLA is situated at the heart of a micro-technology cluster, drawing in skills and resources from several local suppliers and partners, and working in collaboration with technology schools and universities, which are also a source of graduate engineers and technicians.The SMS transportation system

The Sample Management System, an intelligent transport system that allows individual handling of each component, comes in two sizes, 60mm and 100mm. SMS feeds the various workstations, working in either manual, semi-automatic or automatic modes to optimise the distribution of the workload, thus minimising current stock. Every shuttle is individually identified by integrated OMS (Object Management Software) ensuring full traceability. SMS technology functions as a logistics system to convey components, and then provides manufacture, assembly and control functions. It is possible to transport components of different types, in varying quantities, according to the manufacturing order. A range of mixed elements may be processed simultaneously, thereby reducing the volume of ongoing production, whilst preserving flexibility.

Implementing an automated system like SMS requires a research phase and advanced simulation studies to define the architecture and quantify the return on investment (ROI). CLA has the know-how to assist customers in their industrial developments, helping to optimise workflow while complying with manufacturing standards. The SMS transport system has demonstrated its value in medical analysis laboratories, and in watch movement and watch casing assembly. The system is also perfectly suited to micro technology and machining. Because it is both compact and modular, it can get close to the other equipment. From CLA Robot Cells to BARImètre

CLA Robot Cells are ideal for loading and unloading machine tools, presses, measuring stations, and so on. In addition to its skills in developing turnkey automated systems, CLA provides a full range of services. The company is a centre of expertise for Mitsubishi robots, offering training, maintenance services and customer support. CLA is also an expert in machine vision, enabling it to develop specific robotic applications for handling micro components or watch parts.

In response to demand from customers in the watchmaking industry, CLA has developed a specialist measuring device – BARImètre - for measuring torque both in the laboratory and during production. It runs on an embedded PC with Windows CE operating system, ensuring the device has a high level of connectivity and autonomy. The compact and user friendly device is driven by BARImètre Manager software designed by CLA’s R&D department.

CLA has the expertise to meet any specific automation demands. Its employees are dynamic, competent and customer-focused and the company’s R&D department is at the forefront of technology, always working to develop cutting edge and competitive equipment. CLA also provides efficient after sales support and constantly helps to upgrade existing products. CLA’s multidisciplinary know-how, makes it the ideal partner in projects involving ambitious and effective automation and logistics flow control. CLA’s SMS matches clients’ needs both in terms of productivity and ergonomics. The latest production units are clearly moving towards the “verticalisation” of production flow, and this fits well with the services CLA is able to provide. The company’s strategy of standardising core components and integrating customised modules allows the production equipment to be automated at very attractive prices, with a rapid ROI.

New economic opportunities are opening up in the canton of Jura with the arrival of the French high speed train TGV, the full opening of the A16 motorway and the close vicinity of Basel-Mulhouse international airport making the company easily accessible. The stage is set for CLA to grow further.





Mitsubishi The Jura-based CLA is a competence centre for Mitsubishi robots.





En français dans le texte

CLA à la pointe de l’automation

A Delémont, dans le canton du Jura, CLA (Clinical Laboratory Automation SA) propose des solutions d’automation modernes et évolutives pour le secteur médical, horloger et microtechnique. L’entreprise a été fondée fin 1996 dans le but de proposer des solutions de haute technologie en matière d’automation pour les besoins des laboratoires d’analyse médicale. Sous l’impulsion du Docteur André von Froreich, propriétaire de plusieurs laboratoires d’analyse à Hambourg et de Patrick Fleury ingénieur en microtechnique et actuel PDG, CLA industrialise le système de transport SMS (Sample Management System). D’abord développé pour diminuer les coûts d’analyse sanguine en maîtrisant le processus de contrôle de manière automatisée, ce système est désormais applicable à divers domaines. CLA est notamment un partenaire d’avant-garde pour l’assemblage de mouvements horlogers. A partir de 2006, CLA a aussi développé de nouvelles compétences en technique de mesure et propose à sa clientèle en particulier horlogère des équipements performants dans la mesure de couple avec son produit BARImètre.

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