Background

TetraScience Utilization Reporting was created in an effort to maximize efficiency and minimize cost and time waste by providing up-to-date metrics on capital equipment usage and behavior. 

Through our real-time processing algorithm, scientists and lab technicians are able to make more informed decisions with regards to instrument availability and in planning for future spending. 

But how does Utilization Reporting work?

Employing our real-time algorithm, Utilization Reporting monitors equipment for usage; we track over the course of a day and update frequently to provide accountable monthly and yearly usage measurements. 

Device data can be viewed comprehensively via the Utilization Reporting screen, where different viewing metrics (i.e. Device Name, Manufacturer) can be used to filter viewing. 

Individual Utilization Reports are also available for each utilization instrument. By clicking on a device row or the Utilization Reporting button located on the device panel, users can view individual device usage patterns over an adjustable period of time. 

Algorithm calculates Utilization % using wattage data 

TetraScience identifies two wattage thresholds for every instrument: 

  1. Utilized vs Idle: above this wattage threshold, the instrument is considered utilized. Below this wattage threshold, the instrument is considered idle. 
  2. Idle vs Off: above this wattage threshold, the instrument is considered idle. Below this wattage threshold, the instrument is considered off. 

TetraScience divides every hour into 4 15-minute blocks:

  • :00 to :14
  • :15 to :29
  • :30 to :44
  • :45 to :59 

The algorithm then classifies the block accordingly:

  1. If the wattage is above the Utilized vs. Idle threshold at any point within that block of time, then the entire block is considered Utilized. 
  2. If the wattage is never above the Utilized vs. Idle threshold and is not below the Idle vs. Off threshold for the entire block, the entire block is considered Idle. 
  3. If the wattage is below the Idle vs. Off threshold for the entire block, the instrument is considered Off. 

In the selected time range, the algorithm counts the total number of blocks, number of Utilized blocks, number of Idle blocks, and number of Off blocks and performs the following calculations: 

  1. Utilized % = # of Utilized blocks/# of blocks total 
  2. Idle % = # of Idle blocks/# of blocks total 
  3. Off % = # of Off blocks/# of blocks total

The elapsed time calculations are as follows: 

  1. Minutes Utilized = # of Utilized blocks x 15 minutes 
  2. Minutes Idle = # of Idle blocks x 15 minutes 
  3. Minutes Off = # of Off blocks x 15 minutes 

Why did TetraScience select this algorithm?

The time series power data for an autosampler shows spikes for each injection that an autosampler makes. When the autosampler is not injecting, the system is still in use, but the power consumption is much more indicative of non-utilization. The TetraScience Utilization algorithm correctly considers the time between injections to be Utilized.

If there is just a single spike in a 15-minute block, this will result in the entire block being considered Utilized and thus over counted. In practice, however, this rarely happens since scientists run dozens of samples in order. So while the algorithm does slightly round up Utilization numbers, our examination reveals that it is very accurate even for narrow time ranges. Additionally, the TetraScience Utilization algorithm is much less computationally intensive than other approaches. Because of this faster algorithm, the TetraScience Utilization UI is extremely fast for exploring Utilization data which makes for an excellent user experience.

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