The German company GLP Systems Ltd., based in Hamburg, is an innovative specialist in the area of information and automation systems for clinical laboratories. GLP Systems has revolutionized the sample transfer using a new approach: Similar to a Carrera race track, the sample vessels are individually moved through the laboratories and cold-storage rooms in intelligent CARs along lanes. Worldwide, lots of those systems are already being used, also in the Center of Laboratory Medicine at the Insel Hospital in Bern.

Figure 1: The pool of empty CARs allows for an efficient and automatic filling on the right lane. In the Tube Assessment Center (TAC), at the right rear of the picture, the samples are classified reliably by the SCS computer vision system and start their individual route through the laboratory.
Source: Center of Laboratory Medicine – Insel Hospital, Bern
















Incorrect analysis results are being avoided thanks to the SCS computer vision solution: The samples are being classified in purely visual terms using their shape and color only. Practically, the world wide range of vessel types is a challenge, since their characteristics oftentimes only differ slightly. Using a statistical evaluation; those samples can be reliably identified despite their variations in production batches. Since the system automatically withdraws samples with unsure classifications, confusions are hence avoided. In those rare cases, employees check on the samples manually and guarantee for the mandatory safety.

SCS Service Tool
Figure 2: The SCS Service Tool allows a detailed status analysis. Thanks to rapid prototyping using MATLAB, the agile development took place quickly in a cost efficient manner and was soon ready for use.














A service technician can quickly detect causes of uncertainties thanks to the SCS Service Tool: It analyzes and visualizes diagnostic images along with other data of the TAC. If required, a new series of images can be acquired and thus, the data pool used for the machine learning can be continually expanded. Applying this method, new types of vessels can easily be learned by the system. Moreover, new variations of known vessels can be understood better, therefore the recognition rate is steadily optimized.

Picture 3: Thanks to swarm intelligence, the CARs drive autonomously through a variety of modules (TAC, centrifuges, cap removers, analysis devices etc.) This allows for an individual and cost efficient analysis of the blood samples according to the Industry 4.0 idea.  Source: Center of Laboratory Medicine – Insel Hospital, Bern

Compared to regular radiation therapy with X-rays, the proton therapy allows an even more precise localisation of the dose and therefore a high therapeutical efficiency with fewer side effects. Thus, it is highly significant when treating tumors that are located closely to important organs, for instance in the area of the head.

In November 2013, the „Gantry 2“ has started its clinical patient treatment. The applied high speed, intensity-modulated 3D-scanning method is globally unique. We congratulate the PSI Institute on this big success!

The beam control and the continuous monitoring of the beam parameters function with a system cycle of 10 us and ensure the highly precise and safe radiation. We are very pleased, that this innovative system – to which SCS contributed core parts in a common project– is now clinically operative in order to bring forth healing to the patients.



Construction of Gantry 2 at PSI at an early stag.




Graphic Processors (GPUs) offer better performance at lower costs and energy demand compared to regular processors (CPUs). A consortium linked to the Swiss National Supercomputing Centere (CSCS) in Lugano, the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, the Centre for Climate Systems Modelling (C2SM) of the ETH Zurich as well as other partners has established the basis for the application of these advantages in the field of weather forecast and climate simulation.

The huge market for computer games and the corresponding consoles has rapidly promoted the development of graphic processors. Instead of 2 or 4 cores, as they are found in common desktop processors, a modern graphics chip contains up to 2496 energy efficient cores. For years, scientists have been working on possibilities to make use of this computing power for scientific and technological applications. The following hurdles have to be overcome:

  • In order to achieve the required system performance, a large number of these graphic processors are necessary. Like in a classical supercomputer or cluster, the processors need to be closely assembled in rack systems all while being tightly linked, providing a high reliability. The CSCS, being one of the first purchasers of such a system, has essentially influenced its design and development. Since the commissioning of the machine named ‘Piz Daint’ at the CSCS, the fastest computer of Europe is now located in Switzerland.
  • The powerful GPUs are always used alongside generally applicable CPUs. This combination of different kinds of processors is called ‘hybrid computing’ and requires software adjustments, so that the various processing steps can be performed on the most suitable processor (GPU or CPU). Due to their design, consisting of many small processors, GPUs can only be fully used when thousands of tasks (‘threads’) are being executed simultaneously. The splitting of the computing task into many independent parts (parallelization) requires an exhaustive revision of the codes and can greatly increase its complexity. With the successful porting of the weather model ‘COSMO’, the consortium has realized calculating weather forecasts on hybrid computers for the first time. The ‘Domain Specific Language’ (DSL), developed by SCS, allows weather researchers to formulate their physical models in a most straightforward way, without the need of considering the architecture of the processor being used. The automated translation of this code, using our back end solution, generates a highly efficient code for CPU and GPU.

Thanks to the progress mentioned above, the weather forecast in Switzerland’s small and demanding terrain can be calculated even more precisely in the future and exceptional events like strong thunderstorms are thus more predictable.