Efficiencies in operation are achieved largely in advanced failure analysis (FA) labs because routine steps or processes have been automated and the need for operator interaction minimized. Very few operators are required to run a fully automated, "lights out" type Fab. This paper discusses the various automation components which are available to labs as they look to streamline the FA process to support the Fab's ever increasing demand for more process data. These include iFast Automation software and automated recipes to create the thick lamella. The development of automation software and integrated accessories for FA equipment is now bringing more Fab-like activities and processes into the FA lab. As more and more automation moves into the FA lab, one should not be surprised in a few years to see very few operators sitting in front of tools with blinking green lights scattered throughout the lab.

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