Briefly, the present invention provides a system and method for high throughput processing using sample holders. The system has a plurality of work perimeters, with a rotational robot preferably associated with each work perimeter. At least one transfer station area is provided between adjacent work perimeters to facilitate robotic transfer of sample holders from one work perimeter to another area. Each work perimeter typically includes a plurality of defined station locations, with each station location positioned to be accessible by the robot associated with that area. In addition, each station location is typically configured to receive a device, such as an automated instrument or a holding nest. Device components are arranged at selected station locations according to specific application requirements to provide a flexible, robust, reliable, and accurate high throughput processing system.