It sounds like the authors were using repeats instead of replicates. Repeats are multiple measurements taken under the same experimental run while replicates are taken under multiple experimental runs. Replicates include an additional source of variation (experimental setup-to-setup) typically called experimental error. Repeats do not include this source of variation and consist primarily of measurement error and within group variation.
Repeats, in industrial experiments, are often analyzed using the average and standard deviation.