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Home / Issue Archive / 2011 / July - August #7 / Advantages of LIMS Integration with Corporate Information Systems – Meet Solutions from Thermo Fisher Scientific

№ 7 (July - August 2011)

Advantages of LIMS Integration with Corporate Information Systems – Meet Solutions from Thermo Fisher Scientific

   One of the most common reasons for purchasing laboratory information management systems (LIMS) is the ability to integrate laboratory tools and corporate information systems to streamline information management.

By Natalya Pupkova

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   Despite the fact that this integration is required by many laboratories, in practice this goal is not always successfully achieved. The results of various studies illustrate a certain gap between expectations from integration and reality. This is because of the complexity of interfacing various software, while the direct integration of LIMS with lab instruments saves precious time, and eliminates the possibility of typing errors in results often present in data entered manually. These benefits are especially illustrative when applying gas chromatographs, which generate a significant portion of laboratory data.

   In fact the only reason separating chromatographs from the LIMS are the various levels of laboratory processes. A lack of unification leads to the necessity of market availability of the systems allowing companies to fully integrate data from various instruments into a single LIMS system to optimize data management. One of the key challenges facing today’s laboratories is to turn a huge amount of laboratory data into a single system, allowing experts to make prompt and reliable decisions. A variety of software solutions at every enterprise leads to generation of huge amounts of disparate data, so that to find the needed information is a challenge.

   Many companies use inefficient procedures of data processing, performed manually, using both structured and unstructured data sets. It is often difficult to generate the desired form of a report or document from such a flow of information. In addition, the data formats are often incompatible with each other, which complicates the integration process when a manager is responsible for several different departments or laboratory processes. All of these factors erect barriers to expediting the decision making process and increasing the return on investment.

   Full integration of LIMS and chromatography software is an evolutionary step towards the integration and management of laboratory data. This will reduce the cost of implementation, validation, maintenance and training  compared to one-off solutions.The goals of increasing productivity can be also achieved by using a unified system of reports generation. The properly designed system of the LIMS integration and chromatography data will provide access to information of various levels, using an intuitive and friendly user interface and will also allow the user to automate the flow of requests from the LIMS to the chromatograph and obtaining results from chromatographs to the LIMS.

   For a large scale enterprise, it is essential to arrange production in line with the ERP system planning. This requires a complex sequence of manufacturing operations within the framework of the object-oriented systems such as LIMS and MES, in addition to update of the product technical characteristics, determining the output volumes, etc. Availability of the sub-systems integration means a seamless planning for all stages of production. This ensures consistency of all stages of the process, as well as compliance with production and maintenance of the required product quality.

   Once the ERP changes the requirements for productive activity, the LIMS reschedules the testing, sampling, specifications accordingly, and the staff can immediately start working on the new scheme. In addition, the system does not duplicate data in what is another advantage of working in a single integrated production environment. This approach is not one-way for the transfer of data from the ERP system. Since the ERP systems do not require a detailed laboratory data, the LIMS provides key data in the ERP about the research findings. In most companies, the quality results assurance is supervised by a quality control division. As a rule, the employees of this department are using the integrated system.

   Vital role is played by the manufacturing process information accessibility, it allows for more efficient control of production, providing the timely corrective actions. Timely access to production data is a vital task to prevent loss of production and release of defective products, likely to result in economic losses.
In addition, the analyzers used for rapid analysis are purchased for immediate collection of data, especially if the content of any part is critical. In these cases, if the operator receives information with a considerable delay, there is no sense in obtaining the data at all, as they are needed only in the online mode.

   Consequently, data access in real time mode is an important need for the laboratories, whereby a direct interface between the MES and LIMS allows the production services to monitor the results of research on-line and make quick decisions.

   Thus it is clear that all industries face the need to integrate information within production facilities. This is a challenge being addressed by many organizations and software developers. One solution to this problem is the service-oriented architecture used by Thermo Fisher Scientific in its developments. The solution advantages include the ability to communicate some specialized applications. To implement a solution like this, Thermo Fisher Scientific uses Web-services with standardized protocols; this allows LIMS systems access to applications such as Microsoft, Biz Talk and Share Point.

   The world of information systems for laboratories is moving forward, and because all laboratories are looking for ways to integrate all information flows into a single flow, scattered systems are not the perfect solution for the laboratories. Thermo Fisher Scientific offers the most advanced solutions for seamless integration of LIMS with analytical tools, as well as MES and ERP solutions.
The transition of laboratories to the use of the systems that integrate all companies will provide a more effective use of data to manage the routine lab processes.

   For higher-level managers, this is a capability of prompt decision making based on reliable objective information gathered online. This kind of integration transforms the disparate data sources into a deep knowledge of the company operation allowing the users a more efficient business.

   For companies in Russia and the CIS system, the SampleManager LIMS is available in the Russian version from the Hyperion Systems Engineering (Rus) Company, an official partner of Thermo Scientific in the regions.

   Please do not hesitate to contact Natalia Pupkova, the expert of the Hyperion Systems Engineering (Rus). She is available at +7 495 504 04 77 or can be emailed at [email protected].

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