Advantages of Integrating LIMS with Laboratory Instruments – Part 2

Advantages of Integrating LIMS with Laboratory Instruments – Part 2

As discussed in Part 1, the significant increase in data volume has resulted in laboratories seeking to maximize the automation and integration of laboratory operations to attain digital continuity throughout every product’s lifecycle. Perhaps the most effective way for automating lab process is the integration of laboratory instruments with a LIMS.

Part 2 will discuss several best practices for the integration of laboratory instruments with a LIMS. Poor planning and methods may lead to wasting time and resources.

Site Survey

First, your team should conduct a comprehensive site survey of the instruments in use. Considerations of integration options for every instrument and the kind and volume of data each exports should be made.

Instrument Prioritization

A determination of the ROI (return on investment) for the project should be made to ensure instrument integration is worthwhile. Below is a set of questions for your team to answer for each instrument being considered for LIMS integration.
1. What is the frequency of an instrument’s use and its volume of data?
2. What is the importance of the instrument’s results for laboratory processes?
3. How will an instrument integration benefit laboratory personnel?
4. How will instrument integration improve data integrity and quality?
5. Is an instrument’s computer connected to the network to ease LIMS integration?
Regarding question 5, considerations should also be made regarding the operating system, company network policy compliance, and the type of data the instrument will export.

Critical Path Instruments

Critical path instruments returning substantial ROI should be prioritized. Accomplishing these first will build confidence among team members and create impetus for completing the entire project.

Staying on Schedule

Lab personnel often postpone working on instrument integration because they believe a LIMS’ data structures need to be clearly defined beforehand. Although this is somewhat true, there is a danger that the project will lose momentum, time, and resources and will never be completed. Moreover, additional data elements only become apparent after the interfacing of an instrument has commenced.
Alpha Engineering LIMS Implementation
Alpha Engineering Associates, Inc. has been involved with the implementation of over 50 LIMS systems ranging in size from small, “off-the-shelf” software systems to very large, highly customized, multi-functional systems, including STARLIMS, for both governmental agencies and private enterprises. For affordable client-focused network consulting services and solutions, please call Alpha Engineering Associates today at (410) 295-9500.