biofuel growthA laboratory information management system (LIMS) is one of the most critical components of any laboratory in a modern oil and gas company – managing data and automating laboratory processes from the exploration and extraction stages to the production and refining parts of the business. And now with a focus on alternative methods of recovering oil and gas, from hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) to deep water drilling, the data related to every stage of production must be securely captured, stored and made available to any number of constituents who may need it – from on-site managers determining the quality of output, downstream production or manufacturing who may be taking customer orders and establishing workflow for ongoing projects, to management who may need to report on plant efficiencies and cost savings or compliance to shareholders or regulatory bodies. A LIMS is the critical data and lab management tool that allows the lab to run as efficiently as possible, with instruments and equipment integrated with the LIMS and the LIMS fully integrated with other enterprise systems, such as PIMS, MES or ERP. Such a tightly integrated laboratory also relies on a method or lab execution system (LES) to enable the most efficient automated workflow, where lab personnel are given precise instructions on fast-changing sampling requirements or project turn-over, instruments are monitored for timely recalibration and maintenance, and personnel training records are part of the permission process for access to instruments required for certain critical procedures.

SampleManager LIMS has a long history of performing at the highest level in oil and gas laboratories around the world. It is also now becoming a critical data and laboratory management tool in the search for viable new energy solutions – biofuels. In many parts of the world where natural resources are abundant, there is a growing reliance on biofuels for not only the transportation industry, but for home heating and other uses. The key to increased production is complicated, but the roots of the industry will rely on secure and accessible data management which will be provided by the LIMS.

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There are a few pieces of content recently published I wanted to share: one this month published in BioFuels Digest was written by Colin Thurston and nicely illustrates the specific challenges facing biofuels producers, challenges which are addressed with good data management and the reliance on an enterprise-level LIMS. Read the article here: How Laboratory Information Management Systems Prepare Labs for Biofuels Growth. Here’s also a good resource site for information on SampleManager LIMS , which will give you video introductions to how the product performs, technical information bulletins, as well as case studies and selected articles. One of interest could be related to the growing trend to use mobile devices in and outside the lab. Read Out on a LIMS: Mobile Devices Moving into the Laboratory. Finally, because compliance issues are a major factor in biofuels production, a LIMS like SampleManager that enables automated adherence to international requirements such as ISO 17025, is a critical investment. A recent article published in Brazil (in English and Portuguese), where biofuels production is a key part of the economy, illustrates the value of the LIMS in meeting complex requirements of ISO 17025.

There’s more to say on this topic than one blog post will allow so we’ll take on this topic again in the next several months with freshly published content. In the meanwhile, I hope this information has been useful and interesting to you. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.