Autoscribe Informatics

Battery Testing Laboratory Benefits From Flexibility of Matrix Gemini LIMS - Case Study

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Courtesy of Autoscribe Informatics

The unique configuration capabilities of Autoscribe's Matrix Gemini Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) has allowed the creation of a flexible data management system for the Energy Innovation Centre at WMG, University of Warwick. Any system changes and developments are being handled internally by the Energy Storage and Management Research team using the OneTime' Configuration Tools.

Fast Facts

  • Establishment
    • WMG. University of Warwick
  • Industry
    • Research - Ll-ion Batteries
  • Geography
    • Worldwide
  • Challenges
    • Sample testing and result management of batteries
  • Solution
    • Matrix Gemini LIMS
  • Results
    • Ultra flexible solution provided flexibility needed for battery testing LIMS tracks externally stor

Background
The Energy Innovation Centre Is part of WMG at the University of Warwick and is located in the International Automotive Research Centre (IARC). While the majority of work involves testing Li-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles, other battery technologies are also being tested. WMG is one of the world's leading research and education centres, and is also one of the seven world class centres of industrial innovation that make up the High Value Manufacturing Catapult project. This was set up in order to accelerate new concepts through to commercial reality and in doing so provide a catalyst for the future growth and success of manufacturing in the UK.

Challenges
The centre provides the facilities to undertake a wide programme of tests on battery technologies from cell to pack level for both private and commercial projects. Typical tests include: ageing tests, thermal testing and abuse and vibration testing, with results collated and returned to clients. In order to manage the tests, equipment, sample items for test and results, the laboratory required a robust data management solution. A lot of life cycle testing representative of real-life power demand is carried out and these can feature hundreds of cycles lasting several months. Shorter term characterisation tests are also carried out at the beginning and during life cycle testing. Typically 5-20 tests are carried out on each sample item, with much of the testing carried out under environmentally controlled conditions. With around 2000 sample items in store and a few hundred in active testing, approximately 1T8 of data is created each year and can be in many forms, such as proprietary databases, images and video. No formal data management system was previously in place - individuals were storing data in spreadsheets etc Testing in this laboratory is quite different to that carried out in chemical, microbiological and other more traditional laboratory environments, so any data management system needed to be capable of reflecting its specific needs.

Solution
The staff at WMG recognised that the basic data acquisition process in the Energy Innovation Centre was similar to testing samples in other types of laboratory and so started looking at LIMS. They wanted to achieve tracking and tracing of all sample items. They needed to know where they were, what had been done to them, which equipment had been used to carry out the tests and what the results were. LIMS were researched on line and 5 or 6 systems were selected to investigate further. The Matrix Gemini LIMS was chosen because of the genuine flexibility offered by the configuration tools and because all of the other systems evaluated were designed for more traditional laboratory environments and couldn’t easily be adapted to WMG’s needs. The software is currently being run within the laboratory itself, but there are plans to expand availability of the data collected to the entire WMG network soon.

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