Automation of laboratory data capture and analysis is claimed to be the major challenge facing the petrochemical industry. Indeed, elimination of manual processes leads to considerable product quality improvements while also aiding compliance with strict environmental regidations. As a result, companies that wish to remain ahead of the competition are standardizing on Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS). PEMEX Gas and Basic Petrochemicals initiated a LIMS standardization project and implemented Thermo Scientific SampleManager LJMS™ across its nine gas processing facilities in Mexico.
The petrochemical industry faces the consistent, yet ever increasing challenge of improving personnel efficiency, productivity, business intelligence and decision-making. Traditionally, data from different processing facilities is captured, entered and manipulated manually, often using multiple systems with proprietary file formats. This cumbersome and extremely time-consuming process results in a tremendous drain on human resources and errors and omissions lead to questionable data integrity.
Furthermore, the manual process generates a significant amount of paper records, the administration of which is particularly costly and troublesome. Data is stored in multiple places and systems, making it impossible to access real-time laboratory information from process chain and auxiliary services. With information dispersed across paper and disparate electronic sources, companies find it extremely difficult to make timely decisions and to improve or correct operational processes. Also, as international management standards such as ISO 14000, 18000, 9000 and 17025 become stricter and companies try to expand their distribution globally, manual laboratory data capture and management are impediments for companies to easily comply with these requirements and GMP practices in a cost-effective way.
Oftentimes there are no organization-wide standards (i.e. Standard Operating Procedures and ISO 17025) for testing and analysis, so routine analysis is dependent upon an individuals experience and skill. This presents significant constraints for personnel rotation and harmonized processes across the operations. Moreover, analytical methods, job routines, reports and units often are not unified and consolidated.