Solutions for Analytical Services Laboratories

analytical services lab autosampler_trayWelcome to the CSols website page dedicated to laboratories in the commercial or government sectors whose goal is to produce quality results quickly and economically for their customers, while still maintaining their accreditations e.g. UKAS, MCERTS, ISO17025, ISO9002 and other National / International regulations.

Over the years we have used both our Links for LIMS and AqcTools software, as well as a variety of customer specified customized programs, to help solve problems and improve productivity in all types of analytical service laboratories.

To help you assess how we might be able to help you with your own challenges, we have detailed below a variety of information and links to create a useful general resource. We also describe in more detail some of the solutions that we have delivered to customers.

We hope you find this helpful but if you cannot find the exact solution you are looking for, just let us know and we will be happy to discuss your needs further via email or ask us for further information.

Read the Case Study>>> CSols lab integration software reduces costs, turnaround time and transcription error at Chemtest

Solution – Elemental analysis using ICP & ICP-MS

ICP and ICP-MS instruments are often a key component of a laboratory’s analysis arsenal. These techniques are adaptable to many matrices and offer multi-element (multiplexing) analysis per sample to maximize throughput and low detection limits (ICP-MS) or sensitivity to difficult elements (ICP) or matrices. Instruments are easily automated with autosamplers and so can quickly generate a large number of results.

Both ICP and ICP-MS instruments perform multiple reads on each sample and typically the instrument software produces a wealth of result information which must be distilled down in order for the results to be reported. It is usual for the instrument software to offer a way of entering sample information to create an instrument run sequence but this is often limited to only one or two sample fields. The instrument software usually offer a reporting tool and templates for formatting data, however the output options and functions are limited.

The Role of CSols Links for LIMS software

For ICP and ICP-MS instruments from manufacturers such as PerkinElmer, Agilent, Thermo Scientific and Horiba (Jobin-Yvon), Links for LIMS not only compliments the routine operation of the instruments but offers, through the elimination of manual transcription, the following additional capabilities:

•  more extensive instrument run sequence building with direct access to LIMS or external IT systems and ability to store the fields needed for full data synchronization
• ability to accept and process dilution factor overrides for contaminated samples and easily move them in the run.
• ability to capture sample weight information directly from a balance
• automatic run file naming and placement of files to help with data storage
• reading and extraction of the data from the instrument result file and synchronization with all sample information
• data analysis of the results with a variety of calculations, handling of duplicates, data formatting and/or rounding, recovery calculations as well as automatic drift and blank correction
• performance verification with statistical checking and charting of AQCs, flagging of failures, monitoring Internal standard signals and calibrations
• easily download reportable results to LIMS or other IT data systems and Excel, Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle etc.

Benefits

We have installed hundreds of interfaces to ICP and ICP MS instruments and all of our clients make a considerable saving in the following areas compared to using the instrument software only or with Microsoft Excel and other statistical charting tools:

• the time it takes to build sample queues
• the time to process and analyze results
• the speed and ease in which they can validate the instrument’s performance

Our clients often achieve their return on investment (ROI) using CSols’ software for each instrument in less than a year.

Balance Solutions – Weighing materials

When laboratories are dealing with solid or viscous liquid materials the workflow used by the laboratory can often involve a series of steps, including sample preparation (e.g. grinding, crushing), splitting (e.g. the sample may go to different analysis laboratory sections), labelling and weighing. It is important to ensure traceability through all of these steps and if possible record the actual weights of the samples rather than to try to work to target weights and hence to save time especially for difficult to handle material types.

Laboratory Preparation Work – PrepLab™

Preparation work is often carried out in a specific laboratory location or staging area and can be pretty tedious and laborious. In order to combine and streamline the sample preparation process CSols have used components from Links for LIMS and instrument drivers to create an application called PrepLab. Users of PrepLab work in conjunction with their LIMS in order to synchronize sample information and are then guided on screen during the weighing and placing of sample aliquots into new containers. PrepLab is interfaced to one or more balances to capture the actual weights in each container and also generates uniquely identified barcode labels on an adjacent printer which can be applied immediate to the new sample containers. Once completed the weights and new label identifiers are all synchronized back to LIMS for a full trail. The weights can also be transferred as test or result data to be used directly by the individual analysis labs.

Benefits

PrepLab is an inexpensive and flexible tool that can be quickly installed and does not depend upon facilities that may or may not be offered by the LIMS system directly. The benefits of PrepLab include:

• increase in traceability via reduced transcription and improved labelling
• reducing weighing times

Further Information

For further information or a demonstration of Links for LIMS, PrepLab or AqcTools please feel free to contact CSols via our enquiry page or just telephone or email us at: analyticalservicelabs@csols.com.

CSols Ltd. The Heath, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 4QX, UK
Tel:   +44 (0) 1928 513535 Fax: +44 (0) 7006 061106
Web: www.csols.com