One of the most important aspects of the supply chain for manufacturing companies is quality. Companies need to implement systems that can help perform quality inspections on the finished goods, as well as the materials that are used in the process. LIMS systems are information systems that schedule tests, track the test results, and even send the results to another system in the supply chain. By using a LIMS system, quality control can be improved.
What Is the Role of a LIMS?
A LIMS system is used as a reporting tool where employees can enter information about a sample, such as the batch of material it came from, inspection number, location, date, and time. The system will hold the details of the sample and any information pertaining to where the sample is located. When the sample moves though the process, the system is updated so that users can see where each sample is at any given time. The tracking of the sample can be done by using barcodes or by entering it in manually. Once a sample is put into the system, the system can print a label with a unique number for better tracking.
Different systems will offer differing functionality. In the beginning, systems were developed as a simple data entry point and now they are complex tools. Systems can also be used over company intranet and wireless networks to provide great flexibility in difficult and remote locations.
Compliance and Regulations
LIMS systems are more than just reporting and tracking on samples and will help manufacturing companies comply with the regulations they have to. These systems should have the ability to use e-signatures and have audit trails and chains of custody, in order to make sure the correct people have access to the results of the inspection.
Equipment Maintenance and Calibration
The equipment that is used to extract the sample and test it also needs to be maintained and calibrated, in order to make sure there aren’t any errors that are introduced in the test results. The system not only has data on each sample, but also on the records of the equipment that is used in the testing. Notifications can be used to remind employees that there needs to be regular preventative maintenance to keep equipment up to date. Some equipment needs to be calibrated after a certain number of uses or every month, so it’s helpful to have notifications.
The LIMS system will also have the process and procedures stored and provide a single repository for these methods, so you can select the right method for the test that need to be performed.