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Data management: Petrochemicals
LIMS without boundaries
➤ “has it contributed any wear on vehicle
components”,’ he says. Browser independent
Curtis continues: ‘The big thing for QA is
to be able to qualify the physical properties
of the product and determine whether the Database independent
parameters being tested are inside or outside
of set limits. Given the pressures of trying
to get the product out the door, there is
Hardware independent
increased pressure on the QA labs to quickly
turn around and test larger volumes of
Location independent
Labtronic’s LimsLink software provides
a standard interface between all of the
instrumentation in a laboratory and the LIMS,
or potentially on the QA side, enterprise
resource planning (ERP) software.
Quality assurance plays a major role in
the laboratories at the sakhalin ii Project, the world’s largest integrated oil and gas project.
large-scale petrochemical production, but
image courtesy of sakhalin energy and thermo Fisher scientific.
testing the quality of oil and lubricants used
in plant machinery in other industries is also constitutes a time saving and an efficiency LIMS. This allows faster transmission of
important, as it can reduce costs incurred gain – researchers can clearly see what work information, higher frequency of sampling
by equipment failures and other production has been carried out on a particular project and the reduction of human error. However,
downtime. QinetiQ Fuels and Lubricants so experiments are not reproduced and Svoboda warns that with greater integration
Centre offers a range of oil condition knowledge can be shared,’ explains Harvey. more emphasis must be placed on checking
monitoring services that allows its customers to and maintenance of the equipment to ensure
assess the health of their equipment. QinetiQ ‘Decision makers need the data generated is accurate.
is using LabWare LIMS to manage its sample
access to the data to
Steve Bolton, marketing specialist at
data and the laboratory has streamlined its Labtronics, also feels that there will be greater
processes into the system wherever possible.
determine where best to
system integration in the future: ‘In terms of
The need for paper records has been largely drill, or to understand how data management, we see a shift towards
removed and all calculations are performed
much oil a specific well
more integrated laboratories.’ Currently, he
within the LIMS environment. notes that a lot of laboratory systems work in
David Breach at the QinetiQ centre
will yield before having to
isolation, and there are still a lot of paper-based
comments: ‘Customers often demand short re-invest’ systems. ‘The benefit of eliminating paper-
turnaround times and customised testing based systems and integrating all software
procedures, so an efficient laboratory In terms of exploration and production, and instrument systems is that a higher level
workflow is a key requirement to maintain Harvey comments: ‘Decision makers need of procedural control and automation can be
a high throughput of samples. The LIMS access to the data to determine where best placed on the processes.’
supports each aspect of the testing cycle, to drill, or to understand how much oil Avino of Raffineria di Roma remarks
from login to report generation, enabling a specific well will yield before having to on the current situation: ‘The production
our customers to receive the information re-invest.’ Being able to generate reports process has shown trends of high automation,
they require as soon as it is available.’ is key in this instance, and the InforSense and the management systems have been
Howard Harvey, consultant at UK-based products, recently acquired by IDBS, provide redefined in order to provide “expert” systems
company, IDBS, cites petrochemical R&D dashboard technology to visualise the data that can almost run the plants by themselves,
activities, such as producing more efficient and generate real time web-based reports. and only need the operator’s final check and
catalysts for polymer synthesis, as well as approval (where and if required) to perform
exploration and production, as two areas Future trends the critical tasks.’
where data management software is required. ‘Current trends in the petrochemical However, he also recognises that, with
IDBS has been working with a major industry are to ensure that the most benefit an increasing interest being levelled at
petrochemical company to implement its of data management is derived by connecting environmental impact, as well as product
E-WorkBook suite. E-WorkBook allowed all relevant information together within an quality, the expectation is to see a change in
the company to rationalise and consolidate organisation,’ remarks Thurston of Thermo management systems in order to provide the
the data in one place and then create reports Scientific. environmental footprint of the production
to visualise the data. This view is also taken by Svoboda of process in real time, together with correct
‘Bringing the data together in one place Unipetrol, who expects greater integration estimates and/or simulations of changes in
aids the decision-making process, but it also of online analysers interfacing directly with the production processes.
Results Count
Offices worldwide supporting customers
scientiFic comPUting WorlD OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009 in more than 70 countries
SCWoct09 pp14-18 petrochemicals.indd 16 10/1/09 12:42:54 PM
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