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Thermo Fisher Scientific Implements Enterprise-Level LIMS for Northern Ireland Water


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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced that Northern Ireland Water (NI Water), the sole provider of water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland, has standardized on Thermo Scientific SampleManager LIMS (laboratory information management system) across its laboratories as part of its continuous focus on improving sample management and maintaining the highest quality water.

SampleManager LIMS is used to manage more than 150,000 samples per year taken from reservoirs, water treatment works and directly from the taps in consumers' homes. NI Water's laboratories carry out the necessary testing to ensure that drinking water is safe for consumption and meets all regulatory and quality standards.

Standardizing on SampleManager LIMS across its laboratories allows NI Water to maintain the highest levels of testing and consistency in results. To enhance the quality of the test methods and to reduce time associated with collecting and logging field samples, NI Water has integrated a new handheld remote sampler with SampleManager LIMS. This allows field samples to be taken, results recorded and input directly into the LIMS, saving time, ensuring the quality of the sample at log-in, and reducing manual transcription errors as well as providing a secure record of sampler locations.

Remote Sampler, developed by CSols, is already in pilot usage with customers across Europe and in UK-based water companies, who are using Remote Sampler with existing SampleManager LIMS installations. The introduction of Remote Sampler at NI Water extends the use of SampleManager LIMS to field applications, thus allowing more samples to be processed by in-the-field sampling. Because Remote Sampler reduces the time necessary to collect and log-in a sample, it enables efficient use of laboratory resources, as well as consistent compliance with various regulatory requirements for documented processes, such as those defined by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) for the Water Industry.

"We have introduced Remote Sampler in the field for all our water quality samplers. Remote Sampler runs on rugged handheld computers and integrates seamlessly with Thermo Scientific SampleManager LIMS. The use of Remote Sampler allows us to ensure that all samples taken in the field are accurately recorded, taken where they are claimed to be, and inputted into the LIMS at source. This saves time and facilitates data management," said Gareth Maxwell, LIMS and Compliance Reporting Manager for NI Water. "With SampleManager LIMS in place and our investment in remote sampling, NI Water is setting the benchmark in the future of water testing in Europe. This solution puts NI Water in the leading edge of extracting real benefits from our quality testing programme. NI Water will have better sampling audits than most other UK water utilities currently."

"We're delighted with the working relationship that we have with Gareth and the rest of the staff at Northern Ireland Water. It has enabled us to focus on exactly what is required to make our sampling software work effectively in a busy routine environment which is tightly regulated," said Dr. Phil Goddard, CEO of CSols. "Integration with SampleManager LIMS has proved to be straightforward and robust."

NI Water is a Government Owned Company (GoCo) set up in April 2007 to provide the water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland. It supplies 625 million liters of clean water every day for nearly 1.7 million people and treats 134 million m3 of wastewater each year. NI Water has equipped its laboratories with the technologies and infrastructure that allow it to deliver the highest quality water which consistently meets all regulatory and quality standards for consumption.

SampleManager LIMS integrated with Remote Sampler has improved the efficiency and security of data entry as samples are taken in the various field locations, and greatly assisted sample identification and tracking. As all samples are now recorded on a single electronic database, the integrated solution has provided NI Water with a means to retrieve and report data in a way that would not have been previously possible, while also ensuring the integrity of the field samples at log-in.

"The integration of the Remote Sampler with SampleManager LIMS illustrates the broad partnership opportunities inherent in any collaborative relationship with Thermo Fisher Scientific," says Dave Champagne, vp and general manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific - Informatics. "Thermo Fisher's long standing partnership with CSols enabled this solution to be delivered to NI Water, a solution which now serves as a template for other water agencies or public service companies around the world. And the configurability of SampleManager LIMS, allowing for workflow customization in any industry setting, as well as its ability to be easily integrated with any kind of laboratory instrumentation or ERP system, further enabled this new Remote Sampler solution to be realized. The ultimate benefits belong to NI Water and other companies at the forefront of solving pressing industry challenges."
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