Installing a User-Friendly Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in Refineries

The Kuwait National Petroleum Company (otherwise known as KNPC) is Kuwait’s national oil refining company. KNPC was established in October 1960, and is responsible for all oil refining, gas liquefaction and the distribution of petroleum goods which occur within Kuwait.

KNPC has been presented with the opportunity to transform their company into a globally-leading provider, thanks to the unprecedented growth in the worldwide demand for energy. KNPC plan to realize this ambition, by aligning performance, people and practice to this changing environment.

Main Challenges

KNPC possess three refineries total, namely: Mina Abdullah, Mina Ahmady and Shuaiba. Within these refineries, KNPC aimed to establish a strong, reliable, scalable and user-friendly Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). KNPC’s requirements denoted a LIMS which would permit electronic data transfer of results directly to customer systems, as well as statistical data that controlled processes, in addition to closely monitoring the performance of service to customers, improved documentation and records for audits and simple access to historical data.

A further goal of KNPC’s LIMS ambitions was to minimize manpower, a task to be achieved by removing paperwork systems and instead extracting data directly from their instruments. KNPC required a LIMS which would assist their laboratories in complying with various quality standards, such as ISO 9001. The proposed answer, therefore, had to both improve laboratory efficiency as well as assisting compliance with regulatory and quality standards, in order to maximize value from the KNPC laboratory.

Solution

KNPC has utilized LabVantage since 1998. A challenge they faced prior to the LIMS installation was an abundance of technicians who did not have the required knowledge of computing principles. This lack of information increased the difficulty of running an SOP, or knowing the workload distributions of each section, and the efficiency of each technician. Today, LABVANTAGE runs at 3 different refineries.

The aforementioned Mina Abdullah Refinery was the first location which received the system implementation in 1998, with the third and latest upgrade occurring in 2007. The Mina Ahmadi refinery followed shortly after, with installation in 2000 and finally the Mina Shuaiba refinery installation in 2001. KNPC has standardized on a LabVantage platform enterprise-wide, which permits them to leverage work processes and assets.

The official repository for all KNPC specifications is LabVantage, as well as the official repository for sample plans, and all quality information regarding their products. Its main functionalities include routine sample set-up, definition, sample log-in, work scheduling, manual result entry and many more functions.

Key Benefits Include

  • Increased efficiency and productivity of lab operations
  • Traceable, retrievable lab data, which is available to users in a timely manner
  • Lab data is remotely accessible, using powerful query tools
  • Enhanced data management (SQC, Superb Query, etc.)
  • Greater laboratory management (workload monitoring)
  • Ameliorated data accuracy
  • Improved reporting format
  • Reduction in paperwork

Looking to the Future

As KNPC moves into the future, they aim to undergo a unification project. This project will involve creating one single LIMS database for all three refineries. KNPC also plan to adapt to the latest LabVantage LIMS version available.  

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

For more information on this source, please visit LabVantage Solutions, Inc.

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