LIMS Interfaces for Digitalized and Automatized Processes in Industry 4.0

Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cyber-physical systems (CPS), Big Data, artificial intelligence, and cloud and cognitive computing are all concepts that seemed very futuristic only a decade ago, but today they are a reality. Industrial processes are also changing by turning into smart manufacturing. In this article, we will talk about the importance of different interfaces of LIMS into the process of Industry 4.0.

Traditional production processes are also adapting to this industrial change, introducing increasing numbers of "smart machines" that are able to communicate with each other without the need for human intervention. Introducing these new technologies results in the reduction of human interventions and therefore reduced production costs.

Today’s society is in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution. Another name for the digital transformation era is Industry 4.0, the result of Industry 3.0, which was the basis for computerization and digitalization.

Smart manufacturing is involved in digitalized quality management processes, and so it is important to analyze the laboratory environment in correlation to Industry 4.0 and LIMS software's role and its interfaces to ERP connections, lab equipment, and measurement devices and methods.

[FP]-LIMS, the laboratory software solution designed by the German software developer Fink & Partner GmbH, will be specifically considered.

MS Excel is still used by many laboratories for tracking their lab data information. Therefore, there can be some issues like typos or errors. This is only due to the human factor: it is normal practice to make mistakes, and the use of LIMS software could be the solution. Data collection, sample tracking, and evaluation are the principal tasks of LIMS software.

Wittenberg (2017) asserts that the automated production system is hugely increasing over the last few years, and the traditional use of interfaces is being changed by Industry 4.0. Installing LIMS software in a laboratory might be the key to success: more precise and less expensive.

The interfaces of [FP]-LIMS are designed for automated and digitalized lab processes. [FP]-LIMS's interfaces are universal and allow easy and rapid integration of various measurement systems. The capability to communicate with superior systems like the PLS and ERP is another distinguishing feature.

There is an integrated device manager which is developed for various additional interfaces. [FP]-LIMS enables a connection with many measurement devices for a variety of measurement methods.

Even if it is from different measurement manufacturers and instruments, all laboratory data can be saved in the LIMS database and accessed whenever needed. Numerous supported formats can be imported, such as XML, CSV, and XLS.

Another infamous feature of the LIMS software is its ability to save the collected data on an online database. [FP]-LIMS has the Webinterface module, which uses network protocols for communication through the browser and enables access to user data from different devices. The Webinterface module also enables requests to be forwarded from other programs via other open interfaces.

2020 has been a year of changes and digitalization. As of this year, certified communication with SAP S/4HANA® is enabled with the [FP]-LIMS interface, the next-generation-business ERP system for large enterprises.

This component has allowed Fink & Partner to proceed with inspection lots, test, and production orders for non-ending implemented digital laboratory processes.

In conclusion, the LIMS software can be considered not only a practical solution to automize laboratory workflows, but also as a solution designed to fit perfectly into a Lab 4.0. With LIMS, automatic data (and data information) management for digitalized quality management processes is enabled.

Sources

  • Wittenberg, Carsten (2017), Cause the Trend Industry 4.0 in the Automated Industry to New Requirements on User Interfaces? Kurosu (Hg.) – Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 238–245. 
  • https://www.fp-lims.com/en/ - 2020


This information has been sourced, reviewed, and adapted from materials provided by Fink & Partner GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Fink & Partner GmbH.

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