No More Mistakes With Clinical LIMS Software

You might have had your fair share of losing track of samples or getting inaccurate results, which have, in turn, inconvenienced your clients and made it all the more expensive and time-consuming to track down
and redo.

These avoidable slips can be quite distressing. However, there is a solution for all this. A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is what you need in your laboratory. If you are a laboratory technician, then this article is for you.

This article will guide you to understand how LIMS works, what issues it solves, and how to choose what LIMS suits your laboratory set up.

What are LIMS and what are their basic function?

A Laboratory Information Management System Software is a program designed to store, track and organize laboratory data electronically. This software helps manage samples regardless of the capacity of your laboratory.

LIMS is involved through all the steps in sample testing. The LIMS does:

  1. Sample management. This system keeps track of the samples, including the tests, results, and any other information related to a sample for easy retrieval.
  2. Instrument integration comes in very handy, especially when working with delicate samples that cannot risk inaccuracy. Instrument integration concerns importing test results directly to the LIMS from the testing instruments. All you need is to link instruments to the software, and it will automatically read the results.
  3. As the name suggests, the product specification is all about providing an easy indicator of the tests and results shown. Here you can make your LIMS generate sample labels or bar codes for easy identification.
  4. Reporting- Analysis reports and management are all available in the systems and customized to meet customer’s requirements.

What are the Benefits of Robust LIMS Software?

  • Accuracy is a guarantee with some LIMS software. LIMS’s final reports that you will be sharing with your client are 100% precise. Accuracy is a plus compared to a typical working setup with your staff because then; there are high chances of errors, therefore, slowing workflow.
  • Fast data entry and reduced labor is one thing to look out for, mainly if your laboratory works with volumes of samples because you need to run tests, keep an inventory, store data in an organized way, and, of course, give reports at the end. With cloud-based LIMS, you don’t need database experts or servers. Speed is made possible with Product specification, instrument integration, and reporting.
  • Tracks reagents and lots. LIMS tracking ability means that you get an accurate account of reagents and solutions used in the laboratory daily.
  • Flexibility, especially if it is a cloud-based LIMS, is assured. Flexibility in this sense means that you can access and retrieve data wherever you are.
  • Security of the data of your patients is guaranteed. The chance of information leaking is very minimal and zero opportunity if it is a cloud-based SAAS LIMS.

Why a Cloud-based LIMS?

For the longest time now, ‘the cloud’ has gained an impeccable reputation when it comes to data storage. A cloud-based laboratory management system offered as SAAS is what you need to increase efficiency in your laboratory. Manual data entry is laborious and time-consuming.

  • Flexible because you can access any information you need through a browser, and knowledge is accessible 24/7 globally
  • Security is guaranteed as it has some features incorporated within to make it secure even with such sensitive data. These features include:
    • Configurable user-based access control
    • Daily data backups that warrant your data is never lost anytime it is updated.
    • Malware protection
    • Adherence to regulatory guidelines
    • Cloud is fully encrypted; hence no unauthorized persons can access data.
  • Customizable- Scales as your business or laboratory capacity grows. This means that you only get to pay for what you are getting.

Is SAAS LIMS suitable for your company?

Software as a service (SAAS) comes in handy if you are yet to invest in good networking infrastructure. With this, you get top-notch services without the hardware needed by subscribing to what works for you, be it a monthly or annual subscription.

As you decide on whether to use SAAS or purchase the required hardware, consider:

  • What will it be, hiring or purchasing your equipment? For small laboratories that need minimal services, a monthly or annual subscription is recommended for you. Hiring reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) and maintenance costs because all you need is a network and a few good computers.

    For an established laboratory that receives many samples and performs many testing, purchasing the equipment would be cheaper.
  • Is the vendor reliable and secure? Consider the measures they have put in place to ensure that your data is safe.
  • Does the vendor offer quality services? To know this, check out reviews by other customers. If the vendor does not provide quality services, consider shifting to a more reliable vendor.
  • Will all the functions offered by the vendor meet the laboratory’s needs? If no, consider getting another vendor.

Security is also warranted through a secure socket layer (SSL) that ensures your data is safe from phishing, data breaches, or any other cybercrimes.

LIMS is a simplified way of doing what you love if you are in the laboratory field. However, you need to ensure you use the most appropriate system for your setup to get optimal results. Get the right information from sites like webmed.


How to Start a Business with an Infrared Thermal Camera

To kick off with the basics, what is an infrared thermal camera? It is a device that forms an image by the use of infrared radiation. It has similar features to a common camera, but it uses visible light. It has many areas of application, such as firefighting.

An infrared thermal camera will allow a firefighter to see areas burning through the infrared radiation. The infrared will cut through the smoke and thus give the firefighter a clearer vision.

Starting a business that involves the sale or lease of these cameras can be profitable and provide great fulfillment. Here, in this post, you will learn more about infrared thermal cameras.

Let us begin…

Application for infrared thermal cameras

  • Surveillance- police often use these thermal cameras to detect hiding thieves in a crime scene or even follow someone escaping a scene. They detect heat signatures, and anyone who is hiding can be seen.
  • Maritime- during the night, most water vessels are blind and cannot sail properly compared to daytime. Infrared cameras allow sailors to see through the darkness. They can easily spot nearing vessels or persons in the water and alert all crew on board.
  • Detection of gas leakages- thermal cameras are often used to detect certain harmful gases in the atmosphere. However, not all of them can perform this function. Specially calibrated ones do this. They are mostly found around industrial plants.
  • Road safety- thermal infrared cameras can detect the presence of a person or an animal better than headlights. Even night vision is not this good. It is because it does not need any light whatsoever to function.
  • Disease containment- almost all airports worldwide use infrared thermal cameras to detect travelers with high temperature and other symptoms of various diseases. The travelers are restricted from entering into a country and put on observation.

The range of a good thermal camera

A good camera will have process parameters of about 1000 nm to 14000 nm. However, different types of cameras have diverse ranges. There are three common categories of thermal cameras. They are:

  • Short wavelength cameras- they mostly operate in the range of 0.9-1.7 microns. The short wavelength infrared gives a pretty clear resolution and is mostly used for domestic purposes.
  • Mid wavelength-, they operate in the 2.5-micron range. The mid wavelength camera is mainly used in reading high temperatures. However, they are not as efficient as the long-wavelength ones.
  • Long-wavelength- they operate in the 7-12 micron range, and they are far superior to the mid-wavelength. They produce on point temperature readings and deliver high-quality resolutions.

A long-wavelength camera can detect a person or animal from 40 meters away under favorable conditions. The infrared thermal cameras are thus used across multiple fields, and the results are impressive.

How a thermal camera works

Thermal cameras can detect the temperature by spotting various aspects of infrared light. The light is mainly not visible to the human eye, but the body can sense the heat if the temperature is high.

That is not all; thermal cameras are built with small measuring gadgets that identify infrared radiation. The gadgets are referred to as microbolometers.
The microbolometers are further embedded into a pixel and given a color.

That is how one is able to see through a thermal camera.

Lastly, heat is detectable by thermal cameras. Actually, the more heat an object emits, the easier it is to locate it using a thermal camera.

They thus locate this heat signature, convert it to an image, and tell you just how far the image is from you.

Pros and cons of using infrared thermal cameras

Using infrared thermal cameras comes with its own merits. Here are some benefits you could realize by using them:

  • Effective in low-light situations
    As compared to other forms of vision, infrared thermal cameras perform well. During the night, you can easily navigate your way through the darkness without breaking a bone.
  • Not susceptible to visual limitations
    Thermal cameras are far more effective than night vision cameras. They provide better resolution and faster results. They are also more efficient with regard to of the range they cover.
  • Less false alarms
    Suppose you are used to false alarms because the night vision CCTV cameras are not good enough. Well, infrared thermal cameras have come to save the day. You can kiss goodbye to those false alarms because infrared cameras provide accurate readings on images and other aspects.
  • Efficient security monitoring
    If you want to install an infrared thermal camera in your backyard to beef up the security, then you are at again. Upon installation, you can rest easy. You will be able to view your garden without any technical hitches comfortably.

Cons of infrared thermal cameras

  • One requires sufficient training on usage- professionals in various fields mainly use infrared thermal cameras. However, one requires multiple sessions of training to be able to handle a camera properly.
  • The weather influences them. When the weather is not favorable, the image quality could be very low.

Starting a business involving infrared thermal cameras

Starting a business involving infrared thermal cameras can be a great idea when executed properly. There are quite a several requirements needed to get it running. First, you require an engineering background or expertise in a related field.

You must then seek out an inspection service to get the green flag to finally start your business. Additionally, you will need a solid business plan and a considerable amount of capital. Lastly, you may want to consider the possibility of leasing out the cameras rather than selling them. You might realize a larger profit this way.


Guide to Fuel Quality Testing

Fuel quality testing is one of the most cost-effective ways of protecting your engines against costly damages. Freshly produced fuel from the refinery meets the standards of cleanliness, which includes a maximum acceptable level of unavoidable contaminants. However, Fuel quality may be compromised in the transport process and any time the fuel is transferred between containers.

Contaminated fuel is one of the leading causes of engine failure and disruptive equipment, especially in sea vessels and emergency power supply units. However, you can avoid these challenges by conducting regular fuel testing as it will help you identify contaminated fuel before the damage is done.

This article will help you understand the importance of fuel testing, the types of fuels that need regular testing and what is involved in fuel quality testing.

Why Should I Have my Fuel Tested?

Testing your fuel is now more important than before because of the EN590 fuel regulation amendment. This amendment encouraged lower use of sulphur content in fuel and increasing FAME biodiesel content.

Scientists believe that these actions will expose fuel to the risk of increased contaminants that will decrease its quality.

The contaminants in fuels can lead to increased wear and cause damage to some parts of the engine. They also cause the clogging of filters, which will eventually lead to fuel starvation. Testing the quality of your fuel is one way of ensuring that your engines run efficiently, plus it will help you prevent premature engine failures.

Types of Tests

Different fuels can have different standards when it comes to fuel quality testing. Below are some of the common types of tests.

Water and Sediment

As the name suggests, this test measures water and sediment in the fuel. The test is specifically important for agencies that store emergency fuel as it ensures the smooth operation of machinery when needed. A high amount of water and sediment can cause corrosion of storage tanks and also damage equipment.

Microbial Contamination

This test helps in determining the number of microbes in a unit of fuel. Since the test used biocide to determine the presence or absence of microbes, polishers run it on finished fuel as it will confirm if the biocide worked as intended.

Flash Point

This test helps in determining the temperature at which the fuel vapour will ignite. Each type of fuel has a standard minimum flashpoint, and failure to meet this flashpoint shows that the fuel is contaminated. Such fuel cannot burn properly in the engine.

Cetane Number

This test is most common in stored diesel fuel as it shows the capability of the fuel to run properly in a diesel engine. Your stored diesel should meet the required minimum Cetane rating to prove that it is of acceptable quality. The calculation of the Cetane index combines the distillation value of the fuel and its density.

Cloud Point

This test is crucial during cold weather as it helps you prevent your fuel from gelling up to the point of shutting your engine down. Cloud point is the temperature at which the fuel becomes cloudy as a result of wax crystals dropping out of solution. A majority of fuels only have a narrow temperature gap from cloud point and the temperature at which the fuel gels up.

How to Take Samples

The only way of ensuring that you can accurately identify the health of the fuel in a storage tank is by taking samples from the top, the middle and the bottom of your storage tank.

The bottom sample will help analysts in detecting contaminants such as water and particulates, and the middle sample will show the degree of settlement of any contaminant present. Analysts use the top sample to determine what is achievable if the fuel was to be polished.

Unlike emergency storage tanks where contaminants are concentrated at the bottom, tanks that receive frequent deliveries may require more samples as they have will have contaminants dispersed throughout the fuel.

How Often Should I Get My Fuel Tested?

The major factors that determine the frequency of fuel testing are its application, the industry and the amount of fuel consumed. Stored fuel can be used regularly or may be stored for longer periods when it is intended for emergency use.

Stored fuel requires regular testing as it is most likely to be compromised by many issues like rainwater, condensed atmospheric moisture and dust/dirt that may find its way into the storage through breathers and poorly-fitted inspection hatches.

It is advisable to regularly test your fuels (at least twice in a year) if you have stored it for emergency uses like back-up power. You can do the first test at the start of winter months when you are switching to winter-grade fuels and the second test when switching back to normal blend.


Since fuel is prone to contamination during transfer and storage, anyone who stores fuel for later use has a responsibility of regularly testing to for contaminants like water, microbial contamination, mineral sediments and many more.

Regular oil analysis can help you identify harmful contaminants before they cause a major problem in your machines, thus saving you huge amounts of money that you would spend in repairs and replacement of parts. Without regular testing, you will not know when your fuel is contaminated with intruders like water and dirt.

You can hire professionals to do these important tests for you if they are not part of your fuel supply package.


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