Analytical Instrumentation

Improving Productivity in the Petrochemical Industry - Colin Thurston

Jan 13 2011

Author: Colin Thurston on behalf of Thermo Fisher Scientific (UK) Ltd

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Companies in the petrochemical industry face many challenges that impact productivity and decision-making. Today’s high throughput petrochemical laboratories need tools that not only automate laboratory data capture and analysis but also facilitate connectivity to help them improve enterprise-wide communications, reach critical decisions faster and produce timely, accurate reports on end products. This article will provide an insight into the challenges faced by the petrochemical industry and will use an application example to demonstrate the benefits achieved when utilising an integrated enterprise level laboratory information management system (LIMS) to connect the organisation.

Integration Challenges within the Petrochemical Industry
Within the petrochemical industry, most IT and automation systems employed at production plants are an amalgamation of disparate systems, operating independently from each other. These systems are often sourced from different suppliers and vendors, selected according to the needs or market trends in force at the time. A data system created in this manner can prove to be a time-consuming maintenance job for IT personnel, particularly if the systems are managed in isolation rather than as a single integrated solution.

The petrochemical industry faces the consistent, yet ever more difficult challenge of improving personnel efficiency, productivity, business intelligence and decision-making. Traditionally, data from different systems is captured, entered, compared and manipulated manually, often using multiple systems with different user interfaces, data dictionaries and proprietary data structures. This can be a cumbersome and extremely time-consuming process, resulting in a tremendous drain on human resources, as well as the potential for errors to occur, leading to questionable data integrity.

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