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Frequently Asked Questions about Integrating Lab Instruments with MSC-LIMS

Can our existing lab and field instruments be integrated with our new MSC-LIMS?

Yes. One option is customization, for labs which have a Full System license.

The second option, which applies to both Full System and Annual Subscription licenses, is simpler and more maintainable: use MSC-LIMS' unique Excel interface to create "middleware" templates between the LIMS and the instrument. In essence, any instrument data accessible to Excel can be imported into the LIMS using suitable templates.

The Excel interface itself is integral to MSC-LIMS; you don't need to purchase any additional software or hardware. This solution provides maximum flexibility and easy adaptation to changes in instrumentation or lab business practices.

Which instruments are good candidates for integration?

We have already interfaced with many instruments including hand-held PCs, GC, MS, ICP, 3M's Petrifilm Plate Reader (PPR), Dupont Qualicon's BAX®, and several popular balances. The appropriate Excel templates can be provided to customers for these instruments.

In short, MSC-LIMS can interface with any instrument whose data can be imported into Excel. Instruments which we have not previously integrated with the LIMS will be considered by MSC-LIMS programmers. Refer to the Price list for current hourly rates for Customization/Consulting Services.

How does the interface work?

A variety of MSC-LIMS' instrument interfaces have been well documented. These articles will give you an idea of the logic involved in an instrument interface:

To learn about the interface of MSC-LIMS with Dupont Qualicon's BAX®, see "Meeting the Need for Speed," in which a food testing lab used "middle-ware" templates to import sample data to the BAX, and then copy BAX test results to sample records in MSC-LIMS.

For interface with hand-held PC's, see "Off-the-Shelf System Tackles Monitoring, Reporting Needs," which details how a facility operations management company integrated inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware and software.

For interface with lab balances, see "Do-It-Yourself Automated Mass Readings," which describes how lab personnel can interface standard lab instruments with an Excel spreadsheet. Once in Excel, the balance data can be easily imported into MSC-LIMS.

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