When working with natural non-renewable resources, every enterprise must ensure the extraction and subsequent processing is done following specific guidelines and utilizing the tools and technology that will best support the process and maximize the results. This understanding was put into practice by Corporación Nacional del Cobre in Chile (Codelco). Codelco, owned by the Chilean State and one of the biggest employers in the country, is aware of its responsibility as the main copper producer in the world. Codelco controls approximately 20 percent of the world’s copper reserves. It chose Thermo Scientific™ SampleManager LIMS™ software to drive the efficiency and productivity throughout its mining operation, from sampling to quality testing of the final product.
Codelco was not new to the LIMS concept. The company needed a new system that could connect their four mining divisions. Given the extent of their geography, Codelco required a LIMS capable of integrating several remote and networked systems into a common platform.
After a detailed selection process, Codelco selected SampleManager LIMS software. The company stated that its key selection criteria was the ability of SampleManager LIMS software to connect and align with in-house technology in the lab and throughout the entire organization. Codelco also valued Thermo Fisher’s reputation for rapid response, extensive project management capabilities, and the availability of training, sales and support in their own language.
The SampleManager LIMS software project started with a system implementation in Chuquicamata and several of the remote sampling sites that were part of Codelco’s North division. Since then, the rollout was extended to the remaining three divisions and other affiliates.
With SampleManager LIMS software implemented, Codelco achieved compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) principles. The audit tracking and validation in SampleManager LIMS software conforms to the requirements for environmental and security compliance ISO 9000 and ISO 1800 that are part of the GLP good standing.
Working with the LIMS was key to create a more dynamic overall process in Codelco, from sampling and preparation of the raw materials undergoing a controlled process with automated reports and information analysis, to obtaining a product approved by quality and ready for commercialization. Besides providing the software and its implementation to improve productivity and support the quality process, the LIMS interfaces to other information systems and business applications to automatically collect data and provide laboratory statistics, such as workload, man-hours, utilization of assets, budgets and cost of processes. The information obtained can also be used as a database for other purposes within the organization such as making product development decisions, marketing, etc.
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