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Time Management: 3 Time Consuming Activities in the QC Lab

Written by Rapid Micro Biosystems | Aug 28, 2014 11:30:00 AM

Being a microbiologist in a quality control (QC) lab can be both challenging and rewarding. You’re accountable for multiple activities that contribute to ensuring the quality of products being manufactured and delivered to end customers. You have your hands on multiple events of the lab—so time management can be critical. 

The following are some key activities that take time in the lab that could be handled by an automated, rapid technology such as the Growth DirectTM System. 

#1 - Data Reporting and Documentation of Test Results 

Depending on your role in the lab, a typical work day for you might consist of sampling raw materials and finished products for bioburden, performing sterility testing, or testing the manufacturing environment. This may include capturing the sample, placing it into an incubator, and documenting the results. Even if your lab is equipped with a laboratory information management system (LIMS), you still have to manually key the results of these tests. 

Labs using an automated rapid microbial method (RMM) system eliminates management of incubation and enumeration of samples, and can automatically upload the results to LIMS, saving time and allowing you to focus on other activities in the lab. 

#2 - Introduction of New Production Lines

The introduction of a new production line means an increase in testing. With the traditional testing method, an increase in workload can place a lot of constraint on lab resources to perform the sampling, incubation, enumeration and keying of results.

With an automated RMM system, an increase in production lines won’t have nearly the impact as it would with the compendial method, since the technology completes tasks automatically that otherwise require lab resources. Automated equipment can scale to increases in test volume, mitigating any resource issues.

#3 - Requests for Interim Test Results

Often the manufacturing line will contact the lab for an interim sample count. This requires the lab to find the sample, remove it from the incubator, perform the interim count, provide those results to manufacturing, and return the sample to continue incubating. This can still complicate the daily routine of the lab. Some QC labs have more requests for interim results than others, but it is an interruption to the standard process. 

Automate, rapid testing technologies often have the capability to provide an interim count as needed.  This allows the lab to quickly provide an answer to manufacturing without the need to remove and handle the sample. If your lab is supported by an automated testing device, supporting manufacturing’s request for interim counts become simple. 

Don’t struggle with time in the lab. Download this free guide and learn the benefits of automated testing methods.