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Cape Town, 7 November . Please unsubscribe if received in error

Three certified labs have taken Bika into production the past few weeks

Professional Open Source
Two labs in environmental and water quality management, IMEX
 in Guyana and Test It South Africa; Zimlabs in Zimbabwe is using Bika Fire Assay in geochemistry analysis. Apart from through the passion of analysts, coders and testers, the Bika Open Source LIMS project sustains itself through the contribution of generous client sponsors

These are good illustrations of POS, the Professional Open Source model, whereby software users, developers and clients all work towards their own goals and in so doing, benefit each other

Test It funded the addition of a reference sample expiry alert earlier and is currently co-sponsoring upgrading a Bulk Sample Import from Bika Senaite 1. This is much needed for creating big sample batches, imported from spreadsheets, for which the UI is too clumsy

Going further back, former Sampling Rounds, languishing in Bika 3, provided templates per recurring field trip or survey, a collection of Sample Templates already made up per Sample Point in that round. Highly desirable, any takers?-) Sharing the costs in a collaboration as with the Bulk Sample Import, always makes sense and for affordability

Pre Go-live
Before going live, all the labs spent considerable time on their Test servers, fine tuning their configurations, initially collected from all corners in spreadsheets and imported. They received minimal training and were supported by Bika Lab Systems through acceptance testing. Costs were kept down by users making wide use of online resources and forums

With users confident after their try-out on their Test servers, the configurations were migrated to fresh LIMS instances for Go-Live and production use. The Test LIMS remain in place as e-learning sandbox for users to uninhibitedly continue experimentation, and also for acceptance testing of new functionality coming through

Bika Water. Environmental management
With most of the former Bika Water functionality assimilated in Bika Senaite and its modular add-ons, both the environmental management and fire assay capabilities are achieved in the LIMS configuration

IMEX also analyses air and soil for pollutants, in the addition to water for Agriculture, Conservation, Construction, Health care, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Marine, Mining, Petroleum, Public Utilities, Transportation and Wastewater management

Test It’s portfolio represents most of these with a focus on municipal and agriculture water sources and recycling sampled on a recurring basis, applying South African Drinking Water Standard, SANS241:2015 as primary specification  

Water is analysed for Microbes, Physical Properties and Herbicides and Pesticides, Organic and Inorganic matter, Metals, Anions. IMEX repeats many of these for Air and Soil

Bika’s calculations interface allows the labs to create and maintain standard dilution, hardness and other formulas, as well as the more complex corrosivity and scaling indexes

ISO 17025
IMEX is certified to the Guyana laboratory quality standard GYS 170:2009 with the goal of ISO 17025 accreditation by mid-2023. Test It has been accredited as water quality testing laboratory in 2015 by SANAS, the South African National Accreditation System, and is currently merging technical parts of their quality manual with the framework provided by Bika

A Regulatory Inspector role in Bika allows accreditation auditors view access throughout the LIMS

Zimlabs is accredited by SADCAS, the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Services

Bika plays a big role in accreditation through its Audit logs, Instrument and QC management, and managing documents in its underlying 
Plone CMS, the platform Bika Senaite is developed on

A low hanging fruit here is interfacing the LIMS with the CMS, e.g. kicking of corrective and preventative actions and form management on QC failures in the LIMS

Fire Assay. Geochemistry
Zimlabs (GNK laboratory) is a multi disciplinary lab established in Harare, 2002, and ISO/IEC 17025 accredited for a range of geochemistry and water analyses. Apart from Geochemistry, Zimlabs also requires LIMS for Food and Beverages in the Hospitality sector, Environmental management and Agriculture, analysing water and soil

In our experience multidisciplinary labs are painful to configure, manage and use, mainly because of information clutter and usability degradation. Some analyses are done on multiple sample types, using different methods and prices and subjected to different specifications

We recommend a LIMS per discipline - there are no licence fees - and if any two share the same client base, use one instance as a master Client DB, the other instances accessing Clients using the API

At Zimlabs, the biggest pressure came from mining and exploration and that part of the lab’s activities was addressed first, to be followed by Food and Beverages. The latter normally carries complex food safety regulations which makes for laborious analysis specification configuration

Read how the fire assay configuration was achieved

Analysis are done for PGMs Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium and Rare Earth Elements, on Iron and Chrome Ore, Limestone, Base Metals, Coal 

Until next time, best regards
Team Bika
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