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We visited Jeffrey Smith at ADM in Europoort to talk to him about automation in fibre testing.
Can you tell us a bit about your current lab setup
Jeffrey Smith: I'm Jeffrey Smith, I'm a laboratory manager of ADM in Europoort. We have a number of laboratories in Europe. Europe is just one of those locations. We crush soy and grapeseed here in our plant.
Our current situation is that we had a manual system where there was a lot of labour work for the analyst or the operator, and it was not consistent. The results had a lot bigger standard deviation and with this new automated system we hope to achieve a narrow or small lab error so that this data can be used as reference data for our NIR calibrations.
What benefits came from changing to an automated setup?
Peter van Rijn: The only thing now we have to do is weigh the sample and then they'll bring it to the instrument, push the start button and the only time you need to come back is when the analysis has been done.
Jeffrey Smith: It will save time, certainly it will save money. The goal of our production is to produce to the limits of our specifications and therefore we need to have a very low standard deviation so that the production has a better chance to get near that specification. It has the benefit of time and it has the benefit of being a closed system, so it's safer working with it. You have only one handling for the operator and the analysis working, instead of doing a lot of manual handlings which can result in higher deviation.
In the beginning of 2015 it was installed here in our lab, since then we have done a lot of validations to see if the operations and the performance of the system are satisfying and acceptable for us and that we can use this instrument in our day-to-day work.
Peter van Rijn: It's because you take out samples like this and you put it in like that, we clip it and the extraction can be done.