There’s no shortage of things to keep an eye on in a milk testing lab. Just one example is the seasonal variation in raw milk quality. Another is the need to keep multiple analytical instruments performing the same and the need to update or adjust the prediction models used with the instruments. Finally, there is also a need to keep track of the vast amount of valuable measurement result data generated to continuously track and improve measurement performance.
With such challenges in mind, MilkTestNZ started using the FossManager™ instrument networking software system that makes it easier to ensure consistent instrument performance day in, day out, while also saving considerable time on routine tasks. The FossManager™ system, previously known as Mosaic, was installed late 2015 and is running as a part of everyday operations.
MilkTestNZ Technical Officer, Jessica Spray explains how instruments are networked via FossManager™ to allow for seamless management of instruments from a centralised management console. The FossManager™ software simplifies management of prediction models, allowing the details of each model, such as LIMS export, decimal points and report ordering to be easily adjusted and efficiently maintained. “We have found FossManager™ extremely useful in a number of ways,” she says. Specific benefits include:
Enabling viewing of sample information using select criteria e.g. sample number, type or batch number allowing for easy filtering of results based on a specific component.
• FossManager™ synchronisation settings allow for both timely monitoring of samples as they are processed in the lab and instant review of sample data, errors and events. Results and events can be presented to the management console either in real time, or at a set interval as required.
• The routine maintenance of the prediction models is also administered from FossManager™. Slope and intercept adjustments can be made from a centralised access point and applied to every instrument simultaneously.
• The reporting options are flexible, allowing for a range of different options including but not limited to standardisation events and zero settings.
• Data integrity and retention are now managed efficiently by a SQL backend and no longer confined to software back up files to locate and search archive
In particular, the FossManager™ database is proving valuable for monitoring and developing prediction models: “Probably of most benefit to us is that as all prediction results are being saved into the FossManager™ database, all spectral data is also stored,” says Spray. “We can analyse spectral anomalies and develop in-house models/calibrations using this spectra. As we have all the spectra going back to when we started using FossManager™ this means that as new calibrations are developed that historical spectra can be exported and re-predicted with these new calibrations.”