Thermo Scientific LIMS Helps Müller's Yogurt Production at UK ...

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Thermo Scientific LIMS Helps Müller's Yogurt Production at UK ...

C u s t o m e r C a s e S t u d y:Thermo Scientific LIMS HelpsMüller’s Yogurt Productionat UK Quality Control LaboratoryMaking the transition from a manual system that’s essentially paper-based to one whichautomates almost every quality control (QC) sample check and reporting process is a majorundertaking for any company. With UK production over 1.8 billion pots of yogurt per year, thetime was ripe for change at Müller and Thermo Fisher Scientific was the clear solutions provider.ProfileMolkerei Alois Müller (UK) is a marketleader in European dairy products. TheMüller UK site specializes in yogurt products;from low-fat yogurt offerings to yogurt andcereal combinations.Müller UK sales have been increasingannually since the company entered the UKmarket due to a focus on quality and innovation.In fact, the state-of-the-art productionfacility at Market Drayton that was openedin 1992, has been significantly expandedseveral times to add more manufacturing,warehouse and distribution capability. Now,Müller produces more than a third of allyogurt eaten in the UK from the MarketDrayton factory.Focus on Quality ControlThe Müller UK labs are mainly focused onproduction QC. “But we test product fromthe start,” Shaheen Adatia, Müller UK’sLaboratory Manager explains. “Milk fromfarms arrives by tanker and is passed by pumpsinto silos, then separated into skim milk andcream, and some skim into concentrate. Yogurtmixes are made in tanks and batch sterilized.If the batch meets specifications, it is processedthrough a heat exchanger, cooled, and placedin an incubation tank where culture is added.Every step in the process undergoes qualitychecks. During incubation, the pH is monitoredand checked every two hours. After eight tonine hours of incubation, the pH has droppedand a final pH check is made when the yogurtis cooled.”With the checks being performed andrecorded manually, there were many placesa LIMS could be used to automate andexpedite the QC tasks.Efficiency ExpectationsThe decision to implement a LIMS wasdriven by the increase in production demand,and justified by the need to increase the lab’sefficiency. Müller UK’s paper-based systemfor tracking and reporting QC data was supplementedby Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheetprogram. A LIMS would dramatically reducethe amount of error-prone paperwork andexpedite testing.The LIMS was also expected to assistsignificantly in real-time monitoring of Müller’sproduction processes and play a pivotal rolePart of Thermo Fisher Scientific


in ensuring quality control for finished product. By using aLIMS, Müller would be able to trend all data and make decisionsand necessary improvements much faster.LIMS SelectionMüller UK selected Thermo Scientific LIMS to manageQC data for raw materials, in process, and finished dairydesserts. One of the reasons Müller selected the LIMS wasthat it could map easily to their business processes via theLIMS’ Workflow functionality. The ease of implementationwas also attractive and drove the decision to implement andconfigure the solution without any significant help fromThermo Fisher.Integrating the LIMS with as many pieces of the labequipment as possible allows for automated data transferand additional efficiencies.“The work processes were reviewed and the LIMS teamasked, “What are we doing?”, “Why are we doing it?”, and“Can it be done better?” Adatia recalls. “From Novemberto May, methods and workflows were input, systems wereset up, and the layout of the lab and equipment reorganizedto streamline operations.”Workflows for milk reception, separation and pasteurizationwere developed, along with workflows for otherproducts and areas of manufacture.The milk reception processes managed by the LIMSwere developed to include barcoding samples from thetankers upon receipt, checking the milk for antibiotics,and checking the milk composition for fats, protein,lactose, and solids. Any out-of-specification parameterscan be reported automatically. For instance, if a tankfails antibiotics, it gets rejected outright, the LIMS flagsthe result as being out-of-spec and creates a reportautomatically.IT InvolvementMüller UK’s Information Technology (IT) team was activelyinvolved in the LIMS selection and implementation, andworked closely with the lab team to select and implementthe LIMS. In fact, there’s a dedicated IT person to ensurethe integrity of the solution.IT reviewed distribution of all the QC information,people were asked what they wanted, and then they wereprovided with the appropriate reports.With the LIMS, IT determined the access privileges tothe data, which included sample reports, daily averages,and moving averages. These are all read-only and certainreports such as sales are restricted to a for-your-eyes-onlystatus that can only be accessed by certain levels withauthority to do so.The reports are more accurate and stay consistentwithin the system. Interfaces to various instruments and lotsnow ensure that there are no input or copying errors.The Importance of TrainingThe implementation team had to overcome training personnelon the new system. The majority of people were onlyused to the paper-based system of recording results.Basic PC training was arranged at the very start foreverybody. This was followed by an introduction to theLIMS, and training on the first workflow.“A one month transition was scheduled to test theLIMS and ensure that everyone used it correctly,” Adatiastates. “Then, once we were comfortable with using thesystem, the system went live.”After the implementation of a couple of workflows,workshops were held so that everybody could furtherexplore the system and ask questions in a more informalatmosphere. This proved to be a valuable tool in theimplementation of the system.SummaryImplementing a Thermo Scientific LIMS has helpedMüller UK’s lab to not only meet production demandswith equanimity but will also position them to meetfuture challenges.At the time of the LIMS installation, incoming andoutgoing milk products, storage silos and separatorworkflows were tracked by the LIMS, however a lot ofproduct had yet to be incorporated. The goal for futurephases of this installation is to enable automatic releaseof finished product.“The LIMS is ideal as its flexibility allows us to expandand develop the services provided by the Laboratory,” hecontinues. “The LIMS also enables us to do more with thedata, such as create trend analyses.”Adatia also anticipates changes down the line withthe roll out of corporate-wide solutions. In addition, theLIMS has the potential for integration with other businesssystems. With a Thermo Scientific LIMS in place, the lab isconfident that they can meet these and other challenges.Partnering with Thermo Fisher ScientificThermo Fisher Scientific is the worldwide leader in laboratorysoftware and services, providing enterprise-wide,multi-laboratory solutions that are relied on at food andbeverage companies such as Bacardi, Coca-Cola, Bulmers,Kellogg, Müller Dairies, Nestle, Purac, Sara Lee, ScottishCourage, South African Sugar and Quaker Oats. Tosupport our Thermo Scientific installations, we provideimplementation, validation, training, maintenance andsupport from the industry’s largest worldwide informaticsservices network.For More InformationVisit us on the web at www.thermoscientific.com/informaticsor call +1 866 463 6522 (US) or +44 161 942 3000 (Intl).© 2012 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks are the property of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and its subsidiaries.In addition to theseIn addition to theseoffices, Thermo Fisheroffices, Thermo FisherScientific maintainsScientific maintainsa network of representativeorganizationsa network of representativeorganizationsthroughout the world.throughout the world.Australia/AsiaPacific+61 8 8208 8200AustraliaChina +61 2 8844 9500+86Austria800 810 5118+43 1 333 50340France Belgium+33+321609248002 482 30 30CanadaGermany/Eastern+1 800 532 4752Europe China+49 +86 6103 5850 40835881110DenmarkIndia +45 70 23 62 60+91 France 22 6742 94 94+33 1 60 92 48 00Latin Germany America andthe +49 Caribbean 6103 408 1014+1 India 781 933 4689+91 22 6742 9434Netherlands/BeneluxItaly+31 +39 76 02 579 950 5555 591JapanSpain/Portugal+81 45 453 9100+34 Latin 914 America 845 965+1 608 276 5659United KingdomNetherlands+44 +31 161942300076 587 98 88USA/North South Africa America+27 11 570 1840+1 800 395 5467Spain+34 91 657 4930Sweden/Norway /Finland+46 8 556 468 00Switzerland+41 61 48784 00UK+44 1442 233555USA+1 800 532 4752www.thermo.comThermo Electron ScientificInstruments LLC, Madison, WIUSA is ISO Certified.©2007 Thermo FisherScientific Inc. 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