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Abcam gains confidence from live monitoring data

Overview

When global life science players, Abcam, wanted to enhance their temperature monitoring hardware and reporting capabilities, they turned to Checkit.

Abcam has been a leading innovator in life sciences since 1998, developing the highest quality antibodies, proteins, peptides, assay kits, and reagents. The organisation ships globally to a number of prestigious institutions, helping researchers understand more about our biology and create new and ever more efficient treatments.

For Logistics Inventory Manager, Edward Mole, this means monitoring up to 40 sensors at a time, spread across two buildings where stock is held.

Edward and his team needed an automated monitoring solution which offered both airtight precision and supreme ease of use

The challenge

Vital inventory needs protection

Abcam’s manufacturing process produces large bulk quantities of antibodies destined for research, which are then split into saleable units and stored in freezers until a customer makes a purchase.

Temperature monitoring and control is critical through this entire process, and it needs to be exact. Dozens of sensors monitoring everything from room-temperature controls to storage down to -80ºC need to stay operational 24/7, and reporting has to be available at all times.

With even one vial of antibodies potentially costing hundreds of pounds, the loss of an entire freezer full of stock would be catastrophic.

“Our old monitoring system gave us the data we needed, but it was confusing; there was a lot of irrelevant material. Besides, it all looked clunky and outdated; there had to be something better out there," said Edward.

"Checkit’s monitoring system is working 24/7 across our Cambridge site, providing comprehensive data and allowing us to respond in real-time.”
Edward Mole Logistics and Inventory Manager at Abcam
The Solution

Precise alerts keep lab stock safe

Checkit was chosen to provide automated monitoring capabilities for Abcam thanks to its ergonomic user-interface, its flexibility, and the great customer support offered by the Checkit team.

Abcam is in complete control of its own monitoring parameters. With so much data being refreshed every 15 minutes, the team risks simply being swamped by its own reporting.

With Checkit, that isn’t a problem. Managers can easily set the rules and decide what data prompts an alert.

“With Checkit, we set the rules. We have a wide range of different requirements and Checkit enables us to meet them all," said Edward.

As well as making sure the data they see is universally relevant, using Checkit allowed the team to tailor different sensors to different roles. For example, walk-in freezers or control samples require different monitoring to their core stock, and this presented no problem.

Such is the precision required by the team at Abcam that an alert can be triggered by something as simple as a freezer door being opened to remove stock.

Automated monitoring allows specialist staff to separate false alarms from real, providing a final safety net which boosts their auditing efficiency and helps maintain ISO9000 accreditation.

The Outcome

Total security with meticulous monitoring

“Checkit is so simple and easy to use. We are now able to monitor our key storage units, including ultracold temperatures down to -80°C, with a modern system. This helps us minimize the threat of losing temperature-critical samples," said Edward.

“On occasions where we can’t spot freezer malfunctions visually, Checkit gives us total security. We can see right away which email alerts need our attention since it’s so simple and easy to use.”

With their use of Checkit’s automated monitoring solution already such a success, Edward and his team are looking to the future for new ways to apply this versatile technology.

 

Migrating Abcam’s laboratory monitoring over to Checkit is already being discussed. This would bring everything, from development to production and storage, all together under one unified system for peak efficiency in reporting and auditing.

There’s also scope to use Checkit with some of Abcam’s more specialist hardware. Super cold freezers, operating at temperatures of up to -160°C, as well as incubators which monitor both temperature and humidity are all candidates for Automated Monitoring. Abcam feels sufficiently supported by Checkit’s engineers and customer support team to view these solutions not just as nice-to-haves, but integral elements of their toolkit.

 

 

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