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CDS used to control and process data from more than 60 gas and liquid chromatographs

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A major global manufacturer is using Thermo Fisher Scientific's Atlas CDS in its process control laboratory, dealing with data from more than 60 gas and liquid chromatographs. With a demanding workflow, where a typical chromatographic analysis is expected to occur within 30 minutes or less during routine work operations, the continuous availability and operation of instruments and their data processing through a CDS are part of a manufacturing-critical operation. Thermo Scientific Atlas CDS is used by the manufacturer to provide distributed instrument access, chromatography data acquisition and data calculations for management to assess the quality and performance of various manufacturing processes.

As part of a laboratory modernization initiative, the manufacturer looked into further improving their CDS deployment, making it more robust and reliable. Instrument controllers for the Atlas CDS were upgraded to the latest controller variant, the 24/7, which provides automated, real-time instrument control and data acquisition for up to four instruments on a LAN simultaneously. The next step was to design and implement a solution that would automatically perform server failovers without impacting laboratory operations.

The project had two requirements: deliver an automated solution so that manual intervention was not required to switch between the live server and the backup server; and the solution must be transparent to the company's CDS users and have no impact on the operations of the laboratory or on the plant relying on the data.

The project was implemented using Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a member of the Thermo Scientific Global Partner Alliance.  To reduce the incidence of single point of failure for the manufacturer's existing CDS, the solution involved the implementation of Atlas CDS on Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS).

Implemented with the Microsoft Cluster Service, Atlas CDS operates with complete uptime, even when a server system is down due to scheduled or unscheduled system maintenance events. Users can process samples in real-time, which is essential for critical samples. The use of Atlas CDS on MSCS does not impact real-time processing so mission-critical results can be obtained and plant notified if process changes are required.