Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö

Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö 

Valuable drops 

Glittering under the bright blue sky, River Hyndevad is streaming from Lake Hjälmaren to Lake Mälaren in Southern Sweden. Along the way, Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö provides its customers with crystal clear drinking water straight from the tap.
Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö owns the distribution network for water and sewage, electricity, district heat, district cooling, broadband network, landfill gas, and recycling services in Eskilstuna region with its surroundings. To most of the 104 000 inhabitants of Eskilstuna municipality, the water comes from the region´s biggest waterworks in Hyndevad. Established in 1915, the Hyndevad waterworks produces 9 million cubic meters drinking water annually. 
But before pouring into your glass, the river water has gone through a multiphase refining process and continuous quality control. About 50 experts of the company´s altogether 500 employees take care of the water businesses. In the company´s Quality Laboratory they analyse drinking water, sewage, fresh water, beach water, raw water, ground water, sludge, and organic waste. They take samples and make tests to ensure that the outgoing drinking water is microbiologically and chemically pure. 
On the average, one Eskilstuna resident consumes 215 litres water every day. People do the dishes, take showers, brush their teeth, and use the toilet. Then drainpipes carry the waste waters – with considerable amount of soap, toilet paper, shampoo, tooth paste, organic material and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus – to Ekeby sewage treatment plant. There the waters are purified again step by step, and let out into River Eskilstuna towards Lake Mälaren.

Teaming and timing

To manage the substantial data amounts, the Quality Laboratory of Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö renewed its laboratory information management system (LIMS), when the old system had no more support or updates available.  
The company´s new web-based laboratory information management system, LabVantage Express provided by Software Point has been up and running since January 2017. Laboratory Engineers Marie Erlandsson and Erik Jonasson share their project experiences and first impressions. 
”We wanted to skip using paper in the daily work, and to be able to register our analysis directly with a computer or a mobile device.”
The company started planning the procurement for a new data system in spring 2014, and the plan was ready in the autumn. The only difficulty was in deciding which LIMS solution to choose.  
”Before we had made any decision, LabVantage Express was released. So we started again from the beginning and arranged a new procurement round. We settled on LabVantage Express and signed the deal in December 2015.”
The project team consisted of two persons from Eskilstuna´s Quality Laboratory and one from the IT department – all three pushing the project forward simultaneously with their daily duties, smoothly during their spare time – and at Software Point, the project manager, another system specialist plus an expert supporting in providing quality control database simulations.
Year 2016 the project team hammered away at entering all the needed static data into the system. 
”We had meetings maybe five times, and weekly communications. It was very easy to approach Software Point´s project manager whenever we had problems, and showed the screen directly to him. As all our project work took place on top of our daily responsibilities, both we and Software Point did a lot of work and problem solving together over the weekends.”
However, some challenges had to be overcome.   
”On our side the team was a little bit small as we hadn´t much time for the project during the work week. There were not more things to do, or more configuration than we expected, but in terms of all the time needed, it was challenging”, Erlandsson recalls.
Thanks to the committed project team, the Quality Laboratory´s new LabVantage LIMS was launched in January 2017. 

Web wide world

At the moment, the LabVantage Express laboratory information management system is regularly used by six specialists in the Quality Laboratory, and altogether a dozen read the results from the LIMS. 
”We have changed our whole working method”, Marie Erlandsson and Erik Jonasson sum up. ”The old system we used very little, only for entering the already calculated results. Today our new LIMS is involved from the very beginning until everything is reported and invoiced.”
”We are glad to have it. It is so convenient that we can use LabVantage Express with tablets. A big bonus is that we need to enter a result only once, compared to the old system in which we had to type in the same result in several places. This diminishes the risk of copy errors. The new system saves time and paper work.”
LabVantage Express possesses many useful features for the laboratory. ”For example, registering, results, spreadsheet calculations, analysis reports, invoicing templates, quality control charts, laboratory instruments etc. These we do now, and we shall increase the usage further in the future.” 
It has proved to be easy to learn quickly how to use LabVantage Express.
"We built up the system so that making things right is as simple as possible.”
Also searching for samples of a certain client has become easier. ”The web portal is highly appreciated among our customers, as now they can get their results swiftly. We have got very positive feedback from those who use the web portal. With this solution our customers can see their results in real time, and they need not call here for those.”
Erlandsson and Jonasson feel rewarding that they are responsible for delivering pure drinking water to so many people. For the Eskilstuna inhabitants they would have a kind message:
”Save water. Please don´t water your lawn with drinking water. And remember how fantastic it is to get drinking water straight from the tap – it is not possible for everyone in the world.”
More info:   
Text:          Software Point
Photos:     Sirpa Myllyperkiö and Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö