Research E-Management

CIMS: compound inventory management system


Compound inventory management system (CIMS) is an important part of LIMS (Laboratory information management system) and the core function of LIMS has traditionally been the management of compound. This typically is initiated when a reagent is received in the laboratory, at which point the sample will be registered in the CIMS. The registration process may involve accessioning the inventory and producing RFID tags (Radio-frequency identification) according to its characteristic, for example, CAS NO.

The use of RFID is one of the main features in this system. RFID, which is short for radio-frequency identification, is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. Thesetags are powered byelectromagnetic induction from magnetic fields produced near the reader or collecting energy from the interrogating radio waves. Other types have a local power source such as a battery and may operate at hundreds of meters from the reader. The main difference between RFID tags and barcode is that RFID tag does not necessarily need to be within line of sight of the reader and can be embedded in the tracked inventory.

Following is the procedure of borrowing and returning chemicals:


Only campus cards that have been resisted in CIMS system can login. Reagents were put into a basket and the basket was put on balance. The information in the RFID tags was read by RFID reader and will be shown on the screen. The chemist need to check whether or not the information is accurate, check the correct, press ‘Confirm’ and take them out.

Put medicines on the Balance

Procedure of return is similar to borrowing. Researchers login by campus cards and put medicals on the balance to get the weight of residual reagents one by one. Chemical information should be checked again after all chemicals have been weighted. Press ‘Confirm’ to finish return procedure.


Alarm will be raised as soon as someone takes out chemicals without registration. CIMS will closely follow the course of the reagent and remind administrator about the abnormal condition until alarm is disabled by administrator. Tracking are easy and accurate because there are RFID readers on the door of warehouse, and they can read RFID tags on the bottle of chemicals several meters away. Alarm will sound as well on the condition that someone gives back chemicals without login.

Procedure of borrowing chemicals:

Procedure of return chemicals:

Main advantages of CIMS in our company are as follows:

I.Use of RFID technology ensures the security of chemical warehouse.

II.Faster and more secure without noting down chemical information with hand when you take out medicals.

III.The management of chemicals is more scientific and confidential because advanced system keeps track of chemicals accurately instead of man.

IV.Reminder functions are available if the storage of chemicals is under limit or out of date.

ELN:Electronic Lab Notebook


ELNs which are short for Electronic laboratory notebooks are computer programs designed to replace paper laboratory notebooks.

Laboratory notebooks in general are used by scientists and technicians to note down the kind and ratio of raw material, experimental phenomenon and condition and so on in the process of experiment.


Compared with laboratory notebooks, Electronic lab notebooks are a fairly new technology but offer a lot of benefits to the user as well as organizations. For example, ELNs are much easier to search upon, simplify data copying and backups, support collaboration amongst many users. Also, ELN can have fine-grained access controls, and can be more secure than paper counterparts. They also allow the direct incorporation of data from instrument, replacing the practice of printing out data to be stapled into a paper notebook.


ELNs have been widespread since last century in developed countries and during 21th century, they are rapidly becoming a core part of many laboratory operations in industries from pharmaceuticals, to chemicals, to consumer goods and more. These programs streamline the documentation and protection of intellectual property, help scientists collaborate in increasingly global and networked activities from discovery to manufacturing, and make scientific data and observations associated with experimentation easier to search, find and use.

Main advantages of ELNs in our company are as follows:

i.Replace the paper notebook to better preserve notebooks and monitor, engage and evaluate your lab’s work


ii. Notebook user access can be managed to allow access rights to certain parts of notebooks.

iii.Easily import and access digital experimental data captured from original lab machines produced by hardware or software

iv.Researcher can easily upload images and videos directly to their ELNs while conducting lab experiments, which can record raw data to the best advantage.

v. Interconnect all your lab data from different experiment and project to study the inherent relationship between them.

vi.Integrated with CIMS to better illustrate the ins and outs of reagent.