The generation of compliant inventory labels and SDSs may seem like a relatively small part of the R&D process, but it’s actually one of the biggest and most frustrating bottlenecks for innovators. In the Chemistry and Materials Science industry, innovators use materials with different levels of hazards, so generating accurate labels and SDSs for every material is essential for ensuring safe use and shipment—as well as a company’s regulatory posture. But the process of generating these documents can be quite complicated, slowing down the pace of innovation.
Without Albert: A Cumbersome, Time-Consuming Process that Slows Down Project Deliverables
Every time a potentially hazardous material, formulation, or sample leaves a location, it is required to have an up-to-date SDS to accompany it. This means if an innovator wants to send a formulation to a different lab for testing, or a sample to a customer, they need to generate an SDS. Without Albert, this is a daunting and time-consuming process:
- An extremely burdensome and resource intensive endeavor.
SDSs, often spanning several pages, require intricate calculations that vary based on the country, industry, and the specific use of the substance. Typically conducted manually, these calculations necessitate extensive research and expertise. As a result, many R&D organizations collaborate closely with internal or external regulatory resources to generate these documents. This collaboration places extra strain on an already burdened regulatory teams or leads to additional expenses for hiring third-party resources.
- Takes hours to weeks to complete.
Given their complexity and the numerous manual steps required, completing a single Safety Data Sheet (SDS) can take a regulatory department or a third-party service several weeks.
- Causes unnecessary delays in the innovation process.
For innovators who thrive on instant feedback and rapid prototyping, waiting several weeks for an SDS can feel like a lifetime, adding unwanted delays and frustration to the formulating process.
- Could result in a complete formulation “do-over.”
The SDS is typically the final step before sending a product sample to a customer. This means that an innovator might spend weeks or months on formulation, only to discover at the SDS stage that the product contains a hazard unacceptable to the customer. Such a revelation can reset the innovation process back to its initial stage.
Key Regulatory Compliance Documentation
Compliant Inventory Labels
Labels affixed to containers of hazardous substances, providing essential information about the contents of the container. In the USA, Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is the preferred method of inventory labeling.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
A document that provides information about the properties, hazards, safe use, and emergency measures for a particular chemical product. It is essential for ensuring the safety of workers who may be exposed to chemicals in the workplace.
Creating compliant inventory labels is equally cumbersome and frustrating for innovators, presenting several challenges:
- A manual, awkward process.
Each time someone unpacks bulk material from a large supplier drum or mixes a new formula or recipe, they must create a label detailing the safety concerns for that material or formula. Without automated methods, chemists often resort to handwriting these labels, a time-consuming task.
- Insufficient information leads to non-compliance.
The reliance on handwritten labels often means that chemists are unable to create GHS-compliant labels, a regulatory requirement in the USA, due to time constraints, limited ability, and lack of resources.
- Tracking usage of materials is cumbersome and error prone.
Every time an innovator uses a raw material, they need to update the lab’s inventory management system, often an Excel spreadsheet. Busy innovators sometimes overlook this step, leading to unexpected shortages of crucial materials. This oversight can cause significant delays, exacerbated by extended supplier lead times.
- Higher potential of regulatory and safety issues.
Strict safety regulations govern the storage limits of certain materials. Inaccurate inventory records can easily lead to non-compliance or safety hazards.
With Albert: Generate Compliant SDSs and Labels in Seconds
Albert simplifies and accelerates the creation of accurate, compliant SDSs and labels. The Regulatory module utilizes advanced rule sets and a constantly updated internal regulatory database, enabling the generation of SDSs and labels in just seconds with a single click. This system complies with all relevant safety regulations in the USA, EU, China, and Taiwan markets and is available in 22 languages.
- Accelerates R&D and speed to market by expediting SDS and label generation.
Albert’s automatic generation of SDSs and labels is remarkably efficient, taking about 10 seconds to produce a fully compliant 16-section SDS. This eliminates the weeks-long wait for a regulatory team or third-party service to create these critical documents before sending formulations for testing, or shipping samples to customers. Innovators can now fast-track this process—simply click, print, and ship.
- Increases bandwidth of EH&S or regulatory teams.
The regulatory landscape is ever-evolving. With the one-click SDS, EH&S and regulatory teams are freed from the burdensome task of constantly updating SDSs. This allows them to direct their focus towards more valuable and impactful work.
- Saves money by no longer needing to rely on third-party services.
R&D departments often incur substantial expenses by outsourcing the creation of SDSs to external vendors. With Albert Regulatory Automation, they can reallocate these funds to other areas of their operations.
- Empowers scientists with visibility to potential regulatory hurdles during design stage.
Rather than waiting until the later stages of development to grasp regulatory implications, scientists have access to critical information from the outset. This enables them to make more informed decisions and formulate more effectively from Day 1.
- Gives smaller organizations built-in regulatory expertise.
Albert’s Regulatory module features a comprehensive, regularly updated database of standards, rules, and regulations. This provides smaller organizations without a dedicated regulatory department the advantage of staying up to date with the latest regulatory developments. Fully compliant with the regulatory frameworks in the USA, EU, Taiwan, and China, Albert facilitates easier and more successful innovation for R&D organizations of all sizes, catering to customers globally.
- Makes it simple to accurately track inventory and maintain audit compliance.
With the click of a button, Albert generates GHS-compliant inventory labels complete with pictograms, essential safety information, warnings, and a unique barcode. Innovators can easily scan this barcode using their mobile phone each time they use a material. This allows for immediate logging of material usage or spills, eliminating the need to manually update a separate spreadsheet. This approach not only simplifies audits but also helps avoid stock shortages that could cause delays.
I was skeptical at first, because I know how burdensome SDSs are. I honestly could not believe that any system could generate such a complex and important document in seconds. So, I put it to the test. After running several SDSs through Albert and comparing it to SDSs authored by a regulatory expert, I was completely wowed. In almost every situation, Albert’s SDS was more accurate than one authored by experts I trust. This is a game changer for innovators.