This has to be the most common question of any lab – “has my sample arrived”, shortly followed by “is it ready yet?”
In a rush?
Use our Quick 5 seconds K Number Receipt checker to simply see if we have the K Number or not and if the report is done. No login needed. You will need to login to view information about the sample and the report if it’s ready.
Has my sample arrived yet?
Samples coming back to the lab by Royal Mail Freepost are a non-tracked service and are as per usual 1st class Royal Mail post. If your parcel has not arrived with us yet, unfortunately, all you can do is wait, but you can see the moment they arrive with us on our LubeWear.com portal. If you used our guaranteed next day Royal Mail Special Delivery you should have received a parcel slip when you dropped off your parcel at the post office, which you can track at RoyalMail.com. Otherwise check with your courier for proof of delivery.
To check if a sample has arrived you must have first pre-registered your sample.
- Once you have done this it will appear on the samples in transit page. To Narrow down your search click the magnifying glass to enable search options (left of the number 3 on the diagram below).
- First of all, clear the start and end dates by highlighting the boxes and deleting the dates. This will show everything in transit rather than a set date range.
- Pick the customer and Jobsite to narrow down your search
- You will then show a sample in transit. If the sample appears here it means it has not arrived at the lab yet. If it does not appear here and you have pre-registered the sample, then proceed to is my sample ready yet below.
Is my sample ready yet?
So you have established the sample has arrived and want to see if it is ready yet. If you go to Track My Sample (1) section you will choose the magnifying glass (2) to narrow down the search. (3) Clear the dates again to show everything and you can optionally set the criteria as lab received and in progress statuses to see if the lab has received and are working on. If a sample is taking longer than expected at these stages click the contact us button on the bottom right to get in touch. Please have either the lab number starting OAL or your K number on the bottle to hand.
Why is the sample turnaround showing as longer than expected or even longer than I know the turnaround really is?
The first thing customers often say when they see the “Total time” figure at the right-hand side of the screen for a sample is how long it looks, but please keep in mind the majority of the time is actually stuff not related to the lab. For instance, take the example below.
- The sample taken date is recorded, but not the time and hence defaults to midnight. So if you post at 4 pm that is 16 hours past midnight before we start.
- The lab received time is the time the lab first scan receipt of the barcode (upon arrival of the sample). Since our portal hosting server is based in Sydney Australia this adds 11 hours to the time. i.e. 8.19 pm Sydney time is actually 9.19 am UK time. We apologise for this quirk in the times listed on the portal, but it is something unfortunately that is hard-coded on the Amazon hosting servers. Hence we would recommend just looking at the time differences rather than the absolute times. e.g. 2 days 22 hours to reach the lab.
- The received to registered times are usually at the same time or within an hour of each other as we begin testing the samples straight away. However, if you did not pre-register your samples or requested some non-routine testing this may delay the registration stage.
- The registered to test complete stage is the time the sample undergoes the first set of screening tests until the first quality checks on the data can start. The sample may stay at this stage if the sample is deemed to require additional testing or retesting for any reason. A common reason is if a sample is on the borderline between a pass and a fail on a test, if the data is not consistent with historical data for the machine or sample information provided by the client. For instance if the customer records the oil as a ISO VG 32 hydraulic and the data suggests it is an ISO VG 68, the sample may be retested for confirmation.
- Once the additional testing is complete the sample is interpreted. At this stage, the report is ready to view for the client and will show as status complete.
- There may be additional statuses of reported or released. These are to reflect customers who get email reports the time the pdf was last emailed/generated for the client by pressing download pdf. It can also include the time if a customer comes back with additional information for reinterpretation. e.g. if 1 month after the report is sent the customer comes back and says can the report grade be changed to ISO VG 68 and reinterpreted the clock will add all the time up until that point giving an impression of a month-long turnaround if you look at the total time figure. In this example the customer viewed the report 10 hours after being sent the report.
- Total time is the total amount of time from midnight of sample date to the moment the report is either last issued or opened/acknowledged by the client. Hence in this example below the 3d 12 hours and 2 minutes only 6 hours was at the lab and 18 minutes on interpretation. Whereas 2 days 22 hours in the post and a further 10 hours until the customer acknowledged the report.
How to speed up your sample turnaround tips.
- Use a fast courier – The most important part of getting a fast turnaround is if your sample is urgent use an express courier. Royal mail is fine for normal turnarounds, but if your sample is critical it is worth spending a little extra to get the sample to the lab fast.
- Pre-reg your sample and pre-reg it correctly – We cannot start testing your sample if it is not pre-registered, so any urgent samples need to be pre-reg so they can hit the ground running. In the example above we were able to start the testing straight away, but if you don’t this can mean the sample waits a few days until you finally do register the sample. Equally, make sure you provide the correct information as best as you can as this information means any retesting purely on the basis of poor sample pre-reg information is avoided. It also means we can give you a fuller and more complete diagnosis.
- Take your sample correctly – Poorly taken samples slow down the lab. If you take a sample from the bottom of a system that is not mixed or introduce contamination when sampling this can lead the lab in the wrong direction assessing your sample. For instance, if you pull a sample from the very bottom of a 1000L hydraulic system and it shows a big layer of water and dirt ask yourself is that sample representative of the bulk of the system. Are you giving the lab the wrong impression of your machine? A classic retest is when a diagnostician sees very high contamination is to recheck the wear metals for instance if the wear is normal – if the wear is normal it is likely a poorly taken sample. This adds time to the turnaround purely to establish if the sample was taken poorly.