Nothing can ruin a lab tech’s day faster than faulty or broken equipment. Taking freshly prepared samples with a short shelf-life to an instrument or appliance, only to discover it doesn’t work is singularly one of the most frustrating experiences for a person of science to have.
Countless samples and chemical reagents are wasted every day due to faulty or badly looked after laboratory equipment. With these types of appliances and instruments costing well into the thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars, preventative maintenance tips are crucial for your company or organization’s investment.
Below are the top five preventative maintenance tips for your laboratory equipment to prevent sudden failure or catastrophic loss:
- Proper Training
The best way to look after lab equipment and gear is by knowing how to use them properly. The easiest way to damage equipment is by making bold assumptions with no basis.
The most reliable way to avoid unnecessary accidents and damage is by only having trained personnel using the equipment. Allow for regular training for your technicians, students, and employees, and keep their training schedules updated frequently.
- Manuals Are Essential
Before using or installing any new lab equipment, always read the manual first to avoid a migraine. If yours didn’t come with a manual for whatever reason, you might be able to find one online or by calling the manufacturer.
Manuals are essential for installation, maintenance, and often troubleshooting when something goes awry when you’re trying to study the impact of drugs on gut microbes. Give the manual a quick read over the parts pertaining to installation, use, and care – you may even learn something entirely new in the process.
Problems with lab equipment and appliances rarely show up overnight. You must physically inspect each one regularly throughout the year and run the appropriate performance tests.
Maintenance contracts with suppliers are usually a wise investment and can save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs. If you have just bought new lab equipment, such as combination freezers, take the time to create maintenance and cleaning schedules for them.
These versatile lab appliances are more than worth their investment, so do your best to keep them in tip-top shape.
- Daily Cleaning
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be astonished by how few users take care of the lab equipment once they’ve used it. Try this common-sense tactic and see how quickly it yields results.
Cleaning lab equipment is essential for its well-being and longevity as it prevents the build-up of unwanted liquids and materials from clogging the mechanical and electrical parts. Perform regular cleaning to limit the accumulation of potentially hazardous materials and dust, which causes severe problems over time.
- Regular Calibration
Regular calibration helps keep your machines, instruments, and appliances running like clockwork. For certain instruments and gear, professional calibration is highly recommended. That should get performed every three to six months.
Monitor your instruments and lab equipment by monitoring their accuracy. Track inspections and calibrations and use labels to display that information. Use specially designed labels and tags to protect hand-written details from spills and accidents.
By following these simple maintenance tips, your lab equipment can stay in excellent and reliable working order for years.