Lab equipment is a hefty expense, so you always want to ensure you get the most value possible. Learn how best to extend your equipment’s lifespan in our guide.
A laboratory isn’t unlike any other business—they want their dollar to stretch as far as possible. One of the most significant expenses in a lab is the equipment, so how do you make the lab equipment last longer? We’ve got some tips on extending your analytical equipment’s lifespan below.
Keep It Clean
It’s probably the oldest and simplest advice you could give, but that’s because it’s always true. If you want something to last for a long time—a sensitive analytical lab instrument or your pickup truck—the best strategy is to keep it as clean as possible.
One of the biggest reasons lab instruments wear down and break before the end of their expected lifespan is that they’re not cleaned or maintained properly. Many labs are so busy with work that more minor details like cleanings and maintenance fall by the wayside. But if you want to extract as much value from your lab instruments as possible, keep them clean.
If you want your lab equipment to last longer, you’ll need to stay on top of its maintenance schedule and any required repairs before they become larger issues. The best way to ensure that wear and tear don’t doom your lab equipment is by inspecting them frequently.
It’s no different from occasionally bringing a car into the auto shop for a quick inspection or going to the doctor’s office for a checkup. How often you should have your lab equipment inspected depends on the model and its use, but you generally shouldn’t go longer than a year without a close inspection.
Sensitive lab equipment must be as accurate as possible but can lose its sensitivity and accuracy after so much use. That’s why routine calibrations for lab equipment are essential to maintaining the quality of the equipment throughout its lifespan.
Typically, calibrations about once a year are good enough to maintain the quality of equipment, but depending on the instrument or its use, it could require more frequent readjustments. If your lab or staff lacks the time or skill for these calibrations, consider outsourcing the work to a lab equipment supplier that offers such services.
Extensive Employee Training
A lab instrument can be as well-calibrated and clean as the day it comes out of the box, but it won’t matter much if it’s misused. Extensive equipment training for lab staff is crucial to equipment lasting beyond its typical lifespan and working effectively.
You may have extensive training upon the initial arrival of the instrument, but don’t forget that there’s typically a lot of turnover in lab staff, and new members may not be as familiar with the equipment as existing staff. Ensure you have a rigorous and thorough equipment training plan so that anyone joining the lab can operate the equipment as well as the existing staff.