Laboratory equipment is expensive and usually fragile. For higher education research organizations with limited budgets, it is crucial to keep your equipment functioning optimally for as long as you can. Well cared for lab equipment provides more reliable and consistent data and positively impacts your lab’s production. The equipment at higher education lab facilities can be hard to maintain without proper training. Hiring professionals to help keep your equipment working correctly is an integral part of your facility’s quality assurance. However, everyday care and cleaning of your lab equipment and tools go a long way. Read on for a general guide for taking care of your laboratory equipment.
Keeping your laboratory equipment clean means that it will always be ready for use whenever you need it and ensures that no real impurities contaminate samples or skew your data. Lab equipment should be cleaned after each use. when cleaning equipment, make sure that:
- Cleaning reagents are formulated for use in a lab.
- The manufacturers’ instructions are followed very carefully as some equipment might require special solvents, cleaning tools, or drying procedures.
- Machines are disassembled when required for in-depth cleaning of hard-to-reach spots.
To make sure each piece of your laboratory equipment is cleaned consistently and with the correct procedure, lab managers should develop a detailed and in-depth cleaning schedule with instructions. Place this somewhere accessible to the staff or near the piece of equipment.
Laboratory equipment is expensive, and for higher education labs or institutions with budget restrictions, it is important to make your lab equipment last as long as possible. Refurbishments and repairs prolong the life of your equipment, saving money for your whole facility. To determine whether or not your equipment needs refurbishment or repairs, consider this:
- Can trained staff make repairs, or do they require professionals?
- Is the machine that needs a repair a source of danger to the lab?
- Does the equipment need refurbishing with polishing, lubrication?
Unfortunately, in certain cases, equipment that can’t be refurbished or repaired must be replaced. We do suggest that you buy new equipment from a trusted supplier with excellent technical support, like the Lab People. The better quality of your equipment, the easier it will be to maintain.
Calibration is an essential part of lab equipment maintenance to ensure reliable and accurate data. When calibrating your equipment, you are measuring your readings against the standard units of measurement to verify the accuracy and make adjustments where required. Calibrate your equipment consistently because measurement biases can develop and generate invalid data.
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