It’s always in scientific labs’ best interests to prolong their equipment’s lifespan for as long as possible. It ensures they get the most value from their purchases and saves labs money in the long run. Below, we’ll explain some helpful strategies to make your lab equipment last longer.
Keep It Clean
The first rule for prolonging the longevity of lab instruments and machines is to keep them as clean as possible. The same principle for helping cars run longer applies to lab equipment: if you want it to last, keep it clean.
The dirtier lab equipment gets, the more grime, dust, and other contaminants get into the mechanical and electrical components of the equipment, and the faster it’ll degrade and fail. It’s wise to clean lab equipment after every use to ensure contaminants aren’t allowed to take hold and do damage.
Perform Scheduled Preventative Maintenance
Quality, routine preventive maintenance is crucial to making your lab equipment last longer. Preventative maintenance is much more effective in preserving lab equipment’s quality than reactive maintenance and repairs. Waiting for equipment to break is a recipe for more issues down the line.
Routine maintenance means identifying and fixing issues before they become major problems that cause equipment failure. You should do maintenance according to a strict schedule—not just during free time—to ensure the equipment continuously operates at peak capacity.
Frequent calibrations should also be part of preventative maintenance to ensure the quality and longevity of lab equipment. Calibrations are a quality control test for lab instruments and machines to confirm their accuracy and precision in measurements.
Nobody wants inaccurate lab instruments, so calibrating your lab equipment is important in many ways. Mainly, however, lab equipment will gradually degrade in accuracy and precision without regular calibrations.
It’s also wise to keep a dedicated usage log of all the equipment and machines in the lab to document any time instruments are used, who used them, and for what purpose. You should also record any pertinent information like problems or repairs. This allows labs to have written documentation of equipment usage to observe how frequently lab members use instruments and machines. This data will help you create an accurate and useful maintenance schedule. Also, an equipment usage log is incredibly useful if repairs are necessary. The repair team can use the log to trace the problem back to its origin and find out what went wrong and why.