Moving freshly prepared samples to a lab instrument only to discover that it is broken is one of the most frustrating things lab techs and scientists experience. Time, reagents, and specimens are wasted, leaving unhappy supervisors, lab managers, scientists, and lab techs. Therefore, it is critical to maintain equipment in the lab adequately. Our experts on medical laboratory supplies recommend the following lab equipment maintenance tips:
Read equipment manuals
Before using any lab equipment, you should read the manual to understand proper usage, safety precautions, cleaning and maintenance instructions, and other valuable information. Then, scan them into a computer program or file them manually where users can readily access them. If you purchase used equipment, have older lab equipment with missing manuals, or have equipment donated, you can look for user manuals online or reach out to the manufacturer for a copy. Keeping these manuals on hand is essential for training lab users about the machinery and troubleshooting problems independently before investing in costly repairs or replacements. User manuals also offer valuable information on equipment features that you may not know are possible.
Get equipment training
Lab equipment is often technical and complex. Training is the best way to ensure proper use and avoid unnecessary equipment damage or safety risks. Many lab equipment companies offer free training on more complex machinery to help you get optimal benefits from your investment. In addition, new lab staff should receive in-depth training on lab equipment from experienced personnel for the best results.
Properly clean lab equipment
Though cleaning up after yourself in the lab setting should be common sense, it is not always taken seriously. Yet, cleaning is essential for lab equipment to prevent the build-up of potentially dangerous liquids and powders and extend its life. In addition, frequent equipment cleaning will limit dust accumulation, leading to further issues over time.
Inspect equipment frequently
Equipment problems are not always obvious. Therefore, it is vital to visually inspect lab instruments and complete performance tests to ensure accuracy. This is particularly essential for the equipment that is not frequently used so you can resolve potential problems before the machinery is needed for testing only to find that it is not correctly functioning. Maintenance contracts for critical lab instruments are an intelligent investment to retain optimal function and results.
Perform equipment calibration
Following recommended preventative maintenance and equipment calibration ensures accuracy and reliability. For example, pipettes should be professionally calibrated once per quarter and continually monitored for accuracy through testing procedures. In addition, routine maintenance tracking through specially designed labels can be helpful for lab users and keep everyone in the lab informed and accountable for equipment care.
Follow these tips to maintain your laboratory equipment and ensure optimal and reliable performance. Read equipment manuals to ensure proper use, understand safety precautions, and learn proper care and maintenance. Get training on complex equipment and train lab users on good equipment use. Always keep machinery clean and regularly inspect and test it for optimal performance. Calibrate it at least quarterly to ensure optimal accuracy. And if you need medical laboratory supplies, contact us today.