One of the most important processes in a laboratory is equipment maintenance. The tools you use to conduct experiments and studies have a significant impact on your results. Poorly cared for supplies can skew findings and reduce productivity, so keeping up with your materials should be a top priority. Here is a quick guide to laboratory equipment maintenance for those interested in raising their standards.
Calibration refers to the process of comparing measurements provided by a particular device against known standards. You’ll know that you need to reset your tools if your test results miss the mark by a large margin.
Regular calibration is necessary for the integrity and accuracy of your work. Uncalibrated instruments can misreport data and challenge any confidence you may have about a project.
Even high-quality equipment is vulnerable to wear and tear. While some items are easier to fix than others, repairing your devices can help cut lab costs and keep you within your budget.
You should plan to repair your instruments as soon as any damage occurs to prevent essential tools from breaking in the middle of a project. In addition, an experienced professional should perform all restorations so that everything meets the standards.
In the event that you can’t fix a piece of equipment, you’ll need to replace it right away. Replacement machines and tools should only come from a reliable source with a good reputation and support systems.
Purchasing new equipment can get expensive, but it is worth it if the materials are high-quality and will last a long time. Even if your supplies aren’t damaged, you should replace old materials that are less reliable than newer, more advanced products.
No guide to laboratory equipment maintenance is complete without mentioning the cleaning process. This may seem like an obvious step, but it is vital to conduct high-quality experiments with accurate results.
Regular sanitation lowers the risk of cross-contamination and ensures that everything is ready to go as soon as you need it. Make sure to clean your pressure gages, beakers, and other instruments with the appropriate cleaning agents. It’s also a good idea to schedule a deep cleaning for your machines to keep conditions sanitary.
Documentation should occur after every calibration, cleaning, repair, and replacement. Recording your process will keep track of all of the maintenance done in your lab in one easy-to-access area.
Documentation is helpful because it allows professionals to track how equipment is performing in real-time. It’s crucial to know if something is often breaking or needs constant calibration. Keeping records also helps in financial decisions since leadership can see what tools they should factor into their budget.
Maintaining your lab equipment should be a regular part of your routine. Performing regular maintenance helps extend the life of your instruments and ensures the reliability of your findings.