To ensure accurate and reliable test results, your lab equipment in Los Angeles must be of high quality. This article looks at some of the best practices you can employ today to improve your lab’s reputation. Let’s dive in.
1. Read and Understand the Manual
Before using any lab equipment, ensure to read the manual. While it might not be available directly, referring to the manufacturer’s website can help. Alternatively, you can contact the manufacturer directly. Besides, we’d advise compiling a list of manuals. It is crucial since it can help you during training or troubleshooting.
Benefits of Reading a Manual
- Helps in Setting Up Lab Equipment
It is the chief reason you should read an instrument’s manual. It enables you to set up the equipment easily. And in case of any issues during installation, you can resolve them by referring to the manual.
- It Helps You Understand the Maintenance Schedule
Like other equipment, lab instruments require periodic maintenance. It is to ensure they run smoothly hence reducing downtime and inaccurate readings. Besides, understanding the maintenance schedule of the lab equipment has significant benefits.
- You’ll Protect Your Warranty
A manual outlines when a warranty is valid and when it’s void. As such, you’ll avoid instances where it may become null and void.
2. Get Trained
As you’d expect, training is the best way to work with lab equipment. Besides, using an instrument you are a novice with is the surest way to damage it. If possible, get trained before purchasing the tool. That way, you’ll understand how it works even before it is in the lab.
3. Get Your Staff Trained
To avoid periodic lab equipment damage, you must train your lab personnel. You should also train personnel from outside who regularly use your equipment.
Benefits of Training
- Helps in Resolving Staff Issues
Training your lab team allows you to resolve staffing issues such as scheduled and unscheduled absences. It is because cross-trained lab staff can handle more than one duty. You’ll benefit from continued operations and reduced costs by limiting overtime use.
Besides, cross-training your team will prevent financial disasters such as closing a lab section. There’ll also be fewer lab disasters, saving on the loss of samples and repair bills.
- Improved Cohesion and Operations
As you’d expect, training your lab team in Los Angeles can help improve operations. With multidisciplinary training, you will encourage problem-solving and collaboration within the lab. It can help enhance the troubleshooting of technical issues using a team approach.
- Makes Your Lab Future Proof
A cross-trained lab team can help maintain a skilled team should either of them leave. With continuous competency assessment, you are sure to keep your team abreast of industry standards. For example, you can use downtime to shift lab technicians to another department for training to balance training time with ongoing workloads.
4. Calibrate Your Equipment
Calibrating lab equipment in Los Angeles is a must-do activity. It helps prevent inaccurate results, penalties and fines from relevant bodies. For example, you should calibrate thermometers and pipettes at least twice a year. Calibrating once in three months can be beneficial if you use them regularly.
To ensure precise lab equipment calibration:
- Have random calibration before schedules.
- Keep checking the sensors
- Document all calibration efforts
- Consult an experienced calibration partner
Benefits of Calibration
- Maintaining Industry Compliance
For your Los Angeles lab to run effectively, it must comply with industry regulations. And one way to go about it is to calibrate your instruments. As mentioned, a lack of calibration can attract fines and penalties. Calibration also enables you to produce consistently high-quality products.
- Reduce Errors
Producing products under or over specific standards can cost you in several ways. For example, sub-standard products can attract fines and harm your company’s reputation. Likewise, producing more than required can lead to waste, reducing profit margins.
- Improving Safety
Uncalibrated lab equipment can lead to safety risks in specific situations. For example, if a storage facility is required to maintain a particular temperature, and the storage is too hot or cold, it might spoil research samples. To avoid such scenarios, ensure to have your lab instruments calibrated.
- Improving Customer Satisfaction
As you’d expect, producing inconsistent products will not go well with your customers. It may lead to loss of customers to your competitors. As such, your company’s reputation will take a dip, as well as your profit margins.
- Minimizing Downtime
Calibrating your Los Angeles lab equipment will only take you a few hours. On the other hand, repairing them can take up to 24 hours. It can significantly hurt the runtime of your company.
5. Decontaminate Equipment After Use
Decontaminating lab equipment in Los Angeles prevents contamination of samples. As you’d guess, contaminated equipment can lead to inaccurate results. It can lead to the production of drugs or food products that are harmful to human consumption. As such, you should ensure they are cleaned after every use.
Some of the decontamination procedures include:
- Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)
- Hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV)
- Moist heat
- Dry heat
- Microwave-generated steam (MGS)
Benefits of Decontamination
- No Contamination
Decontaminating your lab equipment protects your research samples from contamination. Ensuring the samples are kept in a safe and controlled environment leads to highly reliable and accurate results. Several ways to minimize cross-contamination include wearing protective clothing, ensuring filtered air flow and changing to laboratory footwear from street-foot wear.
- Improve Work Efficiency
As you’d guess, improved lab cleanliness and hygiene contribute to the overall efficiency of lab operations. Your lab team will feel motivated to work in a clean and organized environment. Besides, it will be easier for them to locate glassware, scales, reagent bottles, etc.
- Prevent Illnesses
Often, some reagent bottles and glassware store hazardous samples in the lab. A cut or bruise can lead to fatal illnesses if not cleaned properly. Regular decontamination can help prevent this.
- Improved accuracy
Whether you use ethanol or hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) to decontaminate your equipment, having clean equipment in your Los Angeles laboratory will help improve research accuracy.
6. Upgrade Your Lab Equipment
One mistake most labs in Los Angeles make is making their lab equipment last as long as possible. While this might seem cost-effective, it is far from the truth. Regular repairs and maintenance might cost them more than buying new equipment.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Lab Equipment in Los Angeles
- Reduced Maintenance
While buying new equipment will cost you more upfront, it will save you more over time. Let’s face it; old lab equipment are prone to leakages and breakdowns, leading to reduced productivity. As such, there’s financial loss leading to reduced profit margins. To prevent this, buy new equipment.
- Increased Safety
Another benefit of upgrading your lab equipment is the increased safety of new and modern equipment. Outdated equipment can lead to inaccurate readings and results. Besides, buying new instruments ensures you are staying ahead of industry regulations.
- Enhanced Integration
Well, newer software cannot integrate with outdated equipment. Such integration challenges can prevent laboratories from upgrading their software packages and may limit their operational choices. By upgrading your equipment, you can achieve the many benefits of a fully integrated lab system.
- Optimized Efficiency
Upgrading your lab equipment can also improve the efficiency of your lab. Like in other industries, laboratory equipment undergoes yearly advancements for enhanced efficiency. As you’d guess, labs are under pressure to meet tight deadlines and safety standards. The increased efficiency that newer laboratory equipment can provide is invaluable.
7. Use a 3D Printer to Build Lab Equipment
Thanks to the advent of technology, you can use a 3D printer to build your lab equipment. Thanks to the free instructions and blueprints available in open-source platforms such as GitHub, it is easy to use.
The printer allows you to customize shapes and sizes to build equipment that meets specific needs. You can use it to create life-like organs, replica rocks, heavy metal, and equipment on the go.
Benefits of Using 3D Printing
- Flexible Design
3D printing allows you to build lab equipment of different shapes and sizes. Regardless of the design’s complexity, a 3D printer got you sorted.
- Rapid Prototyping
A 3D printer enables you to manufacture lab equipment parts within hours. It allows for rapid feedback from other involved parties. As such, you can create new equipment within days, which would otherwise take weeks or months.
- Strong and Lightweight Equipment
3D printing enables you to build a piece of lab equipment that is durable yet lightweight. It makes them less susceptible to breakage in case of accidental drops. Furthermore, transporting them from one lab to another is more manageable.
As you can see, there are various ways to maintain quality lab equipment. And most are straightforward and cost-effective. Remember, upgrading your lab equipment is better than constantly repairing outdated ones. So, to know more about maintaining quality lab equipment in Los Angeles, call us today.