When you sell and service lab equipment in the San Francisco area as a business owner or manufacturer, we know how important it is to stay on top of routine lab maintenance.
When working in a lab, the environment must be clean, with all processes streamlined. Being in the industry for 31 years, we’ve seen how a well-maintained lab can improve day-to-day operations and the overall lab presentation.
We’ve put together the importance of lab maintenance and our top tips for manufacturers and owners of lab equipment to help maintain your lab.
Why You Need To Keep on Top of Maintenance
We’ve seen how much of a difference it can make when labs keep on top of maintenance. Not only for the lab but also for the impact it has on staff and the workplace as a whole. Keeping on top of lab maintenance isn’t just crucial for your lab, but it’s essential for yourself as the owner and whatever products you deal with. When you are on top of your maintenance, it also ensures that your lab looks clean and neat. This makes a tremendous difference from the outset. Not only does it show that you care about your lab, but it also shows that you’ve put in the time and effort into doing so.
Calibrate Your Equipment Regularly
Regular lab maintenance is just one of the many ways to ensure that your equipment works correctly. Here at BTS, we offer a depot service, coming to you for lab equipment calibration. How often you need your lab equipment calibrated will depend on a range of variables. However, with that being said, you should routinely have your equipment calibrated to ensure accurate results. In addition, when BTS calibrates your lab equipment, we’ll notify you of any small cracks or breaks that could lead to anything further or if it is time to replace the lab equipment altogether.
Create a Cleaning Schedule
While cleaning isn’t anyone’s favorite task, having a strict cleaning routine is vital when you’re in a lab that’s being used every day or even as often as weekly. For some labs, paid cleaners may be involved. However, additional cleaning every day is a great way to keep on top of the task. If you’re in a lab that works with many people, having a cleaning schedule is a great way to ensure that the work is distributed fairly and evenly.
Wipe Down Equipment Daily
In addition to a cleaning schedule that is a shared responsibility between employees, you should wipe down all of your lab equipment every single day and after use. While this may seem like a straightforward task and one that can be tedious, it’s much easier to maintain lab equipment when it’s cleaned daily rather than equipment that’s only cleaned once a week.
Another tip is to have all the tools available such as a cloth and spray bottle with a cleaning solution of your choice on hand. If you have a cleaning system in place, it makes people much more likely to use the system and regularly clean when it’s readily available to them.
Put Together a Tool Kit for Fixing Equipment When Needed
When working in a lab, equipment wears down and breaks over time. It is a natural part of the process. So, a part of lab maintenance is putting together a small tool kit for fixing equipment when needed. While tool kits can be extensive and over the top, sometimes you need a few tools here and there for when the scenario arises.
This can be as simple as having pliers and small screwdrivers in a selected drawer. While it’s not a must, adding to your existing tool kit is a great way to stay on top of maintenance. What you add to your tool kit will depend on what you already have within your lab. Having these tools on hand makes fixing those small breaks much easier to deal with when they occur.
Tool kits are worth the investment. If possible, you’d much rather have your staff readily available with the tools needed to fix the problem. Although if you’d prefer an expert to take a look at the situation, check out our lab equipment service. This service has been designed specifically for quality preventative maintenance. Our team of trained professionals are able to put their 31 years of experience to work, fixing all varieties of lab equipment.
While refurbishing equipment isn’t something that needs to be done daily, it should be done on a regular basis. The process of refurbishing equipment is taking your equipment apart and cleaning each piece individually.
When completing this process, you must understand how all the pieces work and how each should be cleaned correctly. Refurbishing your equipment should be done more often if you’re using your equipment much more frequently. If you’re unsure about when you should complete this process, every 3-4 months is a good starting point. This routine will help to prevent any build-up of excess dirt and gunk.
In addition to this, refurbishing equipment is a great way to spot any small cracks or breaks and get to them before the entire piece of equipment breaks. It’s a much more cost-effective option to fix one piece of equipment rather than the whole machine.
Keep Your Lab Equipment Up to Date
At BTS, we see how lab equipment is forever changing and evolving. To maintain the high performance of your equipment, consider purchasing a new model of your frequently used pieces every few years. This keeps your lab up to date with technologies and ensures a streamlined process.
Ensure You Have Standard Operating Procedures Neatly Organized
No matter how big or small, each lab should have standard operating procedures (SOPs). For the most part, each lab will also have to adhere to rules and regulations that these SOPs follow, depending on which state or area you’re located in. In addition to this, these will also vary depending on the type of materials you deal with in your lab. For example, managing food will have different regulations than working with medical materials.
While your lab staff may know what these are based on completing them routinely, you should have these neatly organized and in an allocated place in the lab. This helps any new members who come into the lab know what they are and where to find them. Having everything organized can be done online or with a paper record. Whatever you choose, you must stay up to date with it. Keeping everything organized within your lab is just another way to stay on top of maintenance.
Implement Regular Training With Staff
New technology is always coming into place in a world that’s forever evolving. With this, staff must be trained regularly to keep up with new technologies and procedures. While training staff at regular intervals comes at a monetary cost, it’s essential to understand that it’s an investment into the lab and the people that work there. Having capable employees ensuring that everything is how it should be can give you peace of mind as a manufacturer or owner of lab equipment.
If your staff aren’t too keen or enthusiastic about regular training, consider buying lunch, coffee or snacks for the office. While it won’t completely boost the enthusiasm, it will help and make a slight difference to the overall mood.
While lab maintenance can often be tedious and repetitive, it’s key to keeping your lab in the best shape it can be. Here at BTS, we understand how important this is. Offering a wide variety of services to assist with lab equipment maintenance. If you’re in need of lab equipment maintenance in the San Francisco area, we have several locations that you’re able to access, or you can get in touch with our team to see how our services can be available to you.