How critical is the instrumentation in your lab? Are you able to function without it? Laboratory instrumentation may not take vacations, leave work early, or call out of the office unexpectedly; however, they do occasionally go down. The worst case scenario is when an instrument goes down at a critical time or during the middle of an important experiment. The best way to avoid unexpected downtime is to follow a few basic rules....
- Treat your laboratory instruments with tender love and care.
- Make sure your clean them after routine use.
- Ensure that all start up and shut down procedures are followed on a daily basis.
- Inspect it for signs of wear & tear.
- Update the logbook daily.
Most importantly, schedule routine Preventative Maintenance (PM) or service on the instrument. This is especially true for instruments that have aged out of their original manufacturer's warranty. Often times a Preventative Maintenance on an instrument can mitigate serious problems, ensure accurate results and keep instrument "research ready".
There are a number of different options in terms of service providers for laboratory equipment. Most OEMs offer post-warranty service, as do large Mult-Vendor Service Organizations (MVS) such as Thermo or Perkin Elmer. Additionally, there are many smaller, competent service providers that can offer various service options on specific product types.
When choosing a service provider it is important to understand their experience, technical know-how, breath of product coverage, reputation, and response time. The LabSquad, Copia Scientific's Service Group, can provide a number of cost effective service offerings on various types of plate-based automation and instrumentation.