It’s only natural that laboratory equipment won’t last forever. But how can you tell when your equipment needs replacing or repairs? If you find yourself asking this question as you monitor your laboratory, look for these signs it’s time to upgrade your lab equipment.
Noticeable Wear and Tear
The most obvious sign that your equipment needs updating is a visual one—noticeable wear and tear or even damage to the instrument. If you’ve had a piece of equipment for some time that sees regular use day after day, it will start to show signs of wear and tear. Basic wear and tear like small scuffs shouldn’t be an issue. However, warping, cracks, rust, or burns in the material are signs that the utensil is or could soon sustain damage. Never work with a damaged utensil, or you could risk injuries.
Constant Recalibration and Repairs
Some digital tools and equipment can be subject to inaccuracies as they age. Recalibration is important in digital equipment to resolve these inaccuracies and reset tools to their factory settings. If you notice yourself or other lab technicians needing to recalibrate equipment more frequently, this can be a sign that the equipment is ready for repair or replacement. This frequent calibration can also lead to decreased productivity, which is another sign of outdated equipment.
A Dip in Productivity
While not as obvious as the visual wear and tear on an instrument, noticing a drop in productivity around the lab can also be a clear sign that something is off. One of the first places to check for this snag in workflow is your equipment. Even when you don’t notice it visually, equipment damage can lead to slower processing times, which results in delayed results and workflow. Make sure you inspect the tools and equipment around your lab for any errors if you notice this sudden decrease in productivity.
It’s extremely important for labs of any size and specialty to keep up with their equipment inspections and upgrades. Outdated or faulty equipment can be dangerous and cause decreased productivity in your lab, which is why equipment maintenance is so important. Make sure to keep an eye out for these signs it’s time to upgrade your lab equipment in your own laboratory.