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Is Buying Used Laboratory Equipment the Right Choice for Your Lab?

 

Every lab has faced major breakdowns in lab equipment, leaving them to wonder if it’s easier to repair it or replace it. Many times, managers operating on a limited budget may find themselves throwing money into repair after costly repair because replacement equipment is too costly. There may be a solution, however; most lab equipment can be found used, in perfect operating order, and far cheaper than a new piece. Of course, there are concerns with buying used lab equipment: is it reliable? Is it covered under warranty? What should labs do with the equipment they’re replacing? Here are some things to consider when making the decision to purchase.

Refurbished, Reconditioned, or Remanufactured? 

When shopping for used lab equipment, you may see several descriptions such as refurbished, reconditioned, and remanufactured. While each term means the same thing as far as the reliability of used lab equipment, they mean slightly different things in the path to the equipment’s resale certification.

  • Remanufactured equipment has been tested for reliability, often with nearly all components replaced to bring it back to nearly new condition
  • Reconditioned lab equipment means equipment that was returned to full functionality after being turned over by a previous owner due to issues, and is available for resale after any broken components are repaired or replaced.
  • Refurbished equipment is equipment that was turned over in good condition. It is fully checked by technicians, who replace or repair components that show signs of wear.

Each piece of equipment offered for resale should be inspected, guaranteed to be fully functional, calibrated to peak efficiency and accuracy, and should offer a warranty. Never purchase any equipment that is offered “as is,” even if the price seems to be right. “As is” equipment can’t be guaranteed for accuracy or reliability.

Benefits of Buying Used Laboratory Equipment for Your Lab

You have a choice when faced with broken or outdated equipment. You can continue pouring money into repairs, purchase a new replacement, or find a used lab equipment dealer near you who can offer the same piece for far less than purchasing it new. Of the three choices, purchasing used equipment is generally the safest and most cost efficient option. Here are just a few benefits of used equipment.

1. Eco-Friendly Solution

You don’t often put “eco-friendly” and “lab equipment” in the same sentence, but purchasing used is a great way to recycle. Buying this equipment used means saving the resources necessary to manufacture it, and trading in your old equipment for a replacement is a great way to keep the recycle-cycle going.

2. Get a Jump on Devaluation

As with anything, lab equipment begins to depreciate the moment it leaves the manufacturer’s floor. Purchasing used means that you’re already paying the “depreciated value” of the equipment, and will allow you to resell it much closer to the price you paid for it. New equipment will drop in value significantly within the first few years of ownership, meaning that you will take a larger financial hit should you need to resell it.

3. Saves Delivery Time

Purchasing new lab equipment frequently comes with an extended wait time. Depending on what you need, you could be looking at weeks or even months before you receive your order. Used equipment is usually available immediately, meaning your lab will not suffer significant loss of productivity while waiting for it. 

4. Budget Friendly

It’s estimated that buying used lab equipment can save buyers between 40% and 60% when compared to buying new. This is a welcome piece of news for any budget, with those savings being better spent elsewhere. Replacing frequently malfunctioning equipment with used is also a far more budget-friendly option than paying service calls, emergency repair fees, and parts and labor to nurse equipment at its end-of-life to remain serviceable. Frequent equipment breakdowns not only hurt your budget, they hurt your productivity, too, and may disrupt the accuracy of your research.

5. Trade-Ins Eliminate the Off-Loading Dilemma

You’ll find that dealers in used equipment will offer fair prices on trade-ins and even surplus equipment. That’s because these dealers know that they will be able to inspect, service, and repair the equipment for resale…after all, it’s what they do. Trading in your old equipment for new equipment may not afford the same fair pricing, depending on the supplier’s policies. Ultimately, you want a good price for your old equipment and you need it out of the lab as quickly as possible, not just collecting dust and taking up valuable storage space.

Do Your Research When Purchasing Used Lab Equipment

Buying used lab equipment is safe when the dealer is reputable, but how do you choose a trusted supplier and appropriate equipment? 

    • Customer testimonials: Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials and even reach out to some of the previous buyers to make sure they are legitimate.
    • Google reviews: Google is a reliable source of reviews, fully exposing the good and the not-so-good experiences of real buyers with a business.
    • Word of mouth: Ask fellow facilities if they have had experience with purchasing used lab equipment, and what company they would recommend.
    • Warranties: Only do business with a company that stands behind its equipment with warranties, and make sure to check for additional warranties from the manufacturer.
    • Integration: Any new-to-you equipment must have an ability to be fully integrated into your own environment. Avoid equipment that is near-obsolete or nearing its end of life.
  • Service agreements: Make sure the company selling the equipment is willing to perform preventive maintenance and service it if it breaks down. The seller/buyer relationship should not end when you finalize the sale.

BaneBio is a trusted source for your used lab equipment, offering a 14-day money-back guarantee on our entire line of products. All used equipment is quality tested by our highly trained service technicians for proper operation and functionality, and backed by our standard 30-day warranty. We also purchase your lab equipment, or use it as trade-in for used or new equipment. Ready to see how BaneBio’s used lab equipment can save your lab time and money? Contact us now.

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6 Biotechnology Trends to Look For in 2022

cart of drug vials

The biotechnology industry is ever-changing, evolving to improve the quality of life through research, digitization, advancements in preventive medicine, genetics, and more. Here are five industry trends for 2022 that will impact the lives of millions across the globe.

1. Decreasing Drug Approval Times

There will be important changes to drug approval times, designed to decrease the long FDA approval timelines. Clinical trials and drug testing timeframes are expected to be aided with improved technologies, designed to help speed the process up and make necessary drugs more readily available to those who need them. The Real-Time Oncology Review, a pilot program created to help streamline and speed up the approval of cancer related treatments, is one example of this new and improved process.

2. P4 Medicine Will Continue to Evolve

P4 (predictive, preventative, personalized, and participatory) medicine will use new insights into AI data, human genetics, individual medical histories, environment, and a deeper look into blood and other testing results to formulate treatment plans specific to the individual. P4 medicine is proactive, not reactive, and focuses on wellness as much as disease processes. Embracing P4 medicine will mean identifying health risks early enough for positive intervention.

3. Increased Digital and Remote Patient Assessments and Treatment Plans

Businesses have embraced digital transformation for years, with 2020 and 2021 seeing a huge boost in remote and automated technologies. Medicine has followed suit, with a surge in telemedicine. Remote office visits, assessments, diagnosis, and treatment have become the norm, and this strategic approach to medicine is showing no signs of slowing throughout 2022. Medications can be prescribed through various online platforms, making end-to-end virtual medicine well within reach for millions.

4. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Opportunities will Expand Even More

Remote Patient Monitoring connects the patient with a healthcare provider to provide real-time results of treatment plans in chronically ill patients, including those with hypertension and diabetes. This technology is becoming even more crucial for aging populations. RPM is a win-win, for the patients who receive timely interactions with health professionals, and the healthcare facilities who are reporting drastically reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

5. Advancements in Genetic Research Tech

One of the most exciting biotechnology trends in 2022 will be the advancements in genetic research technology and the role this research will have in proactively treating patients using genome features like DNA. Using the patient’s individual genetic markers will allow a highly specific risk assessment and preventative treatment plan.

6. Advancements in Telemedicine, Devices, and Remote Patient Monitoring Raises Cybersecurity Concerns

While advancements in digital medicine platforms are welcome, they bring their own set of concerns. Any technology that is capable of being accessed, whether online or in the cloud, is capable of being hacked. Cybersecurity will be taking center-stage in the midst of evolving remote technologies. In the middle of these concerns is patient privacy at every step, from the manufacturer to the consumer.

Despite challenges facing it, the biotech industry will continue to evolve throughout 2022, bringing exciting new technologies, treatment platforms, pharmaceuticals, and research developments that will impact people throughout the world.

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7 Evolving Life Sciences Industry Trends for 2022

The life sciences industry is growing by leaps and bounds. 2021 saw some fantastic strides forward, and 2022 promises to be even more exciting for our life sciences professionals, researchers, and companies. As an industry leader committed to staying on top of the latest technologies and shifts throughout the life sciences landscape, here are 7 life services trends we see evolving in 2022.

1. Rapid Advancements in Drug Research 

With the increased integration of lab equipment, scanning technologies, and other monitoring tools, doctors will be able to better understand disease processes, and how they affect individual patients. By collecting more of this pertinent fact-based data, the doctor can improve a patient’s treatments, prescribing medication and interventions based on objective data rather than relying heavily on subjective information.

2. An Increased Demand for Transparency in the Environmental Sector

The public’s increasing awareness of climate change has made them thirsty for information and innovation in the environmental sciences. This sector will need to “step up its game” to address global threats such as oceanic garbage dumping, increasing CO2 levels, and a lack of alternative power sources for fossil fuels.

3. Increased Data Integration and Management

Cloud management is reaching deep into the life sciences, providing new and innovative ways to track and share data. This will make it easier for scientists and researchers to organize and collect data, as well as interpret findings and share within their teams both internally and externally.

4. Increased Industry Collaboration

Hand in hand with the increase in data management, increased collaboration will continue to boost the life sciences throughout 2022. Companies will begin to work together in exciting ways to push the boundaries of research and development.

5. Decreasing Product Prices Will Benefit the Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Industries

Laws are being consistently put in place to help drive down product prices within the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. This allows research and development firms to focus on product rather than pricing, and results rather than bottom line. Ultimately, the winners will be the stakeholders, who will be more in-tune with evidence-based facts over pricing and profit concerns, and the consumer, who will be able to access more drugs and life-changing interventions at affordable prices.

6. Advancements in Genetic Research Will Change the Way Patients are Treated

Throughout 2022, it’s expected that more discoveries and advancements will be made in genetic research. As this research and development continues to advance, so will the way patients are diagnosed and treated. Many disease processes have been proven to be genetically inherited and, as more are uncovered, these discoveries will mean a new world of personalized medicine, risk mitigation, and treatment modalities.

7. Decentralized Drug Trials Will Make Research Easier

Throughout 2020 and 2021, a shift in drug trials began to occur with more drug research occurring in pharmacies, labs, and even the private homes of the target patients. Hybrid testing sites incorporate tools, technologies, and monitoring to bring the research closer to the patients. Research facilities will need to rise to meet this demand, making data collection, patient education, and monitoring services available off-site.

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Preventive Maintenance For Your Lab Equipment

scientist working in research lab

We all grew up hearing the saying, “a stitch in time will save you nine.” The idea is a simple one; taking care of an issue while it’s small will save you headaches in the future. The concept is true in nearly every situation from routine car maintenance to lab equipment preventive maintenance. 

Why is preventive maintenance for lab equipment recommended? Let’s take a look.

1. Missing Your Lab Equipment Preventive Maintenance Tasks Could Void Warranties

Ignoring routine preventive maintenance for your car, such as oil changes, can ultimately lead to a failed claim against the car’s warranty. Warranties are very specific as to what actions are required to keep the warranty valid. It’s the same for all warranties, including your expensive lab equipment. Planned preventive maintenance tasks should be performed as specified within your equipment’s warranty, and the tasks will need to be tracked and logged.

Preventive maintenance for lab equipment will make it far easier to repair or replace items covered under warranty.

2. Preventive Maintenance Plans Keep Repair Costs Low

Addressing small issues as they arise will save a lot of money in the long run. Equipment already takes up the largest part of your laboratory budget, and no lab manager wants to think about replacing or repairing it. Keeping equipment well-maintained means catching a small problem and fixing it before it escalates into a costly repair or replacement.

As a side note, keeping your equipment well-maintained also means you will get top dollar on it if you trade it in or sell it.

3. Maintain Consistency, Safety, and Accuracy

Laboratory equipment that isn’t properly maintained can become unreliable, providing data that is inconsistent and inaccurate. Additionally, improperly maintained equipment can be hazardous for your teams to use, resulting in injury or accidental exposure to hazardous materials. Maintaining equipment is an important part of a complete quality control plan.

4. Preventive Maintenance Helps Your Lab Stay Compliant

Your lab equipment is covered under several regulations. Starting with ISO/IEC 17025, these regulations are highly specific regarding how to calibrate, test, and maintain laboratory equipment. Failure to follow regulations can lead to costly violations and possible suspension of your laboratory’s licence.

5. Downtime Will Ruin Your Day

Your lab equipment never chooses a good time to fail. It’s unpredictable, and a failure can ruin your test results and samples. Planned preventive maintenance will help mitigate the risk of a catastrophic failure that can adversely affect your team’s hard work.

Leave it to the Pros

BaneBio recommends routine preventive maintenance on all your critical instruments and equipment to help make sure your equipment is running optimally. To find out how our qualified used laboratory equipment technicians can stop problems before they start, contact us for a free consultation today.

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Buying Used Lab Equipment? Know What Questions to Ask the Supplier

For many labs with limited funding, equipment failure can put a huge and unwelcome dent in the budget. Is the cost of fixing it more than the cost of replacing it? If it needs to be replaced, can you afford a new piece? What if you’re expanding operations and just need to update your lab with more equipment? More and more, labs are turning to suppliers to purchase used equipment, but that isn’t entirely without its own risks. Here are a few questions to ask if you’re buying used lab equipment.

How Old is This Piece of Equipment?

Knowing how old the equipment is a key piece of your purchasing decision. Older equipment may be obsolete, which means finding replacement parts and qualified technicians may be harder if the equipment breaks down.

Is This Piece of Equipment Covered Under Warranty?

Many pieces of used lab equipment are still covered under warranty. Ask about the status of the warranty to make sure it’s transferable to your lab. If not, does the supplier offer a warranty?

Is This Piece of Used Lab Equipment High Mileage?

How many hours of use has the equipment had, and how long has it been sitting in storage? If it has been in storage, is the facility a clean one with a climate controlled environment?

Are There Service Logs Available?

Service logs on used lab equipment can be helpful for determining if the equipment was properly maintained. They can also provide insight for any past issues the equipment may have had under the previous owner.

What Kind of Customer Support Can I Expect from the Supplier?

Check reviews of your supplier to make sure customer support is available if there is an issue with the equipment after you purchase it.

Has the Used Lab Equipment Been Thoroughly Cleaned and Disinfected?

Make sure to ask the supplier to provide proof that the lab equipment has been thoroughly sanitized and is safe to use.

Is This Piece of Lab Equipment in Good Working Order?

No one wants to buy someone else’s problem, so make sure the equipment is certified as being in good working order, is fully operational, and comes with a guarantee from the supplier.

Will the Equipment Need to be Professionally Installed?

Does the supplier offer professional installation services on the equipment? If it’s oversized, will the supplier ship it and move it into your lab?

Is the Equipment Compatible with my Lab?

From space and size of the equipment to the outlets and power supply, make sure the equipment will function in your lab.

Bane Bio is a Preferred Provider of Used Lab Equipment

We are a top supplier of used equipment, whether you’re looking to buy a replacement piece or sell your unused equipment. We provide a large selection of used equipment, and a 14-day money back guarantee on all products we sell. Browse our selection of used equipment, or let us take a look at purchasing your unwanted lab equipment.

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Moving and Storage for Lab Equipment

scientist looking through lab equipment

Do you need a bigger lab to account for more equipment and increased operations? Are you finding that it’s time to re-evaluate and streamline your processes? Don’t spend your valuable time worrying about the logistics of moving or storing your precious equipment! Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting ready to move.

Short Term Lab Equipment Storage

If you find yourself in a position where your new laboratory isn’t move-in ready or is too small for all of your equipment, you may want to consider a storage facility. Sure, self-storage units are everywhere, but the fact is your valuable equipment needs more security than the standard roll-up door. Lab equipment should be stored in specialized facilities to properly protect your investment.

When choosing a laboratory equipment storage facility, make sure you find one that:

  • Is climate controlled
  • Provides the packing and transportation
  • Provides a detailed inventory
  • Allows easy access to your equipment
  • Sends reminders about the equipment you have in storage

If you’re downsizing, consider selling the equipment you no longer have use for.

Moving Your Lab Equipment to a New Facility

Whether it’s across town or across the country, moving lab equipment takes more than a call to your local moving company. Your equipment is valuable and delicate. Choose a moving service to make the job easier…and safer for your equipment.

Finding a lab equipment moving service involves finding a company that:

  • Handles the packing and unpacking of the equipment
  • Includes all shipping costs so your budget isn’t presented with “surprise” charges
  • Handles all regulatory concerns 
  • Provides an inventory
  • Uses climate controlled trucks and specially designed crates
  • Remains in contact with you throughout the move

Decommissioning a Laboratory

When you’re moving or closing up shop permanently, you need to find a professional decommissioning service to make sure your lab stays compliant throughout every step.

This service should include a site-specific audit and decommissioning plan that covers:

  • Complete inventory, removal, and disposal of all biological, chemical, or physical hazards
  • Deep cleaning of all surfaces, including storage areas, fume hoods, and counters
  • Proper decontamination, removal, disposal, and remediation of hazards
  • Documentation of all steps taken during the decommissioning process
  • Removal, storage, or selling of used lab equipment
  • A “clean bill of health” documentation for all services rendered during the decommissioning process 
  • Universal waste disposal of items such as light bulbs and batteries
  • EHS verification that the decommissioned laboratory space is ready for re-occupancy 

Moving Lab Equipment? Time to Clean House

Moving and storing lab equipment is the perfect time to get rid of outdated or broken items and take a detailed inventory. Just like packing and moving a house, you don’t want to take anything that has outlived its usefulness or pack anything more than you need to get back up and running in your new facility.

Extra items can be refurbished and resold, and unused supplies can be donated to another facility.

Don’t Make the Move Without Us

BaneBio’s Lab Logistics Teams provide professional and efficient services to make your move easier. Because we move labs just like yours every day, we have the expertise, packing supplies, storage facilities, and moving equipment to move you safely, whether it’s around the corner or across the country. Our attention to detail and knowledge of EHS regulations make us a logical choice for moving and storing your lab equipment. Let us plan the logistics of your move; contact us today.

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Depot Repair: Small Laboratory Equipment Repair Made Easy

back of female scientist working in lab

If your large equipment fails, field repair services are the perfect solution to keep your lab running smoothly. If your smaller equipment fails, however, depot repair may be your best option.

What is Depot Repair?

Depot repair involves packaging and shipping laboratory equipment to a qualified biomedical equipment technician for repair, calibration, or preventive maintenance. Once the services are complete, the equipment is returned to your lab for immediate use.

When smaller equipment needs maintenance or repairs, outsourcing services provides the fastest, most economical solutions your lab needs to stay productive.

Why is Depot Repair the Best Choice for Your Small Lab Equipment?

Choosing a qualified laboratory equipment depot repair provider ensures professional services from a team of highly qualified and skilled biomedical technicians. 

What does depot repair mean for your lab?

Streamlined Lab Equipment Repairs and Maintenance

Rather than waiting for field repair technicians to come to you, depot repairs can begin as soon as your equipment is received. Once the services are completed, the equipment is shipped back to your facility for immediate use. There is no middle-man involved; the best laboratory equipment repair facilities will perform these services in-house.

Your repaired equipment will be returned with detailed documentation for your records of the services performed. Many depot repair facilities offer equipment rentals or temporary replacement of equipment that requires extensive repairs.

Depot Repair Saves Money on Laboratory Equipment Servicing

From storing broken equipment to lost productivity and the costs of bringing an on-site technician to your facility for repairs, lab equipment repair can take a bite out of a lab’s budget

Depot repair saves money by eliminating an on-site repair fee. It also allows equipment to be sent out immediately rather than being stored somewhere awaiting repairs.

Increase Your Lab Equipment’s Longevity and Performance

Depot repair services cover more than just fixing broken or failing equipment. Creating a schedule to send your smaller lab equipment out for routine preventive maintenance is a great way to stay on top of manufacturer’s recommendations and ensure your equipment is working optimally.

BaneBio: Depot Repair Services Maryland Labs Rely On

BaneBio offers depot repair for smaller lab instruments that can be properly packaged and shipped. Our in-house equipment service facility will professionally repair your equipment and return it to you quickly, cutting down on lost productivity in your lab. 

Microfuge or other equipment on the fritz? Contact BaneBio for a no obligation assessment and recommendation.

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The Benefits of Medical Freezers and Refrigerators

innova freezers

Is it time to upgrade your laboratory freezers and refrigerators to medical grade appliances?  There are big differences between domestic appliances and biomedical ones.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control defines biomedical refrigerators and freezers as purpose-built units, specifically designed for medical and laboratory use. These units precisely measure temperatures with microprocessors and digital sensors, and have fast-temperature recovery systems in place to immediately adjust out-of-range temperature fluctuations. The benefits of medical freezers and refrigerators range from alarms to their specialized sensors and technologies that keep temperatures consistent.

Medical units and laboratories should not use domestic household refrigerators and freezers which don’t adhere to federal guidelines. The CDC recommends replacing outdated equipment with medical-grade refrigerator and biomedical freezer units.

But why? What are the benefits of biomedical freezers and refrigerators, and why are they the best option for your research or medical storage needs?

Medical Freezers and Refrigerators Ensure an Unbroken Cold Chain

Biomedical refrigerators and freezers use temperature monitoring to ensure all items are consistently kept at the right temperature to prevent degradation of samples, biologicals,reagents, and other temperature sensitive materials.

Medical grade freezers and refrigerators also seal tighter than domestic refrigerators to decrease temperature fluctuations. In addition, medical freezers and refrigerators with glass doors allow technicians to find items before opening the door, helping to maintain temperature by limiting the amount of time the door is open.

Biomedical grade appliances are also capable of reaching temperatures far below that of  domestic freezers and can freeze things faster than their household counterparts.

Increased Air Flow

Domestic freezers and refrigerators frequently have glass shelves, which can impede air circulation. Glass surfaces don’t maintain even temperatures, causing instability in your cold storage.

Biomedical appliances are designed with airflow in mind, relying on fan-forced circulation systems, ventilation, and metal or wire shelving.

Alarm Systems

Most pharmaceutical grade freezers and refrigerators have external temperature monitoring devices, or TMD. This allows technicians to keep track of temperatures within the appliance without opening the appliance doors. 

An alarm system alerts personnel that a temperature change has occurred, allowing prompt remediation. A digital data logger (or DDL) keeps track of historical temperature readings, allowing personnel to monitor the length of time a refrigerator or freezer has been operating outside the required temperature range.

All three of these common features of biomedical appliances will increase the accuracy of temperature settings, notify personnel when there’s an issue, and help make rapid adjustments should a problem occur.

Power Outage Protection

Domestic freezers and refrigerators rely on wall outlets, in turn relying on an external energy source. When the power goes out, so do household appliances. 

Medical freezers and refrigerators have backup battery systems they can use in case of a power outage.  

Added Security

Some biomedical appliances have digital locks to control access, protecting your supplies and biologics as well as discouraging laboratory staff from using the refrigerators for personal reasons. 

Cost Savings Benefits of Biomedical Freezers and Refrigerators

All of the above benefits will result in cost savings, whether it’s preventing waste through temperature fluctuations, having a reliable history of freezer and refrigerator temperatures to ensure accuracy in testing, or increasing security to prevent theft or misuse of your appliances.

BaneBio is available to help you upgrade to biomedical freezers and refrigerators, with options for purchasing both new and used equipment as well as for selling us your outdated appliances.

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How to Determine & Maintain a Laboratory Budget

woman researcher looking through microscope

Whether you’re starting up a new lab or looking to improve or make budget cuts to an existing one, determining and maintaining a laboratory budget is the most important “next step” to take. Underfunded and understaffed; where do you start? Here’s a look at some helpful tips for creating a laboratory budget that you and your techs can live with.

Don’t Just Jump Into Buying Major Equipment

You may be tempted to start purchasing major equipment right away, but the secret to determining and maintaining your laboratory budget is understanding what you “need” and what’s “nice to have.” 

  1. Split your equipment list into several categories, including essential, ancillary, and wishlist. 
  • Essential equipment includes the tools you need to store and test your samples, such as refrigerators, microscopes, and centrifuges.
  • Ancillary equipment is also necessary to support your essential equipment. This list includes tubes, beakers, chemical reagents, and pipettes.
  • Wishlist: This is equipment that you need in the future, although for now you can borrow the equipment from a shared facility.
  1. Don’t forget that common equipment, such as refrigerators or appliances, as well as some supplies including paper towels and cleaning solutions are available at lower prices at some of the big box stores.
  1. Buying used lab equipment is a great way to save money on your lab budget. You can also ask for donations of equipment from other laboratories or partnering labs within your facility.
  1. Always look into purchasing the extended warranties and protections on your equipment to save money on repair or replacement.
  1. Preventive maintenance is a key factor in keeping your existing equipment running efficiently. 

Ongoing Costs

Once your initial setup is complete, it’s time to consider what consumables you will be using monthly. Your employees and team members will have a better idea of how many supplies they use monthly, so their input is a valuable resource.

It may take you a month or two to get the most accurate picture, but it’s estimated that an average sized lab will spend around $1000 a month on supplies such as pipettes, gloves, tubes, and slides. Next estimate how many antibodies, enzymes, and testing kits you will need to operate and add this into your basic recurring lab supply cost. Now add the cost of cleaning and maintenance supplies, as well as utility bills and rent or mortgage.

Lastly, look at your personnel spend (salaries, benefits, vacation, and sick days) and add that into the ongoing cost list.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make a Change

When balancing your laboratory budget, you may need to switch suppliers to ensure you are getting the lowest prices on your equipment and supplies. If you’re comfortable with the quality of supplies you are getting from your current supplier, don’t hesitate to reach out and try to negotiate a better price.

Be aware that not all suppliers have the same brands and not all brands are equal. Do a little legwork and research reviews on unfamiliar brands and suppliers before partnering with a new one.

Hiring Personnel is One of The Biggest Laboratory Spends 

By far, hiring and retaining qualified lab personnel is one of the biggest laboratory budget expenditures your lab manager will face. Here are a few ways to keep this spend down a little.

Make your lab environment inviting: Not just the lab facilities, but in the job culture. People are willing to take a little less money in salary if they truly love their jobs.

Provide educational and advancement opportunities: You can decrease turnover in your laboratory by providing continuing education and opportunities to advance. You can add a caveat, such as the minimum amount of time an employee must work to qualify for these perks, or negotiating how much time they will need to spend with your organization if they take advantage of educational opportunities.

Go shopping for eager students: Undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in the sciences can provide much of the help you need in the lab. These students can work as assistants in any number of departments. You may be able to contact universities and see if you can offer credit to student volunteers.

Offer great benefits: Circling back to the happy employee, offering great benefits is a way to make the job more inviting when you can’t pay candidates quite as much as a competitor could. A generous vacation policy, affordable health benefits, buy-in retirement plans, or even stock options can be used as leverage for your potential candidates. The costs of these benefits will be far less than the costs of high-turnover rates such as constantly training and equipping new employees.

Determining and Maintaining a Laboratory Budget: Keeping the Records

Now that you’ve created a basic guideline for creating your laboratory budget, it’s time to put it altogether. Excel spreadsheets are one option, but they can be cumbersome and confusing.

Many labs turn to solutions such as Quicken, QuickBooks, and other online budget software.

Once you’ve determined your budget, inform your teams of how it will affect them. Ultimately, it will be a shared responsibility to maintain the laboratory budget.

BaneBio has ways to keep your laboratory running within budget, from used equipment to cost- saving preventive maintenance contracts and repair services. Contact us today and let us show you how we can keep your operations running efficiently and economically.

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Research Laboratory Equipment Maintenance & Repair Checklist

3 researchers in a laboratory

The biggest investments you will ever make for your lab are purchasing your equipment, and maintaining it to keep it working properly. How do you keep it running safely, smoothly, and accurately? Here is a research laboratory equipment maintenance and repair checklist to keep your equipment humming along.

Start with an SOP

Every piece of equipment, from your microscopes to your biological safety cabinet, should have a clear Standard Operating Procedure relating to it. An SOP ensures that everyone using the equipment understands how to use it properly, and how to maintain it. Being able to prove that you have an SOP can help you in many ways, from regulatory compliance to tapping in to the warranty on a piece of malfunctioning equipment.

Your SOPs should cover, at a minimum:

  • The piece of equipment referenced, as well as the serial number, year, make, and model
  • A definition of any abbreviations used within the document
  • A list of employee job titles who have authorization to use the equipment, as well as any applicable certifications
  • Detailed instructions for proper use of the equipment
  • Detailed description of the maintenance required for the equipment

Keep a separate folder near each piece of equipment, and store all documents that came with the equipment such as guides or maintenance instructions. This is the perfect place to keep records of all maintenance, calibrations, repairs, and routine cleaning performed on the equipment.

If applicable, directions for disposing of any waste or hazardous materials should be included in each folder as well.

Routine Cleaning

Cleaning is an important part of ensuring your research laboratory equipment remains in good working order, with no chance of cross-contamination of your samples. To thoroughly clean your equipment:

Daily: 

  • Wipe down all equipment externally
  • Clean and disinfect your sinks 
  • Organize and sanitize all work spaces

Weekly: 

  • Deep clean the equipment
  • Use a 70:30 mix of alcohol or ether to clean your microscopes
  • Check for expired solutions, such as those needed to calibrate equipment

Calibration

Calibration ensures the accuracy of your test results, making this a very important step in laboratory maintenance and repair. 

  • Post signs reminding users to calibrate
  • Make a running sheet of all results after calibration
  • Ensure that all necessary calibrating supplies are near the machines
  • Keep completed calibration logs in the folder you created for the equipment SOPs

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance not only keeps your equipment running smoothly and accurately but it will allow you to notice issues you might have missed such as failing parts, loose pieces, and other potential troubles.

Check the manual supplied with the equipment for manufacturer’s recommendations on maintenance. Some machines require a more complete inspection annually, or every few months, to make sure they are performing optimally.

Repair, Replace, or Refurbish?

If you notice your equipment is not as reliable as it once was, you have three choices: repair it, refurbish it, or replace it.

Older pieces of equipment may still have some life in them, and refurbishing might be the answer. To refurbish your laboratory equipment:

  • Dismantle the entire piece of equipment
  • Deep clean each individual piece
  • Polish or lubricate moving parts
  • Replace parts that are showing sign of wear

If your equipment is still not functioning properly, you will need to send it out for a professional repair or have someone come to your location to fix it.

If the equipment is past its lifespan and is no longer reliable, replacing it is the best option. Luckily, used laboratory equipment is available, saving money on replacement costs. In addition, companies like BaneBio will buy your equipment or use it as a trade-in on newer equipment.

This checklist is not an exhaustive list of all your research laboratory equipment maintenance and repair issues, but it’s a good jumping off point for getting started on your own program.

BaneBio is available for repairs, relocations, sales, services, assembly, and purchases of laboratory equipment. Have a question? Contact us today to see how we can help you!