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Selling Your Surplus Lab Equipment

used laboratory equipment
January seems to be the month when we look around our homes and businesses and decide how we can organize and declutter– and that process often starts with an inventory of what we actually need vs. what we can “rehome” in some way. For example, if you work in a lab, you know firsthand: technology outpaces equipment at a rapid rate and we outgrow stuff fast. It doesn’t take long for that corner in the warehouse where “surplus stuff we don’t need anymore” lives to fill up.

Selling some of that surplus used laboratory equipment off will put some money back in your operations budget while clearing out some much-needed room… but you have a few decisions to make first.

First, you need to decide if you’re going to go it alone or partner with a professional lab equipment reseller. Even confirmed DIYers will tell you– using eBay or LabX can be trickier than you think. Acting as your own agent doesn’t necessarily mean you will keep more of your selling price when you consider the following factors:

• Are you starting from scratch on eBay or LabX? Previous selling history is a big factor in motivating buyers to trust an online seller. Unless you have some positive, peer-reviewed transactions with colleagues in the industry, your stuff is likely to get skipped over.
• How much time do you have? If you do get some action on a listing, be prepared to respond promptly– this audience is used to hearing from sellers within a few hours, so you delay at the risk of that seller’s rating you’re trying to build.
• Payment Processing. You’ll want to set up a PayPal account or something similar to keep your company safe from the kind of liability any sort of personal account leaves you open to– scams are not uncommon online. There are set-up and transaction costs associated with any of these third-party payers and vendor support is nearly non-existent.
• How are you going to handle shipping? Packing is expensive and shipping methods are pricey and on the rise.
• What’s your claims policy? Responsibility for the equipment or instrument reaching the buyer in working condition is yours. How will you address broken stuff on delivery when it happens? The cost of on-site service could very quickly absorb your profit.
• What about refunds? Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?

Partnering with a professional lab equipment reseller like Bane Bio can facilitate this process in a number of different ways:

Consignment. You and your chosen reseller split the profit after we sell and deliver your item. Before the split, we deduct costs like refurbishment and testing. It can take a while to find the right buyer, but if you’re not in a hurry, this scenario may yield the best price.
Direct Sale. The reseller offers you a price for the item and takes it away. They pay for any marketing, testing, and refurbishing. It’s simple and a quick way to get paid if the item has value that the reseller feels is worth paying for.
Auction. Got a lot of equipment to unload? Closing or restructuring? Selling everything at once at auction can work well. Once the auction is complete, you receive a share of the auction price. There are fees associated with auctions, but you can sell a lot at once and you’ll know when you will be paid, even if the ultimate price is up to the bidders.

Maximize your chances of making top dollar by preparing your surplus lab equipment using three basic steps:

Collect each item for sale and be sure everything that goes with it, including all cables, dongles, and small accessories.
Clean and decontaminate all surfaces thoroughly, including the data it may contain. If personal accounts were used on the system, wipe them and create new generic admin and user accounts to allow the reseller to operate and access the system without using employees’ personal logins.
Document the manufacturer, model, and serial numbers of each component. Include a list of everything included–accessories, parts, or consumables. Provide the software licenses and keys. Providing the original invoice or packing slip and/or the service history of the system is also helpful. The more information that a reseller can have about the lab equipment you’re selling, the better.

Making a decision between choosing an experienced reselling partner or going it alone is a balancing act between time, effort, risk, and money. Only you can make that decision, but remember that Bane Bio is just a phone call or mouse click away to help you list your surplus equipment on consignment, or sell your items directly to us or to other companies at auction.

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Tips For How To Start Building A Distillery

distilling equipment

Opening a Distillery: It Ain’t All Moonshine Anymore

What’s your hobby? Crocheting potholders? Whipping up enviable aspics? Creating paint-by-number masterpieces? Homebrewing beer? Congratulations if you chose that last one — that means you’re one of the few hobbyists who can reliably count on at least some people enjoying your wares. Well done!

So what happens if you love homebrewing beer so much you want to take it up a notch? How hard could it be, you say, to make small-batch bourbon or whiskey? Dreaming big is great, but a word to the wise: the difference between homebrewing beer and crafting spirits is night and day. So here’s a few things to think about before taking your hobby to the next level.

The One Thing You Absolutely Need To Know

If you’re intrigued by the idea of opening a distillery, it would be normal and natural to want to try your hand at distilling at home before going big. But don’t even think about it. Not an option. Unlike home brewing, home distilling is completely illegal… and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Why? Not only does the process off-gas extremely volatile, explosive, high proof alcohol vapors inside a pressurized vessel (think ”bomb”), it’s possible to make straight-up poison if you don’t know what you’re doing. Seriously. You could kill yourself or someone else!

The Difference Between a Dream & a Goal Is a Plan

As expensive as opening a brewery would be, opening a distillery costs even more. Start by writing a business plan. How will you capitalize your distillery? Will you need investors? What equipment will you need? (BaneBio may be able to help with high quality, used brewery and distilling equipment.) Assuming you make a sellable product, will you have the means in-house to create a brand? Think of a name, design packaging and create a website? Also, who’s going to sell your products and to whom? These costs need to be part of your overall business plan to open a distillery– it all adds up.

Because spirits are of a higher proof than beer, everything will need to adhere to a higher standard of safety– and that means extra time and money. You’ll need to adhere to more codes, which means more inspections. Oh, and you’re going to be paying far higher taxes on spirits than you would for beer.

Getting Started

It’s important to answer two questions very early in the process: 1. What do you want to distill? 2. How much product do you want to make? These decisions, along with where you’re located and several other factors, are going to drive everything else. Regardless, there’s one thing you can count on: opening a distillery is going to cost more than you think. Estimates of $300,000 to $500,000 aren’t out of line.

As for equipment, the following is a bare-bones list. Keep in mind that distillery equipment is very specialized, but BaneBio may be able to help with some of the basics.

Water

You can’t make alcohol of any kind without water, so regardless of what your answers were to Questions 1 and 2 above, you’re going to need a source of water. Yes, you can use garden-variety tap water, but some top shelf H20 isn’t a bad idea. Bourbon loyalists will tell you that there’s no good bourbon outside of Kentucky thanks to its unique, limestone-rich water, but absent that, just try for a good filtered water base.

Cooker

You need something to bring your grain and water mixture up to a designated temperature for a certain amount of time. In a perfect world, you’d have a sophisticated way to send that mixture from the cooker to the fermenter, but a basic pump will work.

Fermenter

This is where the magic happens. Your fermenter is the large vessel where your grain, water, and yeast mixture hangs out for a few days—or long enough for the yeast to eat the sugar and create alcohol, which you can capture after a few days and distill it.

Still

Now you basically have grain alcohol. If you want to make *drinkable* alcohol? Then you’re going to need a distillery, aka “still.” The process from here on out is an interesting blend of chemistry, physics, and old-fashioned luck. Select your vendors and suppliers carefully– be sure they are reputable, and that safety is their top priority. Distillation can be dangerous business. You honestly can’t be too careful…so plan accordingly.

Some people wonder if the market is already saturated with small-batch distilleries. Just look at craft beer breweries. New ones are popping up all over the place. We think the future of small-batch distilleries can be just as bright!

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BaneBio To Host BioBeers At New Location on November 22nd

biobeers in frederick md

Mark your calendars! On November 22nd from 4:30-7:30pm, BaneBio, your favorite scientific supermarket, is hosting BioBeers in our new location at 4845 Governors Way in Frederick, MD. Join us for a fun evening of great conversation, your favorite beer, and delicious food – all served with a smile and a side of networking and socializing. The more, the merrier – so invite your friends and coworkers and head on over for happy hour, BaneBio style!

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Testing Hemp: Your Next Revenue Stream?

cannabidiol testing laboratory

As demand for Cannabinoid (CBD) Oil skyrockets, traditional farmers are making room in their corn and soybean fields for cannabis sativa. Because keeping the oil extracted from the plants at or below 0.3 percent is required to comply with Maryland state guidelines, accurate analysis and testing of the harvest is key. Established laboratory professionals are seizing the opportunity to create laboratories for the processing and analytical testing of industrial hemp.  

Agriculture rarely makes the news, but the rush to plant industrial hemp– a variety of the cannabis sativa plant– is a recent exception. Since the 2018 Farm Bill helped clarify the differences between industrial hemp and its party-hearty relative, marijuana, hemp has been touted as one of the most important cash crops of the future. Positioned for use in everything from personal care products to biofuel and dozens of other products in between, one of the most intriguing and potentially lucrative uses of industrial hemp is as a source of cannabidiol (CBD)– a product used to treat everything from anxiety to headaches to chronic pain.

A durable crop that grows well in varied climates and conditions, industrial hemp was grown profitably in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas in the 1700-1800s before a falling demand and strict federal regulation caused it to fall out of favor. Now that demand for CBD oil is high and restrictions on its cultivation have been relaxed, growers of conventional crops are bringing their experience and knowledge to bear on the growing of industrial hemp. 

Likewise, established laboratory professionals have begun to seize the opportunity to create laboratories for the processing and analytical testing of industrial hemp. Here are 6 important considerations for those interested in diving into this new and potentially lucrative market?:

Start at the macro level. Examine your motives. Why are you considering this venture? How solid is your knowledge of product testing in general? What exactly do you plan to test? How will you establish credibility?  Do you have a resource you can contact when you have questions or issues? 

Get your ducks in a row. In most cases, you’ll need support from a business advisor or legal professional to secure the capital, apply for licenses, certifications, and accreditations, and maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations. BaneBio is always looking to accommodate financial needs and funding options for our clients. Contact us to explore financing opportunities through BaneBio for your testing equipment needs.

Plan Your Set-up. Research and plan all the elements of your lab set-up carefully, especially from where you will source the equipment and resources you’ll need. Decide the scope of work you’re willing to do. For example, prior to analysis, the cannabinoids must be extracted from the source material. Are you also in the extraction business, or will you limit your lab’s capabilities to the analysis of liquid samples only? 

Securing the equipment. Laboratories involved in comprehensive testing typically test for residual solvents, physical and microbial contamination, potency, and terpenes. A quality, refurbished instruments vendor like BaneBio can help outfit your lab at a fraction of the cost of new. For example, filters, evaporators, distillers, and other equipment needed for each step of the process are all available at lower price points through BaneBio, your scientific supermarket. See equipment list for details.

Potency Testing. In potency testing, a panel of cannabinoids (CBDs) is typically requested along with suggested analytes. For example, the THC level of industrial hemp grown in Maryland cannot exceed 0.3 percent. All instruments used to determine a crop’s  potency testing must adhere to Maryland’s guidelines and standards. 

Get Training. Because the scientific testing of cannabis is still its infancy, you can expect training programs to vary widely by state. For those with Bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, or who already have experience with general-use lab equipment, technical institutes may offer training on specialized instruments needed for hemp testing. Check for hands-on training for equipment operation, testing methods, troubleshooting, and more.

As more is learned about cannabis sativa, procedures associated with it for cultivating, harvesting, extracting, testing, and manufacturing will change and evolve– an important thing for potential lab owners and technicians to bear in mind.

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Lab Logistics: Steps to Take to Relocate Your Laboratory

packing up a science lab

At first, the thought of relocating your whole lab can be rather overwhelming. You may have been working in the same space for a number of years, and you know exactly where everything is right off the top of your head. With that said, laboratory relocation is a common experience, as change is inevitable in just about every industry. If you are facing an upcoming move and don’t know how to get started, we hope the tips below will help.

Start with Inventory

This should be the first step you take, and you should get going as soon as you know that the move is going to occur. By definition, a lab is going to have a lot of things that need to be inventoried, so this is quite possibly going to take a lot of time and effort. First, you’ll have the physical equipment that you use for your experiments – some of which is sure to be quite expensive. You may already have some form of inventory in place for all of your gear, but make sure it is up to date and accurate.

Also, there are the materials you use in the lab that will need to be counted and tracked. Depending on the focus of your work, it may be that some of these materials are hazardous, so keep that in mind and be working on a plan to safely and legally transport them to your next location.

Reduce the Size of the Move

One of the nice things about a relocation is that it can serve as an opportunity to pare down the size of your inventory and get rid of a few things that you no longer need. Maybe there are some materials which are used up and simply need to be disposed of in a responsible manner. Or, there might be a few pieces of equipment that are no longer required in your lab and can be sold on the used market. Reducing inventory will make the move easier and it will also help you to avoid cluttering up your new space unnecessarily.

Create a Comprehensive Plan

When you move from one home to the next in your personal life, you can afford to take a more casual approach, knowing that you’ll eventually find everything you need, like your toaster or blender. Such a relaxed approach is not appropriate for a lab move, however, as you need to get back up and running right away in your new location. With that in mind, create a detailed plan for how everything is going to be moved, when it will be moved, and who will do the moving. Including even the smallest details in your plan will help everyone stay on the same page from start to finish.

Be Flexible

Finally, remember that it’s nearly certain that something will go wrong along the way. Despite your careful planning efforts, something will go off-track – and that’s okay. Use your plan to get straightened out and be patient while working toward a successful conclusion.

As an expert laboratory logistics service provider, BaneBio offers multiple services to help simplify your laboratory relocation needs. Contact us today to learn more about packing, delivery, installation and much, much more!

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Tips for Starting an Academic Research Laboratory

university research laboratory
Great things can be accomplished in a quality academic research laboratory. Of course, before any groundbreaking work can be done, the lab will have to be up and running – and making that happen can be quite a challenge. There are plenty of hurdles between the first thought of opening a lab and actually bringing it to life, so we hope the tips below will be of assistance.

Establish a Focus

First and foremost, before a single piece of equipment is purchased, you need to determine what this lab is going to set out to do. In some cases, the answer will be obvious, and you’ll quickly move to the next step. That isn’t always the case, however, so take some time (if necessary) to figure out what you want your lab to accomplish in the years ahead. With clear goals in mind, some of the decisions that come later will be far easier to make with confidence.

Every Dollar Matters

All labs have a budget when they are first being established, but those creating an academic research laboratory tend to have tighter limits than those in the commercial world. It’s important to note that not all equipment needs to be purchased new in order to build a quality lab. There is excellent used lab equipment on the market today and opting for some previously used pieces is a great way to keep your costs down while still setting up exactly what you need to be successful.

Labs Run on People

Yes, the new or used laboratory equipment you bring in is important – but it is not nearly as important as the people who use that equipment. Spending as much time as possible to get exactly the right person in each role is critical. With the right team in place, everyone will be working toward a common goal, and the experience along the way will be far more enjoyable. When you look back on what you have accomplished in the lab years from now, it will be the people that worked alongside you that will be more memorable.

Don’t Work in a Vacuum

You may accomplish great things in your lab, but those breakthroughs will only be meaningful if they are known by others. Even from the start, make connections and let others know what you are working on. You might find that you get helpful tips from others in related fields, or you may even make deep connections that wind up leading to collaborative projects. It’s hard to accomplish anything of note in a lab that never reaches out to the outside world, so don’t make the mistake of isolating yourself from the start.

Starting a new academic research laboratory is an exciting time, and it may wind up being one of the great achievements of your career. With that said, labs don’t just build themselves, and you’ve got a lot of work to do before your first experiments are up and running. With the right people and the right equipment in place, who knows what is possible. Good luck!

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BioHealth Capital Region Aiming for Top 3 in U.S. Biopharma Clusters by 2023

biotechnology near washington dc

Those in the biopharma industry already know what the rest of the world is just starting to find out – the BioHealth Capital Region is a huge player in this field, and the cluster is only expected to grow moving forward. The goal of becoming one of the top 3 biopharma clusters in the U.S. by 2023 seems within reach, as more than 1,000 life-sciences companies already call this area home. With so much activity and so many brilliant people working so close together, great things are possible.

All the Pieces in Place

When you look at what it takes for a region to become a major player in the biopharma world, it quickly becomes obvious that the BioHealth Capital Region has everything it takes to move into the top three. For starters, there are great academic institutions such as the University of Maryland and The Johns Hopkins University. From there, you also have the presence of the FDA and the NIH, along with many other notable organizations. And, with more than 22 million square feet of lab space in the region, the capacity is certainly in place to make things happen.

Tons of Jobs

For a region to grow in terms of its prominence in biopharma, it’s necessary for there to be an abundance of quality jobs. This can be a bit of a ‘Catch 22’, as it takes jobs to attract good people, but there needs to be people in the first place to fill the initial jobs. Fortunately, BioHealth Capital is already beyond that initial stage, and there are presently plenty of opportunities to draw top talent to this part of the counter. While the exact number of jobs in the industry in this region vary based on the report you use, it’s safe to say that there are well over 40,000 – and perhaps in excess of 60,000.

A Hub of Innovation

For those just starting out in their careers, or for those with some experience who are looking for a new challenge, it is often innovation that draws their attention. In BioHealth Capital, there is plenty of that innovation taking place, and the funding to support it is here, as well. Between the venture capitalist investments and the government funding, there are abundant resources here and the sky is the limit for achievement.

Plenty of Reasons to Stay

Outside the lab, this is simply a great place for talented professionals to call home. When work is done for the day, or when the weekend arrives, the Maryland-Virginia-DC area offers an incredible amount of recreational opportunities. Whether it is exploring the vast history of the region, or getting outside to enjoy the natural beauty and great weather, it’s easy to fall in love with living here. So, in the end, not only does BioHealth Capital have a great chance to be in the top 3 by 2023, it also has a great opportunity to hold that spot over the long run as professionals in this field build their lives in the region.

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The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance for Your Lab Equipment

lab equipment repair
Most things you own require some degree of preventive maintenance. In your personal life, your vehicle is a perfect example – you need to have preventive maintenance performed from time to time in order to improve the odds of reliable performance. The story is the same with laboratory equipment. If you keep up with the recommended preventive maintenance for your lab equipment, it’s far more likely that you’ll get a long useful life from each piece.

Let’s take a closer look at why preventive maintenance is a good idea. When you are ready to schedule this kind of work, please contact BaneBio for assistance!

Avoid Wasteful Downtime

In a busy lab, downtime simply is not acceptable. When you are without key pieces of equipment unexpectedly, you will have a hard time catching up – and falling behind in this way can have all kinds of other ramifications. While you’ll obviously have to stop using equipment for it to be serviced, the benefit here is that you can schedule the downtime at a point in the schedule which is convenient for the operation as a whole. Looking out ahead on your calendar and picking out spots to have service completed is the best way to reduce the productive time you lose to service work.

Save Money in the Long Run

It’s true that you will need to spend money to have preventive maintenance performed on your lab equipment, but that money is likely to be a wise investment when all is said and done. It’s usually more cost effective to get out in front of a problem than to let it get to the point where the piece of equipment needs major repairs – or needs to be replaced entirely. Try to see the big picture on this point and understand that investing in your lab equipment now should not be seen as an optional expense.

Remain Accurate

One of the most important reasons to keep up with preventive maintenance is to help your equipment stay on track from an accuracy perspective. Inaccurate equipment is virtually useless in a lab, so this motivation alone should be enough to pay attention to your maintenance schedule. A properly working piece of lab equipment is one you can rely on to offer the kind of accurate performance that your business or organization demands.

Keep It Simple

By working with BaneBio to handle your maintenance needs, you can keep things simple with regard to your equipment care. By having a go-to vendor for all of your preventive maintenance needs, you won’t need to waste time tracking down help when you realize that some type of work needs to be done on a piece of equipment. Build a relationship with BaneBio through consistent maintenance visits and we’ll be ready and able to handle many various issues that could pop up along the way. In the end, you don’t want to be bogged down with equipment maintenance when you should be focused on the work that your organization is trying to complete. Reach out today to learn more about what we can offer!

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About the Maryland Green Registry & Why BaneBio is a Member

Maryland green registry member

Sustainability is an extremely important topic. For a business to have a positive impact on its community overall, it needs to not only offer great products and services, but also operate in a sustainable way. For that reason, BaneBio is proud to be a member of the Maryland Green Registry. We are committed to operating in a sustainable manner, and our membership in this program is a demonstration of that commitment.

What is the Maryland Green Registry?

In support of developing sustainable business practices, the Maryland Green Registry is a free program for organizations to join and contribute to the community as a whole. The idea is quite simple – organizations of all shapes and sizes share information with other organizations regarding environmental practices they already have in place. By sharing that information, the other organizations which take part in the registry will be able to learn about sustainability options and decide which to implement for themselves.

At its core, the registry is really about making it easy to share ideas and information regarding sustainability. There are many great ideas already in action throughout Maryland, but businesses and organizations may otherwise have trouble spreading those methods. Now, thanks to the use of this registry, there is a central location for sustainability practices to be published and shared.

Why BaneBio Is Proud to Participate

We think so highly of the Maryland Green Registry because of how well the program aligns with the core values of our company. Our business is committed to not only meet current environmental regulations, but to go a step beyond and do our best to protect the environment around us. That means taking steps like reducing the production of pollutants, minimizing energy waste, training staff properly on environmental practices, and more.

Thanks to our membership in the registry, we can benefit the environment in a couple of different ways. For one thing, we can share our current practices with others, hopefully inspiring them to take further action toward a sustainable future. In addition, we can learn from our peers, finding ways to implement their sustainability practices within our operations. We can all improve, and there are plenty of innovative ideas just waiting to be put into action.

The Big Picture

At BaneBio, we are grateful for the presence of the Maryland Green Registry, as it offers a valuable opportunity to improve on the sustainability of our business. That’s important in the present, and it’s also important as we look forward to a long and successful future. We want to have a positive impact on our community in as many ways as possible, and that certainly includes the impact we have (or don’t have) on the environment. Even small steps can make a big difference for the health of the environment as the years go by. We look forward to working with many of the other organizations in the Maryland Green Registry to become more and more sustainable moving forward.