Downtime in a laboratory can be detrimental. In addition to costing the lab a significant amount of money by halting operations, it can also cause time-sensitive experiment results to become skewed and inaccurate. To avoid such negative repercussions, it’s important to find ways to reduce downtime as much as possible in a laboratory setting. Below, you’ll find some of the most effective tips on how to reduce downtime in a lab.
Maintain an Organized Environment
Accidents such as spilled samples, broken equipment, and lost materials are common sources of downtime in laboratories. By maintaining a tidy and organized lab, you can largely reduce such accidents. Examples of effective ways to keep your laboratory more organized include using vertical space for storage, properly labeling samples, and implementing an information management system to keep track of supplies and to ensure you don’t run out of essential materials. Completing such practices will allow your laboratory to operate more efficiently and with less downtime.
Practice Preventative Maintenance on Machinery
In most laboratory environments, operations can’t continue without the use of essential equipment. As such, if equipment malfunctions, fails, or needs to be replaced, downtime is likely to occur. Fortunately, such downtime is often preventable when you adhere to proper machine maintenance practices. To elongate the life span of your equipment and reduce time-consuming breakdowns, it’s important to conduct basic preventative maintenance practices such as regular cleaning, periodic calibrating, and refurbishing equipment when necessary.
Complete Necessary Installations in Stages
Over time, new developments in lab equipment, changing regulations, and inevitable equipment failures will create the need to update or install new systems. Unfortunately, when you’re switching from one system to another, downtime is generally unavoidable. However, you can reduce downtime in your lab with the right installation strategy. Staged installation is an effective method for changing from an existing system to a new one. It involves completing the installation process in stages rather than all at once so that lab processes can continue. In other words, while one section of the lab is being redone, the other can remain in operation.