One of life’s certainties beyond taxes and an ultimate demise, is no two labs are designed exactly the same. Furthermore, every piece of lab equipment is also different, so one setup rarely fits all, or even most.
This means that every lab will be set up in its own unique way, even if the same type of work is being conducted. It also often means you have to specifically configure your dedicated lab furniture to ensure it fits within very defined, and limited, parameters.
Here are some examples of challenges we’ve encountered where clients asked us to tailor their lab benches to fit certain spaces. The good news for you is that we’re willing to do whatever we can to craft dedicated lab furniture that will help you maximize every bit of space in your lab.
Begin with the Machine Design
When we build a piece of customized lab furniture, we have some basic goals in mind. The idea is to create a work environment that will safely contain your roughing pumps, hold your mass spec, and also house any peripheral equipment you might need. Beyond that, we aren’t tied to a particular look or design.
This is because each mass spectrometer is different. For example, because the Waters Xevo TQ-S is a very deep instrument, it requires access holes on the back of the bench instead of the surface in order to accommodate its hoses. We also need to know the make and model of the vacuum pumps in order to ensure both a properly sized enclosure and the correct size and shape of the anti-vibration springs.
What Peripherals Are You Using?
Accommodating peripherals is where things get interesting for us. We recently had a customer with a Shimadzu model 8050 and a relatively large HPLC system. We offered an extended bench, which was 200 centimeters, but he also needed an attached work area for his computer.
We started with a lateral side desk but then noticed that the overhang from the extended bench covered a third of it. So we had to figure out how to eliminate the overhang, eventually shifting the bench to the right to maximize work space. In the end, within a work area that was about eight or nine feet, our client had a fairly large, sophisticated HPLC and mass spec system, along with a workstation—very efficient and quiet.
Want to Go Back-to-Back?
In many of the more traditionally designed labs we’ve seen, there are often open spaces in the middle of the room and clients will ask us to build workstations that are back-to-back. To do that, we’ll often manufacture mirror-image benches where one enclosure is on the right and the other is on the left, allowing for properly integrated back-to-back configurations of their mass spec and HPLC systems.
Need Movable Dedicated Lab Furniture?
Of course, one important thing to remember in any lab, is that the only constant is change. Just as soon as you’ve got your lab set up perfectly, someone will tell you they’ve got to add another machine or workstation to the mix. One of the advantages of dedicated lab furniture is that we know how to make it movable while still keeping it strong and solid enough that instruments aren’t in any danger when you move things around.
No matter what configuration you need, we’ve probably seen something like it before. Before you decide it’s time to rent larger, more expensive lab space, give us a call and let us see if we can’t design some dedicated lab furniture that will maximize the space you’ve got.