It’s a common story we hear: You submit the budget request, complete with justification, and then the waiting begins. Days, months, maybe even years go by until suddenly your new mass spec finally gets approved. Of course, once it’s in the budget, you’d better order it right away. After all, the wait has been long enough, or even worse, someone else could scream louder and make the money disappear…
This story illustrates the fact that there are really three phases when it comes to the purchase of major lab instrumentation for mass spectrometry. There’s the funding and the purchasing just described, and then there’s the delivery—and the time between each step. If you’re focused on your research, it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening with funding and even the ordering process, because the mass spec isn’t right in front of you, demanding your attention.
Funding Future Mass Spectrometry Research
Let’s talk about each of these stages, and the importance of thinking through the entire process so that you have a functioning mass spectrometry lab at the end. When you first put through your request for funding, make sure to think not just about the MS instrument itself. This is obvious, but worth remembering—that instrument won’t work very well if it’s sitting on the floor of your lab. So be sure your funding request includes appropriate, dedicated lab furniture so that your mass spec will function efficiently and can be accessed easily by lab techs and researchers.
The funding stage is also the right time to look at the layout of your lab. Where will you put that new mass spec? What might need to be moved in order to make room for it? If it’s replacing an older, more limited MS model, will you want to keep that old machine on hand in case of emergencies? If so, consider ordering dedicated lab furniture with strong casters, so that you can store the older machine in a closet, out of the way, and only wheel it into your lab when it’s needed.
Ordering Your Mass Spectrometer
Once you’ve requested the funding, we expect you’ll focus on your research until you hear back from the budgeting folks. Time will pass, and things will happen, causing large and small changes in your lab. You might get another client or research project with different needs, and rearrange everything to meet that new workflow. Or cutbacks might mean you have to downsize the lab footprint and cram more into your current lab space.
Then you learn that you’ve finally got the green light on funding, and you immediately rush to order the MS before anything gets in your way. That’s great—but don’t forget to consider the changes that have happened in your lab since your funding request and detailed justification. Will the specific MS you requested still fit where you had proposed it to go? Will it meet all your needs, or have those changed? Most mass spectrometry manufacturers provide pre-installation manuals that can help you plan carefully and set aside the right space for your new acquisition.
Timing Delivery of Your Dedicated Lab Furniture
And when you’re purchasing your new MS, don’t forget to order its dedicated lab furniture at the same time. Like that old adage about not putting the cart before the horse, you need your lab bench in place before you can install your MS on top of it. You also need to make sure that your lab bench will be the right size and shape to accommodate the specific mass spec that you have ordered.
We get a lot of calls that go something like, “We’ve got a new mass spec arriving next week. Can you have an MS Bench delivered by then?” That answer is “Yes, but it’s going to cost you.” You see, our dedicated lab furniture is crafted in France and shipped here to the US or Canada. We can get one of our standard dedicated lab furniture models delivered to you in a week, but that means shipping it overseas by air, which can get rather expensive.
The turnaround time for ordering one of our standard pieces of dedicated lab furniture is two to three weeks, but if your MS model requires some lab bench customization, it can take as long as eight weeks to get you what you need. This is why we always recommend thinking through your MS installation at each stage of the process and asking yourself what else you need to make everything work smoothly.
To learn more about the standard and custom features we offer on our MS dedicated lab furniture, contact us today.