Budget-Friendly Ideas for Overhauling Your Mass Spec Lab Furniture

Piggybank and calculatorLab environments are not always easy on furniture. Sometimes laboratory furniture is damaged from harsh conditions and raw materials. Other times, it can become weak and unstable from being moved around and wrestled into complex lab configurations, over and over again.

While we’d all like to replace everything in our labs with the latest and greatest lab furniture for every instrument, sometimes fiscal realities mean that’s just not possible.

Here are three suggestions for upgrading your lab furniture without going over budget.

Adding Casters to Your Laboratory Furniture

Mass spectrometers are heavy. Rearranging your lab can cause damage to these sensitive instruments—not to mention the backs of those who have to lift them. This shortens the lives of the equipment and can cause productivity delays when staff members have to take sick time from work.

If ordering new IonBench dedicated lab furniture (with its accompanying casters) isn’t an option yet, try installing heavy-duty casters on existing lab furniture. Many casters have a weight tolerance of as much as 1,000 pounds, so they should work for most, if not all, of your equipment.

Installing Additional Shelving in Your Lab

One of the common issues many labs face is insufficient storage space. This is a serious problem, especially if you find yourself storing dangerous raw materials on cluttered workspaces.

Rather than inviting serious lab accidents (which can also lead to lost productivity), take steps to create additional storage space in your newest lab configuration.

Sometimes you’ll discover there’s room for an entire new storage unit. Most of the time, however, you’ll need to get creative, taking a hard look at your lab and lab benches to see where you might create room to install additional shelving.

In addition to preventing accidents, clearing your lab workspace provides the added benefit of allowing you to work more ergonomically.

Incrementally Upgrading to High-Quality Lab Furniture

One way to aim for an ideal situation, where your lab is filled with only the safest and most efficient high-quality dedicated lab furniture, is to approach things incrementally.

First, take some time to determine which pieces of lab furniture are the oldest, least efficient, or most dangerous. Perhaps your mass spec lab furniture was bought to hold an older model and now teeters on the brink of collapse with the heavier weight or broader footprint of a more modern or complex instrument. Or maybe your HPLC lab bench can’t be raised or lowered, making for difficult servicing.

In such cases, investing in a single IonBench during each, or every other, budget cycle can gradually modernize your lab with safe and efficient equipment. Heavy-duty casters come standard with our mass spec lab furniture, making benches easy to move around the lab. In addition, IonBenches house three drawers for easily storing materials that are not in use.

Our HPLC bench also comes on casters and can easily be raised or lowered with the touch of a button, allowing you to safely adjust height in order to maintain solvents or inject materials into mass specs with a maximum of efficiency.

For more ideas to help you with your lab upgrading needs, contact us today.

Avoid Complacency with Regular Lab Safety Reminders

Don't ForgetComplacency is an enemy of lab safety. Once you’ve been working in a particular lab for a while, it’s easy to take things for granted—you know the workflow, you develop your routines, and eventually everything you’re doing seems automatic. While this is a natural human tendency, and not cause for guilt or blame, it also opens the door to lab accidents. Which is why periodic lab safety reminders—even getting back to the very basics—are important to ensure that no one forgets that a lab can be a dangerous place.

Preventing the 4 Most Common Types of Lab Accidents

There are four types of common lab accidents, which can happen in any type of lab environment:

Eye Injuries – Do you sometimes get lazy and not bother to don your safety glasses, perhaps when “just checking up” on something’s progress? Lab safety should always be a primary consideration, regardless of how much time you will spend in the lab.

Eye accidents are the most common of serious injuries; don’t become a statistic. Put on those safety glasses, even if you’re wearing regular glasses, as agents can find lots of real estate between frame and face. Remember that contact lenses never protect your eyes, and can even absorb airborne chemicals, worsening eye injuries.

Glassware Cuts – Many lab professionals can vividly recall doing something foolish in their “younger days,” like forcing glass tubing through a stopper and ending up with broken glass all over their hands. Foolishness may decrease with age, but it increases again with complacency.

Wearing gloves is wise, but it can be a catch-22, as gloves may inhibit the fine dexterity required with certain tasks. Whenever you can, however, do wear gloves.

Also, always keep your mind on the processes taking place in your hands, and don’t try to force anything—ever. If it doesn’t fit, find another solution.

 Chemical Irritation – Another reason to keep those gloves handy is to prevent chemical irritation or burns from accidental exposure. Note that your hands aren’t the only body parts at risk. Dangerous chemicals can also be accidentally inhaled, dropped on exposed arms or legs, or even ingested if you aren’t careful about thoroughly cleaning up after yourself.

Your earliest training in kindergarten is as useful now as ever: “Wash those hands!”

Heat Burns – Burns are the final type of common injury to take place in a lab environment, and they occur particularly frequently due to lack of careful attention. Forget to tie back long hair, forget glass gets hot, or forget to keep your hands and other body parts away from a Bunsen burner or hot plate and burns are likely to occur. In all of those situations, the operative word is “forget.”

Consciously making the effort to pay attention in the lab is the best preventive measure you can take to enhance lab safety.

Two Additional Lab Safety Reminders

In addition to being aware of the common lab accidents listed above, there are other preventive lab safety measures you should regularly take:

  • Familiarize yourself with every material safety data sheet (MSDS), to remind yourself of potential dangers.
  • Check all lab safety equipment (fire blanket, extinguishers, eyewash, shower) to (1) remind yourself where to go in case of emergency, and (2) make certain that everything is in place and prepared to function properly.

We care about lab safety and have made it a central focus in the development of our IonBenches. To that end, we’ve designed our dedicated lab furniture to limit noise that can impact attention and hamper communication, while also ensuring that each bench and desk is easy to move and rearrange. If you have other lab safety suggestions, we’re happy to listen and share them. Contact us today to discuss how our IonBench can contribute to a safer environment in your lab.

Mass Spec Lab Design Trends: Supporting a Collaborative Workplace

Lab LayoutProper lab design can be critical for successful research. Over the years, many mass spec lab design trends have come and gone.

It’s why we think it’s important to stay up on the latest trends unfolding in the field—and it also gives us the opportunity to mention how well our dedicated lab furniture can fit into labs designed using the latest ideas.

Collaboration Is Key

These days, there’s a definite move toward more collaboration. Historically, facilities tended toward a siloed type of mass spec lab design. Today, however, “open labs” are increasingly the trend.

They allow for team-based work, problem-solving, and a more social approach to lab culture. One reason for this trend is that many millennials have been taught to approach problem-solving as a team, bouncing ideas off each other. Open labs help support this methodology.

Retaining Some Closed Mass Spec Lab Design Options

While the open lab is helpful in many cases, there are other situations when closed labs are more practical and efficient. For example, when large amounts of equipment dominate, such as in many mass spec labs, it can be more cost efficient to opt for a traditional “closed” lab design, surrounded by open spaces that allow for shared use of the equipment.

Some procedures, such as glass washing, tissue culturing, and dark room work, are also better suited to closed labs. Quiet, enclosed spaces tend to be more efficient for data analysis and report writing as well.

Addressing Energy Demand

Another trend being addressed by the latest types of lab designs are “green” or environmental concerns. Research labs typically use a good deal of resources, consuming as much as five times more energy and water than say a teaching space.

As a result, implementing environmentally sustainable designs and gaining LEED certification can be especially beneficial, potentially saving money in utility and operations costs.

Flexibility Remains Important

For years, we’ve been talking about the importance of flexibility in lab design. In fact, adaptability seems to be an ever-more-valuable aspect of mass spec lab design. Whether it’s due to the growth of interdisciplinary sciences or a desired decrease in long-term renovation costs (and lab downtime), designing a mass spec lab space that can be easily reconfigured is a key component for success.

One innovation that serves this type of flexibility is the overhead service carrier. By supplying everything from air and gas to localized exhaust and power, overhead carriers allow for lab benches to be reconfigured easily while still connecting to critical components. Power trunks can also be installed in each service carrier, allowing a mass spectrometer to be placed anywhere within a particular lab space.

Lab benches such as our IonBench MS are key players in this trend toward flexibility. When mass spectrometers are placed in open lab environments, it’s critical to keep them quiet. Our roughing pump enclosures reduce noise by 75 percent, enabling collaborative conversations to more easily take place. In addition, our solidly built, lockable casters make moving massive equipment a much easier and safer prospect.

To learn more about how our IonBenches can support integration of the latest modern lab design trends, contact us today.

New Mass Spec Applications Reveal Our Skin in New Ways

skinFollowers of this blog know how excited we get about the many ways mass spec technology transforms our world. The latest mass spec applications are revealing new things about something we tend to take for granted: our skin. Using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, researchers have developed a protocol that will bring new advances to studies on human skin, as well as the surface areas of any living being, paving the way for many practical applications.

Introducing 3D Molecular Cartography

This new protocol provides important breakthroughs on two different fronts. In the past, skin studies generally focused on a small area of skin. The new protocol, on the other hand, can look at skin over the entire body. For their seminal study, researchers took samples from 400 skin sites, each on two human bodies, one female and the other male. The study also broke new ground by focusing on both skin chemistry and microbial populations. Previously, studies tended to treat these separately. The kind of diagnostic power needed to gather, analyze, compare, and interpret the results from this vast amount of data was made possible because of mass spectrometry. LC–MS technology enabled the performance of advanced metabolomics while tandem mass spectrometry was utilized for molecular identification. The final product was a 3D model of the sampled human skin, reproducible in any mass spec laboratory.

Initial Research Findings and Implications

Analysis of these hundreds of skin samples revealed that, even three days after application, molecules from hygiene and beauty products, such as sunscreen, remained on the skin. Furthermore, compounds such as plastics and clothing were also detected and analyzed using these mass spec applications. Food components handled by the study participants were also determined to have become part of the skin’s chemical composition. Clearly, this new mass spec protocol has the potential to support investigation into a wide variety of factors that influence skin ecosystems, including susceptibility to disease, personal hygiene, and the impact of clothing and manufactured products on the skin’s environment. Further studies hold promise to map the complex interactions between humans and the microbial world as well. Moreover, 3D cartography also has the potential to aid in comprehension of such complex data by both researchers and the public.

Diverse Potential Mass Spec Applications

There are a host of possible directions these new mass spec applications can take. Being able to determine where molecules linger on a body can assist with forensics, while molecular mapping of plants can be used to determine the spread of pesticides and other substances across agricultural fields. The cosmetics industry is already taking note of the potential for researching the impact of various products on human skin. The sunscreen samples found in the research cited above would be of particular interest—and perhaps concern. New mass spec technology and applications arise every year, and we are thrilled to support such critical work in a very literal fashion, through our customizable IonBench MS and IonBench HPLC-UHPLC cart. No matter what your field of research, your mass spec applications will be aided by standing on a firm foundation. Contact us today to learn more about our mass spec lab benches.

Don’t Let Lab Configuration Become a Game of Twister

TwisterChances are good that you inherited your lab space and didn’t have much say in how it was set up. Unless you’re one of the fortunate few who has the luxury of designing a brand-new space from the very beginning, you’re stuck with what you have. Furthermore, every lab is different; you can’t just copy someone else’s lab configuration because even if you’ve got a room with the same shape and size, the power outlets won’t be in the same place and you likely won’t have the same MS model as other labs.

Configuring your lab can become a greater challenge with every passing year as you take on additional equipment and projects. Getting work done in a crowded, haphazardly laid out environment is like playing a game of Twister. This is why the ability to customize your lab configuration really matters.

The Safety Aspects of Lab Configuration

Anyone who’s played a game of Twister knows that when any configuration gets too complicated, the system, like the game’s players, collapses. While that’s cause for lighthearted laughter in a children’s game, it can have a much more serious impact on your lab. The spatial limitations posed by most labs present a difficult challenge when you’re setting up your furniture layout in an existing space or need to add new equipment.

Mass spectrometry requires you to have a lab configuration that safely contains roughing pumps, holds the mass spec itself in a way that you (and service techs) can easily and safely access it, and houses your necessary peripheral equipment.

Questions to Ask When Configuring Your Lab

We’ve worked with a lot of lab managers and have seen a wide variety of lab spaces. Over the years, we’ve developed a list of questions that will help as you prepare to reconfigure your lab to accommodate new equipment or lines of work.

  • How many pieces of equipment do you/will you have?
  • How do they need to be connected?
  • How large is each piece of equipment?
  • What peripherals need to be connected with each piece?
  • What types of connections does piece of equipment need (power, hoses, tubing, etc.)?
  • Will hoses and tubes need to go out through the back of the bench or down through the surface?

Getting it Right with Customizable Lab Benches

Fortunately, we can help. Our dedicated lab furniture is customizable, which allows you to make the most of your limited space. In response to the needs addressed by these questions, we’ve developed IonBenches that are strong enough to hold the largest and most complex of mass specs, can be drilled with holes right where you need them for any type of connection, and are built with strong caster wheels that allow you to rearrange your lab configuration each time your line of inquiry takes a new turn.

Our IonBenches also work well together. We can manufacture mirror-image benches, where enclosures can match up with each other, allowing proper integration between mass spec and HPLC systems.

Don’t get pulled into a game of Twister. You might consult with a cabinet maker about the best configuration for new cabinets in your kitchen, so why not let us guide you with solutions to maximize space for the best possible lab configuration?

Contact us today at 888-669-1233 to discuss how to make the most of the lab space you have.

2018 Lab Safety Goal: Recognize Lab Noise as Serious Risk

RiskWe recently shared a disturbing report about the major gap between organizational culture and lab safety realities. We’ve all seen instances where company culture doesn’t exactly promote an environment where safety protocols can realistically be followed.

Petrotechnics surveyed over 200 senior leaders in the hydrocarbon industry and found that they held grave concerns over the lack of safety follow-through in their organizations. While company literature said all the right things about making safety a priority, the organizational procedures and practices did not hold up their end of the bargain when it came to following through on those priorities.

Most worrisome was the finding that the corporate culture in the majority of these organizations was actually resistant to implementation of process safety and risk management (PSM) procedures. This resistance is not necessarily rooted in carelessness or even maliciousness—rather, it is rooted in the natural tendency for corporations to drive productivity.

Let’s take this insight one step further and focus on a key concern of ours: lab noise reduction.

The Case for Lab Noise Reduction

A noisy lab is not just a threat to the ears of those who work there—though that is well-proven and certainly a necessary priority—it also linked with a range of diverse health issues. These include an increase in stress (with all its symptoms, including lack of sleep, short-temperedness, and an inability to concentrate, all of which can impact the interpretation of results in a critical lab procedure), coronary disease, hypertension and even our brain’s ability to process information correctly (again potentially leading to faulty test reporting).

Lab noise can interfere with critical communications, making it a safety hazard in a much different way. A noisy work environment makes verbal communications very difficult. And when lab personnel are dealing with potentially hazardous materials, there is very little room for error. What if a lab tech was to mishear instructions for handling a certain compound because the noise level in the lab was too high? This mishap could result in cross contamination, chemical burns, or even fires or explosions.

Integrating Lab Noise Reduction into Your Organizational Culture

We believe that lab noise reduction is a key ingredient in the lab safety recipe. Too many people, at all levels of an organization, can take their hearing and health for granted, choosing instead to focus on preventing the more spectacular lab accidents that make the news.

Noise doesn’t seem like an immediate threat or a potential major hazard—its impact is, however, insidious and lasting.

It’s why we’ve integrated lab noise reduction into our IonBench MS, which isolates up to three vacuum pumps in specially designed chambers of our custom designed lab furniture. With a lab noise reduction of over 75%, this dedicated lab furniture will minimize lab safety issues and facilitate efficient and accurate results by allowing everyone in the lab to hear each other, communicate clearly, and focus on research rather than PSM.

The more aware lab managers are to seemingly nonthreatening safety issues, the better the overall productivity of a lab and well-being of everyone there. We encourage you, and your team to embrace an integrated organizational culture that pays heed to even seemingly benign risks like lab noise. A well-thought-out lab noise reduction strategy can be a key element in effective lab safety culture. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.

PSM Study Reveals Concerning Lack of Lab Safety Culture

Lab WorkersWe recently came across an unsettling report that bears sharing. The source is a Petrotechnics survey conducted in the summer of 2017 on process safety and risk management (PSM). Over 200 senior hydrocarbon-industry leaders with responsibility for process safety, asset integrity and operational risk management, responded with a frank assessment of the safety culture—or lack thereof—within their organizations.

While these insights are taken specifically from the chemical processing industry, we think the significant findings could help remind us all of the importance of supporting lab safety.

Aligning Goals with Plans and Procedures

Much of what concerned us with this report was a significant gap between goals stated in various companies’ literature and the presence of actual plans and procedures that would fulfill those goals in their practices.

While almost all companies had goals related to risk reduction and supporting safety performance, 61% of those surveyed believe their organizations do not have sufficient safety indicators or safety performance measurements. There was also concern expressed by 54% of respondents that PSM is not incorporated into programs and strategies for operational excellence. Specifically, those respondents felt that there was a lack of operative, real-time solutions designed to monitor and manage divergences from expectations or performance standards.

Furthermore, the greatest source of resistance to PSM implementation listed was organizational culture, with an overwhelming 86% listing this as an issue. Fully three quarters of respondents listed maintenance and internal procedures as other hindrances to a fully functioning PSM environment.

Speaking the Truth about PSM Issues

The anonymously conducted survey allowed respondents to freely express their opinions. Several anonymous responses indicated that companies often value productivity over safety.

Specific quotes are telling:

“Process safety is specialized knowledge, not typically understood by operations and maintenance, leading to implementation gaps.”

 “Production takes priority over safety, which often leads to shortcuts and safety incidents, despite corporate safety policies.”

 “Corporate lip service to PSM policies that are not backed up with effective and efficient planned preventative maintenance.”

Particularly significant was that only 6% of respondents indicated that critical safety maintenance was up to date. Yikes.

Making Lab Safety a Priority at All Levels

This study hits close to home. We’ve all seen it before: People lose sight of the importance of planned safety procedures that are regularly tested and implemented. They instead focus on the end result, forgetting the importance of working within lab safety parameters.

As labs are renovated or expanded, project goals evolve, and managers can easily forget the importance of purchasing equipment and lab furniture that will reduce safety risks. Attention that should be paid to the enhancement of lab safety becomes focused elsewhere, and impactful practices and products are overlooked.

Stocking up on safety gear, maintaining a clean and organized space, minimizing noise to ensure clear communication, battling vibration to protect lab equipment—these details are still critical to lab safety.

Adopting a “safety first” mentality is integral and backed by the overwhelming consensus of those 86% responders who believe that an organization’s culture has the greatest impact on PSM. When you’re running a busy lab, and must meet budget and production quotas, it can be difficult to balance safety into the equation. We can help you get on your way to a lab that’s designed with safety in mind, just give us a call.

Breakthroughs Aided by Mass Spec Technology in 2017

Earth in SpaceWe’re often focused on the more nitty-gritty side of mass spec technology and lab safety—but every once in a while, we like to look back and see just how far and wide the impacts of mass spec technology is reaching. It’s astonishing the different ways society has benefitted from the work being done in labs like yours around the world.

As the year draws to a close, we want to highlight these (really neat) scientific breakthroughs.

Asteroid Metals Vanquish Cancer Cells

We begin with work that has its roots in space. Iridium is a metal that is rarely found on earth, but is commonly found in meteorites—perhaps including an asteroid that hit the Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago, sparking a series of events that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today, researchers are wielding iridium with other extinctions in mind: cancer cells. By combining iridium with organic materials and activating the compound with red laser light, the compound transformed oxygen within cancer cells into singlet oxygen, which poisoned the cancer cells.

In the research, conducted by both Chinese and UK researchers, ultra-high-resolution mass spec technology was used to isolate the specific proteins being affected by the compound, and confirm that healthy cells were not adversely affected.

Making Testing as Easy as Breathing

Recent Swedish research has determined that fluids which line human airways can be effectively collected and analyzed through exhaled breath. In the past, analyzing exhaled particles has been difficult because the particle samples are so small. Instead, bodily fluids were collected through blood or urine samples, a much more invasive technique. In this study, liquid chromatography-mass spec technology was used to analyze collected samples. LC-MS was also employed to determine the effectiveness of different breathing patterns on the collection of samples. This research will likely impact a variety of fields that can analyze biomarkers. These include drug testing, the presence and spread of both lung and systemic diseases, and the analysis of various airborne contaminants.

Dating Early Advances in Human Agriculture

In addition to addressing modern challenges, mass spec technology is assisting researchers in understanding some of the earliest technological breakthroughs in human history. Researchers from Israel and Denmark have excavated and analyzed biological remains found at some of the earliest Natufian cultural sites in the Middle East. Natufians were early builders of permanent, rather than nomadic, homes and tended to edible plants. Using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, or AMS, researchers were able to accurately date over twenty different samples of charred plant remains. AMS mass spec technology allows single atoms to be carbon-14 dated, which is accurate to within plus or minus 50 years. The richness of the cache of plant relics allowed researchers to choose short-lived plant parts—seeds and twigs—for carbon dating, thus making the results of this mass spec technology to be focused even more narrowly.

The impact of the AMS data is profound, because it suggests that permanent settlements and early agriculture arose almost simultaneously in different places around the Middle East. This means that there were multiple innovators in different settlements, coming to similar conclusions about the efficiency of setting up house in a single location.

Widespread Innovation

Clearly innovation is inherent in human nature. Innovators around the globe are making use of mass spec technology to transform both our understanding of our ancestors and our ability to analyze and manipulate the world around us. We are grateful to have a role to play in supporting lab safety and the lab equipment used in these and other studies, and look forward to seeing what researchers like you will innovate in 2018.

Incorporating Operating Expenses into Your Mass Spec Budget

OPEXWhether you’re adding your first mass spec to a brand-new lab or simply incorporating additional equipment into an expanding facility, you need to plan for both capital and operating expenses. We’ve talked about capital expenses, which include not only the machine itself, but also appropriate lab preparation, dedicated lab furniture, and one-time purchases of necessary accessories. Here, we will take a closer look at the accompanying operating expenses you need to include in your mass spec budget.

Consumables and Accessories

When it comes to a mass spec usage budget, most managers think first about consumables. This is appropriate, but can vary widely, depending on the number of samples being analyzed each month and the type and nature of those samples.

Gases and Solvents: Having enough gases and high-quality solvents on hand is critical for the smooth operation of any lab.

Cleaning supplies: You will need to remember to include cleanup materials in your mass spec budget as well, because, as we all know, accidents happen. For an additional level of lab safety, and as a way to cut down on damage control costs, you can prevent spills and injuries by investing in elevating dedicated lab furniture.

Accessories: There are many types of operational accessories that you will need to include in your mass spec budget. Some are disposable, or one-time use only and will need to be replaced regularly:

    • Chromatography columns
    • Ion samplers
    • Skimmer and sample cones
    • Dust filters
    • Flow interfaces, controllers and tubes
    • Autosamplers
    • Sample handling kits
    • Assay kits
    • Slit systems
    • Pump and anode tubing
    • Nebulizers
    • Connector kits

Machine Service and Maintenance

Regular maintenance is critical to minimizing downtime and insuring lab safety. This is a significant annual expense, which can run between five and ten percent of the initial cost of the MS. Tuning and calibration must be performed by licensed service technicians. These expenses will be lower if you have invested in dedicated lab furniture to support your mass spec. Furniture like our IonBench MS uses high-quality springs to minimize the amount of vibration and other movement that can shorten the life of MS components such as turbopumps.

Additional Mass Spec Budget Costs

There are a variety of other costs associated with operating any MS that might not be so obvious when you are setting up a mass spec budget for the first time.

Training: First, you need to train all users on each type of mass spec to maximize efficiency and promote lab safety. The level of training needed will vary, depending on the rate of lab worker turnover and the sophistication of the operations being performed.

Software: Second, you will need to keep appropriate accompanying software up to date.

Energy costs: Third, don’t forget the significant costs for electricity, not just for the mass spec, but also for ancillary machinery needed to keep your lab cool and safe.

If you want to run a safe and productive lab, it’s important to plan ahead. Consider both your capital and operating costs and configure your lab in the most efficient manner possible. Keep sufficient consumables on hand—safely housed in dedicated lab furniture to prevent lab safety accidents—and make sure to rotate stock regularly to maintain the freshness of your materials. Should you have any questions about how our IonBench products can help cut down on your operating expenses, please contact us today.

Capital Expenses: Five Components to Your Mass Spec Budget

2018 BudgetSometimes budgeting can be especially tricky. This is most true when contemplating the capital budget. When you buy most equipment, you hope—and plan—that it’s going to last quite a few years.

So, when it’s time to expand your lab or replace an outdated MS model, you’ll want to make sure you’ve put together a comprehensive budget that accounts for all foreseeable expenses. Trust us, you’ll be glad you took the time to submit a thorough and accurate request for funding the first time around.

Five Components of Your Mass Spec Budget

There are five categories you need to consider in crafting a complete mass spec budget. (If you’re looking for tips on other types of preparation, we’ve covered that too.)

  1. The Equipment Itself - Naturally, your new mass spectrometer is going to be your primary expense. While the MS itself is important, also be sure to calculate the cost of shipping, delivery, and safely getting that mass spec into place once it arrives.
     
  2. Mass Spec Accessories - What types of technologies will need to interface with your new MS? Is your current computer up to the task? Do you have access to an updated mass spectral database for analysis?
     
    Will you want one or more interface machines, a spray chamber accessory, consumable kits, sample cones, tubing, connector systems, flow controllers, a new gas bench? The list goes on. Take time to consider each type of process your new MS can be expected to handle, and what accessories you will need to make each happen smoothly and seamlessly.
  1. Lab Preparation – Will you need to requisition construction or install any materials to prepare your lab space for the new arrival? Should soundproofing be put in, or is your lab already prepared? Once the purchase is approved, you’ll want to get going on this as soon as practical, keeping in mind that construction projects can cause complications for ongoing work in your lab.
     
  2. Dedicated Storage Furniture – We’ve stressed the importance of having specially designed and dedicated storage available for combustible and otherwise dangerous elements that are used with the new MS in your lab. If this applies to your lab’s scope of work, make sure your budget includes proper storage shelving, cabinets and drawers, (and that the lab design of your construction project includes space for these storage elements).
     
  3. Proper Support for Your New Mass Spectrometer – After going to all this trouble and expense, you certainly want to make sure your new mass spec will be housed as safely and securely as possible in its new environment. This means investing in dedicated lab furniture that is not only strong enough to support the MS, but also all those supplies and peripherals you’re now ordering.

Remember to account for noise reduction: Will the MS be noisy enough that you should enclose the vacuum pumps in either our IonBench MS or a vacuum pump enclosure?

Incorporating Lab Safety into Your Mass Spec Budget

If you want to run a safe and productive lab, you need to plan. Getting approval for significant capital budget items is important, and making sure those numbers are accurate is just as critical. Consider your costs and configure your lab as safely as possible, and your foresight will be rewarded. To learn more, contact us today.