Monthly Archives: December 2016

Gain Ten Minutes a Day of Improved Lab Productivity

10-minutesIn our busy world, and this even busier season, we’d all welcome some extra time in our lives. What if we told you that our dedicated lab furniture can save you ten minutes a day? Ten minutes might not seem like a lot, but those minutes add up over time, increasing productivity and improving the bottom line.

What You Could Do with Ten Minutes?

Think about it for a minute—or maybe ten! Over the course of a workweek that ten minutes adds up to almost an hour. With an extra fifty minutes a week, think of the additional analysis you could do! If you’re doing industrial work in a contract manufacturing lab, you know that time (and energy) is money.

Even if you’re reinvesting that time into your personal life (we won’t tell), there are tons of things you could do with a few extra minutes. You could fit in an extra workout, get your nails done, you could even follow an extra podcast each week if you had those extra fifty minutes. Over the course of the entire year, 50 minutes times 52 weeks = 2600 minutes or 43.3 hours—almost an entire weekend. You could get away for a ski trip, or lounge at the beach. Break those hours out over six months and you could take a weekend class. The possibilities are endless.

Where Do Those Ten Minutes Come From?

Of course, at this point you’re probably asking yourself, where are they getting those ten minutes? Here’s the way we see it: When you invest in our IonBench dedicated lab furniture, you get specially designed lab benches that can hold a lot more than your average table. With our IonBench MS you can attach your data collection system directly to your mass spec, meaning that you don’t have to keep walking back and forth when you’re setting up an analysis.

Once the MS is working away, you must keep an eye on it to make sure nothing’s leaking, the sample is tracking properly and the auto-sampler is working. Normally, you would stand around while you do that—but if your computer keyboard is easily available in the retractable keyboard shelf of your dedicated lab furniture, it’s easy to catch up on departmental emails while monitoring the mass spec.

Even the finer details like our vacuum pump enclosures and caster wheels make for easy access when it’s time to service those mass spec pumps or change the oil.

Another time-saver is our IonBench LC—because it easily raises and lowers with the push of a button. This means that whenever you need to service it, you don’t waste time tracking down the stool to stand on, and putting it away afterward to avoid someone tripping over it and causing you to lose more time filing paperwork over the resulting lab safety incident.

Why Those Ten Minutes Matter: Lab Productivity

Of course, it’s nice to dream about being able to save up those minutes and go lie on the beach, but we know that those minutes you’re saving with our dedicated lab furniture are going to be put to good use in the lab itself. Right? Over the course of the week, an extra fifty minutes of testing uptime is a lot of additional analyses. Naturally, that extends to additional money flowing in, which will keep the bean counters happy and put less time pressure on lab techs.

You see, while time is a precious commodity in any season, there are a lot of ways to save a little time when you use the right tools. Dedicated lab furniture is the best tool for the job, and well worth the investment. To learn more, contact us today.

A Shout-Out to the Lab Safety Experts at Division of Chemical Health and Safety

thanks-bulbDo you sometimes feel like you’re working in a vacuum? That’s in not with. We know you work with mass spec vacuums all the time (our dedicated lab furniture quiets those vacuum pumps, after all). We’re talking about the vacuum of knowledge here. You see, sometimes when we’re talking with clients who are purchasing our lab benches, we learn they don’t always know what’s going on outside of their niche in the world of research or academics. We want to take a moment to acknowledge (and maybe make some aware of) an organization that is actively working to overcome that vacuum—on the subject of lab safety.

DCHAS: Raising Lab Safety Awareness

If you don’t work in the chemical industry, you may not have heard of DCHAS. This division of the American Chemical Society has about 1700 members and is focused specifically on Health and Safety issues—which means that their work is definitely aligned with ours. We created our dedicated lab furniture to support your daily lab safety efforts, and we’ve found that DCHAS goes that extra mile in raising lab safety awareness and sharing technology and information on the subject.

How DCHAS Works

DCHAS uses a variety of methods to get your attention—but they’re not focused on nit-picking you into submission as we’ve heard so many lab health and safety officers can do. Like the rest of us, they’ve heard about the nasty accidents that happen too frequently in academic (and occasionally in research) lab settings. They are working to improve that track record as well as seeking to reduce friction by supporting more collegial relationships between academic and industry labs.

The focus of DCHAS is to ask questions, provide forums, and offer education and a clearinghouse for information. Here are some of the many ways they provide a setting for scholarly health and safety research, advice and counsel, and support for health and safety efforts in industry and academia:

  • The Division’s Journal of Chemical Health and Safety
  • Health and safety workshops at its meetings
  • Comprehensive online information, including a list of all hazmat incidences, updated daily
  • Informative blog articles
  • An email newsletter

Lessons Learned

One of their significant programs is Lessons Learned. They collect lab incident information and dig down to find the root causes. Once they identify the reasons through post-incident investigations, they make that information available to academic and industry organizations. As they put it, “The knowledge gained through the investigations and communicated via the ACS Lessons Learned website will provide a valuable service to many and perhaps help to prevent similar injuries elsewhere.” Their goal is an “ongoing national effort to improve laboratory conditions for all scientists.”

Naturally, they’ve developed quite a database over the years. We were perusing their data on real-life experiences and found a few noteworthy incidents, including a brewery chemical leak and an interesting story about a theater that wanted to create a “participatory experience,” which included audience members taking off their shoes and walking through fake blood. The questions they raised had to do with microbiological issues, contamination, allergic reactions, etc. Since we subscribe to their news feed, we can tell you that was a fun listserv conversation!

Supporting Lab Safety Advocates

These are just some of the reasons that we really like DCHAS. They focus on everything, even the basics, like when to gown up (does it become too “rote” if you must do it the moment you walk in the door?). They’ve also created some safety awards, which help to highlight those who have made a difference.

Each of us has something to contribute to a safe lab environment (even dedicated lab furniture), and we want to thank DCHAS for their ongoing work to make sure that no lab is “working in a vacuum” when it comes to lab safety.

Counting on Casters: Dedicated Lab Furniture for Lab Safety

castersHave you ever worked in a truly spacious lab environment? We’re betting the answer to that question is “no.” No matter how well-funded your research lab, space is always at a premium. There’s this unspoken rule that you’ve got to cram as much as possible into a limited amount of space—which can cause problems when it comes to lab safety. This is why we’ve designed our dedicated lab furniture with casters you can count on.

Why Casters?

Usually, a weight discussion in the lab is about molecular weights. But have you ever thought about the weight of your mass spec—the machine itself? If you haven’t measured it lately (and, why would you?), we’re betting it weighs in at around five hundred pounds. That’s why our dedicated lab furniture needs to be weighty as well—three to four hundred pounds. Meaning, if you need to move your mass spec around your crowded lab, you’re talking about moving a package that’s close to a thousand pounds. And that’s if you haven’t got anything else on—or stored inside—the lab bench, which we doubt!

This makes moving your MS a major lab safety issue—and it’s where the casters come in handy. In order to maintain your MS, you have to be able to get behind it. So you have two choices: move your MS regularly, or give up a couple feet of precious lab space to a service corridor so your service engineer can get behind it on a regular basis.

As we’ve discussed before, vibrations affect the performance of your mass spec, and can even shorten its lifespan. Every time you move your machine, whether you’re attempting to drag it across the lab or just out far enough to service it, you’re causing vibrational damage to the machine—as well as lab safety issues like strained backs and bumped knees.

And that’s why we put casters on our IonBenches.

Why Quality?

But we don’t put just any casters on our dedicated lab furniture. Think for a moment about when you pick a shopping cart at some stores—you know the ones where the wheels wobble, squeak, and veer you off to the side because they just aren’t built from quality materials? Now think of the disaster those poorly built wheels would cause under a moving MS.

Our dedicated lab furniture casters are of a much higher quality, of course. We install between five and seven casters on the bottom of every MS Bench. These casters are manufactured of solid nylon material. We include either a ball-bearing axle or a hardened steel sleeve that makes moving the dedicated lab furniture a breeze. You can change directions easily. You can also lock down the lab bench once it’s in place to prevent any unwanted shifting or accidental bumping.

Why Dedicated Lab Furniture Improves Lab Safety

These quality casters make it easy to move even the heaviest equipment around your crowded lab, and move it back again after service to keep the aisles clear. Our dedicated lab furniture is rated to support 440 kilograms, or about 900 pounds, which means you can place more than one instrument on your lab bench and still safely move it around.

Are you ready to invest in lab safety and count on quality casters with our dedicated lab furniture? Request a quote today for our lab benches which will extend the life of your mass spec and protect you and your colleagues from the lab safety challenges of an overcrowded lab.