One of our most popular posts provided some maintenance tips to extend the life of your dedicated lab furniture. Those tips have been so useful that we decided to add five more lab bench maintenance steps you can take to prolong the life of your IonBench (or any dedicated lab furniture) and the valuable mass spec that lives atop it.
1. Replace Overheat Alarm Batteries
Our IonBench MS comes with an overheat alarm that is designed to warn you if the vacuum pump enclosures become overheated. (This is one of many reasons why it makes good sense to invest in dedicated lab furniture rather than re-purposing standard furniture to hold your mass spec.) Two AA batteries provide power to the overheat alarm. You can check the power at any time by pressing on the black button (see photo), but we recommend that these AA batteries be replaced annually.
2. Check Air Intake for Blockage
One reason that the vacuum pump enclosure can overheat is that the air intake becomes blocked. In a crowded lab (which many are), storage space is at a premium. Staff can realize that there’s space under your dedicated lab furniture and decide to use it for storage.
However, with the IonBench MS, the enclosure’s air intake is located underneath the machine. This can mean the intake gets blocked when the area is used for storage, causing the vacuum pump enclosure to more easily overheat. (Using that space for storage can also make the lab bench more difficult and dangerous to move if a lab tech doesn’t realize that someone else used the space for storage!)
3. Check Enclosure Door
Because it is opened and closed on a regular basis, the vacuum pump enclosure door may eventually become misaligned due to hinges loosening or someone leaning on the door as they stand up. If the door for your dedicated lab furniture is not well aligned, it will affect the bench’s ability to block vacuum pump noise, increasing the possibility of moderate noise effects such as annoyance, mishearing communications, and the potential for lab accidents.
If your IonBench MS door is no longer aligned, contact Tim Hawkins by email or at 1-888-669-1233. He can send you an easy to follow, step-by-step guide to readjusting this important piece of your lab bench’s noise suppression system.
4. Prevent Caster Wheels from Flattening
Our dedicated lab furniture comes with solid casters that are engineered to withstand a lot of bulk. Those casters support an IonBench that weighs over 220 kg in addition to the weight of the MS and other instruments and computers it supports.
While the casters are strong, any wheel will eventually flatten if it is not moved periodically. We recommend that, when it is safe to do so, you move your dedicated lab furniture back and forth about 30 cm to redistribute the weight on those casters and keep all parts of them strong and flexible.
5. Check Power Cable
Over time, especially if you do move your mass spec around your lab with the help of those handy caster wheels, the power cable might become frayed (see photo). Check it regularly and order a replacement if required.
We hope you find these additional lab bench maintenance tips helpful. If you have other maintenance questions, please contact Tim Hawkins for expert assistance.