Tag Archives: Dedicated Lab Furniture

Sound vs. Noise and When is Lab Safety Impacted?

Sounds are everywhere. Every environment on Earth has them. Some are natural, such as birds chirping or cicadas droning. Others are generated by the devices we humans have created. Both types of sounds, regardless of what causes them, can become an annoyance or even a danger depending on the circumstances.

That’s why sound—and particularly noise— represents a lab safety challenge and why we have carefully crafted our IonBench dedicated lab furniture to address noise safety concerns.

The Difference Between Sound and Noise

While you might not think of it in this manner, there is a simple way to distinguish between noise and sound: Noise is sound that you don’t wish to hear. To put it another way, when you have decided a sound is an annoyance, you should now classify it as noise.

Take, for example, jazz music being played in a lab. To some, it may be a beautiful sound. To others, who might need silence in order to focus on a demanding task or analysis, it might be classified as distracting noise. For still others, who might have relegated the sound of the music to background status, a sudden change in volume could result in startled surprise, perhaps resulting in a jerk of the hand or the head. In barely any time at all, that innocuous sound could have become noise that precipitates a lab safety incident.

How Noise Safety Definitions Vary

With so many subjective factors involved, it’s no surprise that definitions of what constitutes noise can vary. Individuals differ in their internal—often subconscious—understanding of what makes sound become noise. This can cause conflict in a lab. When one person’s sound is another person’s noise, noise safety discussions can become increasingly heated (potentially becoming noise safety hazards in and of themselves).

Consequently, it’s important to create a culture surrounding sound and noise that allows for individual differences. Attaching different definitions to elements of sound can help those discussions find common ground.

The 3 Physical Characteristics of Sound

There are three physical characteristics of sound that can be used to develop practical parameters for the discussion of noise safety:

Intensity: The magnitude of a sound, measured in decibels (dBA), delineates intensity.

Frequency: Sound frequency is more commonly referred to as tone or pitch and is measured in hertz. High-frequency sounds are often considered more annoying, while low-frequency sounds are perceived as being louder.

Temporality: Sounds vary in terms of fluctuation, continuity, and constancy or intermittence. A sound that varies in its temporal pattern is usually perceived as louder, because it has surprised the listener (as in the change of volume example noted earlier).

Addressing Lab Safety with Dedicated Lab Furniture

In many environments, various sounds can be used to drown out other sounds (such as when lab technicians use music to disguise the sound—experienced as noise—of mass spectrometry vacuum pumps or fume hoods). While this can be effective for some people, it creates potential lab safety issues when the total volume of noise increases beyond an acceptable or tolerable level for others.

Addressing such noise safety concerns is one of the reasons we created our IonBench MS, which comes with vacuum pump enclosures that guarantee a 15 dBA reduction in perceived noise. To learn more about this dedicated lab furniture and our commitment to noise safety in the lab, please contact Tim Hawkins at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 888-669-1233.

Lab Renovations: How to Minimize Disruptions and Increase Efficiency

Disruptions in the workplace are always costly, regardless of whether they’re planned for or not. When it’s time to begin lab renovations or relocation, you can pretty much guarantee lost time and efficiency, distracted staff, and increased frustrations.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects of those disruptions. Knowing what to look out for—and planning accordingly—can be half the battle.

Involve the Right People

Successful lab renovations depend upon thorough communication. This means involving personnel from all levels of the organization. Senior managers provide broader perspective and an understanding of laboratory goals. Experienced scientists provide a detailed understanding of lab functionality and utilization needs. And middle management brings its unique perspective—plus a careful eye on the budgetary bottom line.

If all levels of personnel aren’t involved, or if they come and go over the course of a long project, important voices can be missed when critical decisions are made.

For example, does your new lab design need to support a siloed or collaborative work environment? Is there mass spectrometry equipment that needs to easily fit through multiple doorways and around corners? Questions like these, and many more, can affect the design and functionality of your remodeled lab and cause problems if they are not appropriately considered.

Document and Verify Existing Lab Structures and Dedicated Lab Furniture

Lab renovations can be tricky in that sometimes assumptions are made, which—absent independent verification—can result in costly mistakes down the road.

Say, for example, that the floor plan for an initial renovation project indicated that lab gas was being piped to each workstation. Designers toured the existing facility but didn’t move the lab furniture to confirm the piping, since all the furniture had been bolted to the floor to increase stability. When the tear-down begins, workers then discover gas canisters behind lab benches and learn from staff that the piping was never installed due to lack of funds.

Such a discovery could result in more complications, and possibly more expenses. What if the new lab layout didn’t allow space for gas canisters behind every workstation, or the new lab furniture had no accommodation for canisters? Certainly the cost to install a new piping system or add an external storage room would contribute to the cost of your lab renovations.

To avoid such problems, gather as much up-front documentation and information as possible. Surveys, 3-D laser scanning, and interviews with informed stakeholders, like on-site facility managers, can provide crucial details that might otherwise be missed.

Also, from a long-range perspective, investing in moveable dedicated lab furniture can be beneficial. The IonBench, for example, with its strong, lockable caster wheels, not only offers more flexibility for varying lab layouts but also makes it easy to move your mass spectrometers and other equipment when planning a new lab configuration.

Upgrade HVAC Systems

Lab renovations are usually precipitated by a change in scope or increase in demand. If the HVAC needs of the upgraded facility are not taken into account, however, efficiency can suffer—possibly on a catastrophic scale, in the case of a systems failure. HVAC upgrades need to address not just the power needs of additional equipment but also the heat mitigation of those instruments.

With change, however, also comes opportunity. Lab renovations can reveal possibilities for collaboration, such as the opportunity for two teams to share a single, infrequently used instrument, thus decreasing its heat generation by a factor of two. And when positioned on moveable lab furniture, that instrument could be rolled easily and safely from one lab to another.

Maintain Operations During Lab Renovations

Inevitably, construction work will cause disruption during a renovation. Careful planning and thorough communication, however, can ensure that renovations are minimally invasive and do not occur during critical phases of particular projects.

Asking questions is key. What would be the impact if water or gas was shut off during the workday? How can the noise and dust of demolition be minimized? What renovations will lead to off-gassing that might affect staff and instrumentation? Can some projects be moved to a secondary location during lab renovations?

Questions like these are helpful, and we have an expert who knows what to ask. Tim Hawkins has the experience to walk you through what needs to be done in advance, helping you customize dedicated lab furniture for your renovation while guiding you along the steps toward a finished lab. Contact him today at 1-888-669-1233 or tim.hawkins@farhawk.com.

Purchasing a Mass Spec Lab Bench? Start Here

Ordering a new mass spectrometer is a big investment in the future of your lab. Since mass spec technology is constantly evolving, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually find yourself ordering one—if not this year, then soon.

Therefore, we want to help you think proactively so that your new mass spec hits the lab ready to roll—and that includes having the right dedicated lab furniture ready to support it.

Timing Is Everything

We regularly get calls from lab managers telling us they need to order one of our lab benches for immediate delivery because their new mass spec will be arriving in just a week. Our response is usually that such a thing is possible, but it won’t be very efficient or cost-effective.

That’s because our dedicated lab furniture is crafted in France and then shipped to North America. We can deliver one of our standard lab benches in just a week, but that involves something which can be tough on the budget – priority overseas shipping by air.

To make your purchase as cost-effective as possible, we recommend thinking about your lab furniture needs once your mass spec budget is initially approved and before the order is placed.

Customizing Your New Dedicated Lab Furniture

Another reason to plan purchases of lab benches as early as possible is that the added time ensures you’re better able to have important customizations built into your lab furniture. For instance, some mass spectrometry researchers like to have a CPU attached to the side of their bench and a flat-screen monitor arm attached to the top. We can also install keyboard trays, drawers, and even dedicated solvent waste modules.

We also pay special attention to the noise reduction capabilities of our vacuum pump enclosures—this depends on the mass spec you will be installing. If you’re using two Varian/Agilent MS40+ or Leybold Sogevac SV65 pumps, for example, you need to order our NE78 enclosure. If you will have Edwards pumps, on the other hand, you’ll need to order our NE58 vacuum pump enclosure.

We can also install heat removal modules or virtually any custom modification—but we need eight weeks to make those modifications in France and then ship the lab benches for installation in your lab.

Measure Twice, Install Lab Benches Once

Another key component of an efficient MS installation is making sure that the MS, your new lab bench, will fit through every hallway, around every corner, through every doorway, and into their new home in your lab.

We suggest you walk the route with your facilities manager, from loading dock to the mass spec’s desired location. Carefully measure every tight corner and doorway (including your freight elevators, if your lab is on an upper floor) to make certain that both your dedicated lab furniture and your new mass spec can safely make the trip.

You may want to speak with your receiving dock associates to determine whether the IonBench may be unpacked on the dock, and the shipping materials disposed. Many facilities are not able to do this, and we can help with third party “white glove” services, if required.

It’s also important to measure distances within your lab. If you purchase an IonBench with caster wheels, intending to move it around, will you be able to do so in the tight confines of your lab? Are all electrical outlets located close enough to the mass spec’s new location, and are they rated for the task? Is there enough room, and/or venting outlets, around your various lab benches for vacuum pump heat to efficiently dissipate without causing any problems?

There’s a lot to consider when you’re investing in a new mass spec, and not all of those issues are financial. That’s why we suggest that your first step be to contact Tim Hawkins, our IonBench expert, at 1-888-669-1233. He can provide additional purchasing tips about lab benches and answer questions about your particular situation.

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.

Moving on up: Mass Spec Life Sciences and Forensics Applications

Going UpPeriodically we like to highlight the amazing work that is coming out of mass spec life sciences and forensics research. It’s nice to know our dedicated lab furniture is literally supporting the machines that improve the quality of life, and we like to celebrate those innovations when we can.

These four mass spec accomplishments are worth a share.

Simultaneously Detecting Multiple Shellfish Toxins

Tandem mass spectrometry continues to break new ground. In this case, food-safety researchers in China utilized HPLC-MS/MS technology to tangle with multiple paralytic toxins. Eight different compounds that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning can now be simultaneously determined with a single sample using multiple reaction monitoring and matrix-matched calibration. This work makes it significantly easier and less expensive to test shellfish for toxins and thus prevent seafood poisoning in the general population.

Tracking Salmonella Typhimurium Host-Pathogen Interactions

Researchers in the United Kingdom and Sweden have been investigating Salmonella Typhimurium, which causes gastroenteritis and can lead to systemic disease if these bacteria invade the small intestine. In a report published in June, 2017, they focused on the use of mass spectrometry to track interactions between S. Typhimurium and its murine hosts. In humans, especially the young, the immunocompromised, or the elderly, S. Typhimurium crosses the intestinal epithelium and migrates to systemic sites.

Researchers focused on mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs), which drain the intestines and thus are more susceptible to what is contained therein. Researchers were able to determine that palmitoylcarnitine (PalC) reduces T cells and increases B cells, thus impacting the progress of the systemic infection.

Mass spectrometry was essential to this process because MSI tracks a full spectrum, allowing researchers to discover and determine target molecules after samples have already been analyzed. In this case, multiple candidate molecules were detected and analyzed before PalC was chosen for further analysis.

Decoding Designer Drug Overdoses

Emergency rooms across the country are at a disadvantage when arriving patients have overdosed on drugs of any kind. There are literally hundreds of designer drug components available on the streets these days, and treatments for the various compounds differ. Hospitals currently must collect a blood sample, put it on ice, and rush it to a lab for preparation and then MS analysis. This takes precious time which can be the difference between survival and death.

Now Nicholas Manicke of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis created a small device, preloaded with a single-use cartridge of chemical components, that will take one drop of blood and immediately prep it for mass spec analysis. He envisions a future where these devices will collaborate with an on-site MS to provide two essential services: (1) an immediate and detailed analysis of both the components and concentration of each designer drug element and (2) public health data on designer -drug component trends.

Hair Sample Use in Toxicology

Hair analysis is increasingly being used in conjunction with mass spectrometry because the standard growth rate of hair (one centimeter per month) allows researchers to determine both the volume and introduction timing of either essential or toxic metals into the human system. Hair is much easier than other samples to collect, preserve, transport and store.

Historically, mass spec forensics has analyzed bulk hair samples, seeking only concentration of metals using inductively coupled plasma MS. Now, however, researchers from China are using secondary ion mass spectrometry, particle induced x-ray emission 12, and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, to analyze individual hair strands for both the volume of metals present and the timing of their introduction. The success of this initial experiment bodes well for its routine use in therapeutic, occupational, nutritional and toxicological situations.

Mass Spec Applications and Lab Furniture that Supports Them

Clearly, mass spectrometry applications continue to expand in usefulness, across genres and around the globe. As each MS supports the work of its researchers, we hope you’ll consider supporting your mass spectrometer with our dedicated lab furniture.

Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about protecting and maximizing your mass spec investment.

Lab Working Conditions and the Hawthorne Effect

InvestTrying to figure out the exact equation for what will make your lab environment the safest it can be, while maintaining productivity and team morale can be a real challenge.

Investing in quality, dedicated lab furniture helps to improve lab working conditions in multiple ways. First, our IonBenches are specifically designed to meet the safety and organizational needs of the modern laboratory environment. Second, simply taking the steps to improve the working conditions of your lab will be noticed by personnel, causing morale to skyrocket. Rest assured productivity will follow suit.

The second point is supported by a curious cause and effect—better known as The Hawthorne Effect.

The Hawthorne Effect

This fascinating phenomenon was first discovered by researchers at the Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois in the early twentieth century. Researchers were seeking to discover if changes in lighting, working hours, break times, etc. would make a difference in employee productivity at the Hawthorne plant. What they found was that both morale and productivity improved over the course of the study, but returned to their original levels once the study was over.

Researchers concluded that the employees responded to the observation by increasing their productivity. What’s more, morale increased because workers realized management was expressing concern about their working conditions. The Hawthorne Effect has been replicated in a variety of studies since then. It occurs when employees feel that their needs are being addressed.

Involving Lab Personnel in Assessing Lab Working Conditions

While we firmly believe that improvements in lab safety do make a difference, it’s also true that simply taking steps to improve lab working conditions can have positive effects as personnel recognizes interest is being taken in their wellbeing.

What does this mean for lab management? It doesn’t mean you should frequently run lighting or temperature experiments—that could be disastrous. Instead, we believe it means involving lab personnel in discussions about how to provide the safest and most efficient work environment.

Ask staff about what changes could improve their day-to-day operations and you might be surprised by their responses. You might even bring about the Hawthorne Effect.

Some suggestions that we have for improving lab working conditions include the following:

These are just a few starters. We imagine your lab personnel will have more suggestions. When you take their suggestions seriously and follow through, you will gain employee loyalty as well as increased productivity and morale.

Show your techs you care about making their lives easier by taking steps toward improving safety and organization in your lab. If dedicated lab furniture is in order, contact us today to learn more.

Committing to Lab Safety Culture, from the Top Down

Top DownA few weeks ago, we read a very thought-provoking American Chemical Society editorial by Carolyn Bertozzi. The ACS aims to “be the world’s most trusted source of the comprehensive knowledge needed to cultivate the chemists of tomorrow” and we think that articles like Bertozzi’s certainly pave the way toward that goal.

What resonated most with us about this editorial, is the focus on how lab safety culture needs to be embraced and enforced from the top down.

Focusing Beyond the Accident Spotlight

As Bertozzi outlines, 2016 saw too many serious laboratory accidents. From China to Germany, North Dakota to Texas, researchers and students have been killed or injured in a variety of explosions that have been costly on too many levels. April was a particularly deadly month, with 42 people killed and 147 injured because of a massive fire at Jubail United Petrochemical in Saudi Arabia and an explosion at a Pemex vinyl chloride plant in Mexico.

The ACS editorial quickly moves beyond the headlines, however, to ask serious questions about how researchers can focus more purposefully on lab safety practices. Focusing on academic institutions, it lays out some ideas that are critical for safety in any research lab, no matter the industry or circumstance.

Implementing a Lab Safety Culture

The article suggests that the needed “ingredients for a positive safety culture” is a top-down commitment to lab safety. Bertozzi quotes George Whitmyre, a retired lab safety specialist, who says that “laboratory safety programs only work when [there is] serious commitments from Regents, Presidents, CEOs, upper management, and even PIs.”

Various steps are suggested that leaders can take to embrace and enforce a lab safety culture. These include:

  • Reading MSD sheets prior to setting up any experiment
  • Discussing specific safety elements with everyone involved and assessing the potential risks of each experiment
  • Consulting with health and safety experts whenever a doubt or question arises
  • Reviewing procedures (what to do, whom to notify) in case an accident occurs
  • Wearing personal protective equipment
  • Never working alone in any research lab

Making Lab Safety Everyone’s Responsibility

PIs do have a lot of responsibility when it comes to creating and implementing a lab safety culture, but they are not the only ones. Lab safety needs to be everyone’s responsibility in order to prevent the types of horrific accidents that occurred last year. Regardless of where you fall in the organizational structure, lab safety is your responsibility.

Here are some ways that Bertozzi believes this can be accomplished:

  • Publicly prioritize safety
  • Never condone lax or unsafe practices
  • Start every meeting with a “Safety Minute” that includes both news on accidents and information on new safety ideas
  • Teach how to implement Integrated Safety Management
  • Employ highly skilled EH&S personnel and encourage them to interact collaboratively with lab personnel
  • Accept responsibility for systemic failures
  • If you work in an academic setting, where you are training the next generation of researchers, hold hands-on sessions to introduce lab safety techniques

Leverage Your Position

Regardless of your place in the hierarchy of your lab, it’s up to you to do whatever is in your power to make decisions that will contribute to strengthening the culture of safety. If you write the schedules, take the necessary steps to ensure no one is ever in the lab alone. If you stock the supplies, make sure there is never a shortage of personal safety equipment.

Naturally, we would add one thing to Bertozzi’s list:

  • Furnish your lab with dedicated lab furniture

If you’re the person who furnishes the lab, making informed decisions about the quality and safety of the dedicated lab furniture you purchase can go a long way in protecting the life of your instruments as well as the lives of those working in your lab.

Get in touch with us today to learn more—because in order for Bertozzi’s ideas to work, everyone needs to take ownership.

Avoiding Four Dangerous Types of Damage with Dedicated Lab Furniture

control-qualityLab work can be a messy business, even in a sterile environment, and lab benches can really take a beating. When it comes to keeping your expensive equipment and precious projects safe, there are four big reasons why you cannot expect inexpensive lab furniture to perform as well as high-quality dedicated lab benches.

Weighty Work

The expensive equipment and machinery in your lab weigh a lot. Imagine for a moment how it would feel to hold a machine weighing anywhere from 400-700 pounds, constantly, day after day. Lab furniture never gets a break from gravity, so it must be built to stand immense amounts of pressure—the sort of pressure that will crush any of the cheaper department store furniture you might try to convert into lab benches.

Sure, you can find a metal trolley on wheels that claims to be able to move a thousand pounds—but it’s not just the structure of the bench that matters. Wheels can flatten over time, especially if they aren’t moved frequently. The rubber the wheels are made of gets stiff and when it’s time to move your equipment around, it will crack, and allow the air to escape. Scooting that half-ton machine around on useless, flat wheels is difficult, and the vibrations caused by doing so can cause irreparable damage to your mass spectrometer or other equipment.

Gouging and Dents

There are other dangers involved with moving your expensive instruments around the lab. Most lab instruments rest on rubber feet which are intended to minimize vibration and aren’t so much concerned with protecting the surface of the furniture below. Sliding them around eventually wears out the rubber feet, and scratches and dents are likely to result in the laminate surface of the furniture—or worse, the laminate could pull away from the base material altogether. This leaves room for dirt and bacteria to nestle in and take up residence.

Solvents and Surfaces

Tearing the laminate opens the door to yet another problem with cheaper lab benches. Sure, you can get a bench with a chemically resistant surface, since solvents are often corrosive. But if you get even the smallest tear in your laminate, it will allow spilled solvents to seep between the laminate and the base material on your lab furniture. This will prove nearly impossible to clean and eventually eat away at the bench surface, destroying it.

Handling the Heat

This last danger is an element that gets below the surface of your lab bench. If you choose a cheaper bench for your mass spec, you’re probably going to find yourself constructing your own acoustic cabinet for those noisy vacuum pumps. The problem is that the materials in many foams and glues can’t stand the heat generated by vacuum pumps. Over time, those materials will degrade, causing the foam to fall apart and the glue to separate. In a worst-case scenario, falling foam could even cause a fire when it hits your vacuum pumps, creating a serious lab safety issue.

How Our Dedicated Lab Furniture Stands Up to Wear and Tear

Now that we’ve got you worried, we want to reassure you that none of these issues are insurmountable. We’ve carefully addressed each of these problems with IonBench dedicated lab furniture. It comes with solidly built, lockable casters and a weight capacity of 440 kilograms or 970 pounds. The laminate work surface is designed without joints and an epoxy resin work surface upgrade is available. Our built-in vacuum pump enclosure is designed to take the heat and even comes with a temperature alarm.

We are also happy to provide you with tips for prolonging your investment. So connect with us for information and answers to your questions about how dedicated lab furniture can improve safety and reliability in your laboratory.

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.

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.