5 tips to optimize machine uptime in your lab

posted on
March 28, 2022
Barbara Van Cauwelaert
Optimizing lab performance is not just a pie in the sky objective. Small practical improvements throughout the lab operation can contribute to increased efficiency. From how users find and schedule a machine through to how invoicing gets processed, there are several ways to reduce time spent on administration and improve machine uptime. Here are 5 ways to optimize lab performance.

1. Responsible Use

Better care and cleanliness improves machine uptime and reduces maintenance costs. Especially in common labs where machines are used by multiple users or used often. When users need to log in, their identities are known. They then tend to take more care when using the lab space and machines. Ultimately, when they leave machines in better condition, machines can be more efficiently used and accessible from user to user.

2. Proactive issue reporting

A common challenge in laboratories is limiting unplanned downtime. Laboratory downtime is the time when a machine is not functioning properly or otherwise unavailable to users. Downtime can be planned or unplanned. With the badge system, users have the opportunity to quickly report the machine’s status at the start and end of each session. This prompt reporting sends real time updates to the lab manager. This provides an opportunity to quickly address any issues. Now machines can be back up and running faster than previously possible. In addition, having a weekly overview of minor issues reported provides the lab manager with insights to lab performance. With weekly insights, lab managers can proactively plan maintenance rather than reacting to unplanned machine downtime.

3. Sharing improves machine uptime

When your own lab is not able to use all the machine time, it is more cost effective to share the machine time than have it sit idle. Through the online platform, lab users can see when machines are available within their department or across organisations as well as show what machines are available for others to use. Thanks to machine sharing, expensive, specialised devices are optimally used.

4. Remote monitoring

The ability to oversee the lab remotely offers researchers flexibility to interact with machines from anywhere or anytime. Remote monitoring enables faster issue detection, continued productivity amid unexpected events and enhanced sample protection. This ultimately saves time and costs and reduces delays.

5.Consolidate lab management

Have all the repetitive tasks like machine booking, issue reporting, maintenance planning, and invoicing all in one place and accessible to all who are responsible for the lab operations. By digitizing the logs of who uses what machine and when, including project number or department, lab managers can easily make accurate invoices based on machine run time. Overall plenty of efficiencies to be gained.

In conclusion

To improve machine uptime, laboratories can turn to digital solutions that facilitate responsible use, machine sharing, and easy issue reporting. Maximising machine efficiency with connectivity makes it easier to quickly identify and respond to issues, preventing avoidable downtime and minimising the additional costs associated with unplanned maintenance. Lastly, digital, cloud-based lab management provides research teams with real-time lab insights and automated administration improving lab performance.

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