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Equipping Your Lab What You Need to Know

If you’ve ever worked in a lab, you probably know how many parts are vital to keep it running. In case you decide to start your own, be aware that equipping it is not such an easy task. You need to decide what must be new and which equipment can be bought second-hand. Getting previously used items will help you save money and it can be good for the environment. So, here are the basic things you need to know and consider when equipping your lab.

Test out the equipment

When you find some second-hand items that could be useful for your lab, you need to make sure they are fully functional. They might seem like they are in great condition but you will not know until you conduct an inspection. You should be able to test the equipment out before you purchase it, and if the seller suggests you do it, even better. If the current owner refuses, this is a red flag and the device is probably in bad shape. Once you try to use it, you will see whether it fits your requirements and if you can make good use of it. If you’re not an expert when it comes to checking for quality of certain machines, you can bring a professional along.

Enquire about the warranty

If you are buying brand new equipment, there is no doubt that it should come with a warranty. However, when buying a piece that was used before, you need to ask if there is a warranty that goes with it. Keep in mind that this is something you should insist on, seeing as how repairing any broken parts can be quite expensive. If the seller has no warranty, it is quite likely that the equipment is damaged or does not work properly. Furthermore, by asking about the warranty, you will see whether the seller is shady, as they will immediately withdraw from the purchase.

Find a trusted supplier

It doesn’t matter if you are buying new or used items, you need to ensure your supplier provides high-quality scientific equipment. Seeing as how the work you do in the lab is quite important, you cannot buy just anything from anyone. That is why you must do some research about the supplier. Doing proper homework before purchasing equipment will ensure you end up with the right tools and don’t waste money. So, if you’re buying from a private person, ask around to see whether anyone has experience with them or check their reviews if you’re buying online. On the other hand, when buying a brand new item from an established company, you can check their reputation, how long they’ve been in business and whether they are certified.

Check the life expectancy

Seeing as how this equipment can be quite pricy, you want to ensure that it will last you a long time. It makes no sense to cut costs on something that is not durable and will break down in only a couple of years. Such big purchases should only be made once, and splurging on them will pay off in the long term. So, check the product’s life expectancy before you invest in it.

Make sure there are spare parts available

In addition to life expectancy, you need to see whether there are spare parts you can buy for the machine in case it breaks down. If certain parts cannot be replaced, there is no point in getting this piece of equipment as you will have to replace the entire thing. Furthermore, some items need to be replaced simply for maintenance or to keep up with the latest innovations. If the equipment is outdated, it’s best to look somewhere else.

When equipping your lab, keep these five tips in mind and don’t be afraid to combine used and brand new equipment. Do some research beforehand and you’ll do just fine.

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Written by Mike Parsons

Mike is an Australian IT support professional. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

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