Signs Of Pending Failure In Analytical Instruments

Equipment in testing facilities and labs is more sophisticated today than ever before. While this provides increased accuracy with smaller sample sizes, greater speed of testing as well as higher levels of automation in testing systems, it also provides the potential for increased problems and equipment failure.

Knowing how to spot the signs of impending system failures in analytical instruments can help the lab manager in ensuring the equipment is either repaired or replaced without downtime for testing capacity. While in some cases there may be limited initial indications of equipment problems, there can also be telltale issues that are simply overlooked.

Increased Errors

With automated analytical instruments any computer error messages during system startup, when running diagnostics or when testing are typically a sign of a problem. While it may be a software issue, it can also able be a component of the equipment itself.

Bringing someone in to test the equipment and determine the source of the errors should be a priority. Error messages can pose a risk for damaging samples being tested or causing a lack of accuracy in results. The need to continually reboot the system or having the instrument power off or freeze during the testing process is also a key indicator of a serious issue.

Calibration Requirements

Another signal of a problem with any type of analytical instruments is the need to continually recalibrate the system. While most of the newer models will automatically recalibrate, checking when this is occurring that is outside of the normal maintenance diagnostic checks will be important.

When equipment is reaching the end of its life cycle, or if repairs will be significant, used analytical equipment and instruments are a cost-effective option. By choosing newer models, a lab can easily find a replacement and stay within their budget.

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    Author: Timothy Harvard

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