5 tips on laboratory equipment servicing
January 4, 2017
When choosing and purchasing laboratory equipment, servicing support is a vital consideration which is often overlooked.
Imagine the same consideration in the purchase of a car – if anything goes wrong, how easy will it be to identify the problem, source a replacement part and fit it? Some vehicle suppliers are better equipped than others to provide this with suitable support networks and ready access to specific parts. The same variations apply with suppliers of laboratory equipment and, in fact, comparing their levels of service is even more important: in contrast to mass-produced products like automobiles, expert maintenance engineers and replacement parts are harder to come by for the kind of specialist technology used in laboratories. With that in mind, here are five tips for finding reliable servicing for your laboratory, testing and analytical equipment.
1) Ensure long-term service commitment
You need to find a supplier committed to providing servicing over the longer term. Some will discontinue certain models and, by extension, discontinue the servicing of that model, even though they have past customers who have purchased them and want to continue using them for years to come. At Spectronic Camspec, we will continue serving older models and provide genuine manufacturers’ spare parts unless an alternative of higher quality is available. We source all spares from accredited suppliers (CE compliant where applicable) and stock a comprehensive range of consumable items for most brands with quick and easy online ordering and next-day delivery available.
2) Choose qualified professionals
It’s also important to ensure that a supplier provides professional engineers who are fully qualified and trained for the equipment which needs servicing. All engineers should be familiar with the latest health and safety requirements and carry their own regulatory safety equipment and protective clothing. Spectronic Camspec are specialists in the service, repair, calibration and maintenance of a wide range of UV/VIS Spectrophotometers, FTIR Spectrophotometers electro-chemical instruments, pH meters , conductivity meters, ION analysers, polarimeters, refractometers and flame photometers. Our engineers are well known to many laboratory managers across a wide range of sectors and we are used by a number of leading instrument manufacturers to carry out their warranty work. Spectronic Camspec gained BS 5750 (Certificate No: 2402) approval in 1993 this was re-issued in April 2016 for BS EN ISO 9001: 2015.
3) Check that all documents and records are supplied
Laboratory instruments are very technical products and therefore it’s important to ensure that all the necessary supporting documents are supplied at the time of purchase and throughout the timeline of any subsequent maintenance – to make the car analogy again, think of it like keeping a full service history for your vehicle. Spectronic Camspec provide manufacturers’ engineering manuals for every instrument supported, detailed service reports and a complete audit trail (with all instrument histories retained) for all makes/models we maintain. Calibration certificates are available to meet international standards and extensive public and product liability insurance policies are maintained.
4) Make sure that the response time is fast
Some suppliers will trumpet their servicing expertise and their access to spare parts, but these benefits count for little if it takes an age to actually deliver them. A busy laboratory can’t spend weeks waiting for an effective response. Many of Spectronic Camspec’s customers come to us time and time again because they know we’re always a phone call or email away if any issues arise. Our contract service facilities include a fully supported administration centre with a genuine commitment to the effective management of our customers’ needs. Our helpline is staffed by technicians 24/7 to discuss your service/application requirements and we provide 48-hour response for contract customers. Essentially, it’s all about providing peace of mind for our customers. To make the motoring comparison one more time: like most car owners, our customers appreciate the fact that, in the unlikely event of a breakdown, a professional is readily available to rectify the problem.
5) Seek out good value
If a supplier provides all of the above, then perhaps your final consideration is cost. Some companies are better placed to provide value-for-money. Spectronic Camspec’s operation has lower overheads which enable us to provide very competitive rates and we also offer discounts on quantity. Unlike some of our competitors, our breakdown service scheme has no hidden or minimum charges – we only charge for travel, time on-site and any parts used.