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Buy Laboratory Equipment

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Buy Laboratory Equipment

inding the perfect piece of lab equipment to buy can be quite the task. These 10 tips will help you make the decision between purchasing new or used and help you know what to look for with each option.

Lab equipment vendors range from the manufacturers and third-party suppliers to online auction sites. Buying from the manufacturer directly often means you are purchasing new equipment, which should include a warranty and service contract. The manufacturer may also sell discontinued, used or demo models at a reduced cost. A great benefit of purchasing directly from the manufacturer is that the company is most knowledgeable about their instruments and can provide the most information and support.

When considering third party vendors, there are sellers that offer used and new equipment and from a variety of different brands. This allows you to compare features and pricing of different instruments used for the same tasks within your lab. Third party vendors may also offer a warranty and service contract with purchase.

A third source of purchase for lab managers is online auction. While this can be risky because there usually is not warranty to accompany the equipment, it can get you a really great deal. One online auction site used for selling lab equipment is LabX.

While equipment demos are common when buying new, you should also ask for one if thinking about purchasing used. This will increase your trust in the vendor since you will be able to see the equipment in action and know that it works. It can also allow you to find out if there are any quirks or special procedures needed to be taken to get the instrument to work. You want to know that it is functioning optimally before buying.

With both used a new equipment, you can use this method to negotiated pricing as well as longer warranties or better service contracts. It is common practice to obtain at least three competitive bids.

You can also ask your colleagues for referrals on where to purchase equipment. Some institutions have contracts with suppliers that allow them to get equipment and supplies at a discounted rate. Ask around before you make your final decision.

The experience level of your staff with the type of equipment will help you determine your need for training programs. It is less likely to get a comprehensive training program when buying new and unheard of if buying through an auction so take this into consideration when choosing a vendor as well.

While there is no Carfax for laboratory equipment, the best way to find out the track record of a particular instrument is to talk to the seller. When buying used, you want to know that there are no known problems associated with the equipment you plan to purchase. If you are purchasing it from the lab that actually used the equipment, ask to see the maintenance logs to ensure the instrument has been well-maintained before you decide to buy it.

Working safely with hazardous chemicals requires proper use of laboratory equipment. Maintenance and regular inspection of laboratory equipment are essential parts of this activity. Many of the accidents that occur in the laboratory can be attributed to improper use or maintenance of laboratory equipment. This chapter discusses prudent practices for handling equipment used frequently in laboratories.

The most common equipment-related hazards in laboratories come from devices powered by electricity devices for work with compressed gases, and devices for high or low pressures and temperatures. Other physical hazards include electromagnetic radiation from lasers and radio-frequency generating devices. Seemingly ordinary hazards such as floods from water-cooled equipment, accidents with rotating equipment and machines or tools for cutting and drilling, noise extremes, slips, trips, falls, lifting, and poor ergonomics account for the greatest frequency of laboratory accidents and injuries. Understandably, injuries to the hands are very common in the


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