Laboratory and instrument monitoring solutions have evolved well beyond simple alarms and now offer the user advanced analytics regarding instrument usage and allows users to seamlessly integrate their lab’s technology with their LIMS or ELN. Additionally, remote monitoring of lab equipment lets lab managers respond quickly to possible problems or equipment failures.
6 Questions to Ask When Purchasing Monitoring Equipment
- How many instruments can be monitored on the network? Can the network be expanded to include more instruments as the needs of your lab grow?
- Are the manufacturers and models of your current instruments compatible with the monitoring platform?
- Can all instruments be accommodated on a single network and can they be monitored with a single computer program?
- Is the system cloud-based? Will you be able to receive notifications when you’re not in the lab? Does the monitoring system have backup cellular in case the wi-fi fails?
- How user-friendly is the monitoring software?
Monitoring systems can allow you to run many experiments at once and to even run equipment remotely. Before leaving any laboratory equipment unattended, make sure your monitoring system is working correctly and will provide you with notifications in case anything goes wrong. If you are going to be leaving equipment unattended for long periods of time, look for monitoring systems that will automatically shut down the instrument in case of an equipment malfunction.
Instrument and laboratory monitoring allows you to identify equipment malfunctions within your lab as soon as they happen. With this knowledge, you can call a service technician as soon as the malfunction occurs, limiting the downtime of your instrument. Monitoring can also be used for more routine equipment maintenance. For some monitoring systems, you can use the software provided to record when maintenance was last conducted on an instrument and set up a reminder for the next scheduled service appointment.