Monthly Archives: November 2014

Enjoy Year-End Sale Prices on Lab Benches for Mass Spectrometry

lab-benches-for-mass-spectrometry-salePreviously we have shared a number of reasons why our dedicated lab furniture would be an important addition to any efficient lab facility. We’ve talked about how using a mass spectrometer requires dealing with noise and vibration, and the impact those concerns can have on a lab’s workspace. But in addition to the various safety and convenience features provided by our lab benches for mass spectrometry, they are also a great value for the money. What’s more, for the rest of 2014 they are an even better buy, as we are offering a 10% discount on them through the end of the year.

Fighting Mass Spec Creep

Is “mass spec creep” a problem in your lab? It’s the slow accumulation of roughing pumps, computers, peripherals, tanks, and tools, each of which comes with its own set of cables, hoses, and cords. All this amassed paraphernalia can take over a piece of non-specific lab furniture, until you can’t easily access the mass spectrometer at all. Beyond the inconvenience, all those hoses and wires can also create a genuine safety hazard!

Because our IonBench MS dedicated lab bench is specialized for mass spectrometry, mass spec creep is naturally eliminated. We understand how all those peripherals need to work together, so we’ve designed lab benches that accommodate them and safely channel all the wires, hoses, and cords out of the way.

Non-Standard Standard Lab Benches

Designing our laboratory benches to be tall, wide, and strong enough to support the entire mass spec setup is only the beginning of what we do. Although we start with a standard 4- or 6-foot bench, we can customize the work surface to be anywhere from 90 to 190 cm wide and create any hose and cable hole pattern that fits your desired setup. There is enough room on, and inside, our lab benches that we can provide space-saving options for waste handling, computers, and whatever peripherals you use.

Additional Features of Our Lab Benches for Mass Spectrometry

In addition to customized widths and hole patterns, we offer a number of other features that make our dedicated lab furniture a welcome addition to serious laboratories. These include:

  • A bank of three full-extension lab drawers for easy storage of tools and manuals
  • A support arm for flatscreen monitors
  • A sliding keyboard and mouse platform
  • A lateral waste container conveniently and firmly placed on the lab furniture; this helps avoid unsafe tubing extensions
  • A PC/workstation mount that enables computers to sit under the work surface, but safely above the lab floor
  • A specifically designed electrical plug array, also safely located under the work surface, that can have eight 110-V or four 220-V outlets
  • A stainless steel oil drip pan, inside the enclosure, for each vacuum pump

Get All This at 10% Off!

As if all of these features, and the ability to customize them, weren’t enough, IonBench is having a 10% off sale through the end of the year. Just contact us between now and December 31 to place your order, or give us a call today with your questions or to learn more about our exceptional lab benches for mass spectrometry.

Measure Twice, Install Once: Getting Your Dedicated Lab Furniture Placed Just Right

dedicated-lab-furniture-measuringWe’ve all heard the stories—or seen the DIY reality television shows—where hapless homeowners attempt their own renovations and discover that their brand new refrigerator won’t fit where they planned because they didn’t measure everything quite right. Or they got the measurements right, but they can’t get the fridge into the kitchen through a narrow doorway.

But it’s not just unfortunate weekend DIYers who have those kinds of problems. Whether you’re working on a renovation of your lab, or designing a lab from scratch, it’s always a good idea to measure carefully and plan ahead or risk discovering that your dedicated lab furniture isn’t the right size for your laboratory. Here are some handy tips to make sure you can install everything where it needs to go—and avoid those embarrassing installation situations.

Tip #1: Measure Every Step of the Way

Especially if you work in a large facility, taking delivery of your dedicated lab furniture can be a challenge. If your lab isn’t on the ground floor, you will need to make sure that there is a freight elevator large enough to handle your delivery, as laboratory furniture tends to be wider and heavier than standard office furniture.

In fact, we suggest that you walk every step of the proposed delivery pathway, from truck to lab, before you even order your lab furniture. Note the measurements of the furniture and take the time to make sure all the hallways, doorways, steps, corners, and elevators can accommodate it—along with the dolly it will be carried in on. If you’re not certain it will work, spend some time with your facilities manager to see if he or she can suggest an alternate route or a clever idea to get around any tight corners.

Tip #2: Prepare a Dedicated Lab Furniture Layout

Of course, once you get your new furniture into the lab, you need to know that it will fit where you want it. This is where those old tried-and-true methods are the most effective. Get yourself a sheet of graph paper and cut out some small scale models of each piece of furniture, as well as any freestanding instruments that must fit into your lab. Draw your lab to scale on the graph paper, including all built-in countertops, cabinets, etc. Then figure out where all your movable furniture and machines will go.

Of course, you can probably also get one of your assistants to create all this on their computer, setting up a proposed lab layout for your review and feedback.

Tip #3: Match the Furniture with the Utilities

Once you’ve drafted your graph paper layout, you will want to make sure to integrate utilities connections into the picture. Water, power, and waste lines need to be adjacent to the machines and workspaces that need them. (Lab safety will certainly be compromised if, say, your fume hood is on the wrong side of the lab!)

It’s also important to determine whether you will have enough electricity available to safely power all your instruments. And make certain that the proposed arrangement functions from a workflow perspective as well.

Tip #4: Talk with the Dedicated Lab Furniture Experts

If you’re planning the purchase of some lab furniture, feel free to give us a call here at ionBench. We’ve heard all the move-in horror stories, and we know exactly how wide our benches are, so we can help you determine which furniture choice is best for your particular lab—and for the path you’ll use to get it there.

Heat Removal as a Lab Safety Issue

lab-safety-heat-removalWhen someone mentions lab safety, no doubt the first thought that comes to mind is the human factor—protecting human life. For example, talk about ventilation or fume hoods—a ubiquitous presence in laboratories—and your mind naturally moves toward the idea of removing toxic fumes that are dangerous to breathe. But proper ventilation contributes other useful functions that, while not necessarily on the order of saving lives, can definitely make a difference in terms of a lab’s safety, efficiency, and cost of operation.

Fume Hoods: An Expensive Necessity

Those fume hoods are definitely an important aspect of any laboratory setup—and they can be expensive to operate. With 100 cubic feet per minute flowing through them, ventilation hoods consume three to four times the energy of a typical home. One prominent university has estimated that each fume hood costs over $4,500 per year to operate, and it uses approximately 800 fume hoods in its labs!

The Importance of Heat Ventilation for Lab Safety

But while ventilating with fume hoods is a common lab safety feature, there’s another less obvious issue that still needs to be addressed. Not only do you need to protect the health of your personnel; you also need to protect the functionality of your instrumentation. This is where the hidden issue of heat buildup comes in.

Mass spectrometers, for example, have vacuum pumps that generate a lot of heat. If you were to tuck them away inside an ordinary piece of office furniture that heat could build up until the surrounding air was so hot that the pumps’ safety mechanisms would shut them down. While this is a good safety feature, the integrity of the vacuum inside the mass spectrometers would then be compromised. You could even damage or contaminate the instruments themselves.

This is why dedicated lab furniture is so important. Powerful ventilation features in the IonBench maintain the inside temperature of the enclosure, keeping it well below that critical heat level, so a vacuum pump will continue to operate. It’s also important that the lab bench removes the heat and if necessary, can ventilate it outside of the lab. Otherwise, especially during warmer months, the vented heat could overwhelm the air-conditioning system, raising cooling costs and threatening the comfortable and safe working temperature necessary for both staff and instruments.

If you’re a lab manager faced with the high cost of keeping your labs cool during the summer, or a lead researcher whose lab manager is struggling with the cost of operations, it might be time to consider whether you’re adequately ventilating the heat generated by your instruments. We understand the importance of ventilation as it pertains to both lab safety and operating costs.

Contact us today if you have questions about proper lab ventilation, and to discuss how IonBench dedicated lab furniture can help you create a safer and more efficient environment in your lab.