Purchasing New Lab Equipment? 7 Things to Consider

(DGIwire) — Purchasing instruments for modern research laboratories is a complex endeavor, involving numerous people and business factors. Some equipment is relatively simple and can be delivered and supported easily; other items might include multimillion-dollar testing tools requiring specialized shipping, installation and housing.

According to an article in ADVANCE Laboratory magazine, there are seven considerations that must be weighed when purchasing new lab equipment:

Price. Not only should the purchase price be taken into consideration, but how much will it cost to properly maintain the equipment over its lifetime.

Service contract. After the initial warranty period expires, consider what service contract terms and conditions are available and at what cost.

Availability of parts and consumables. The pros and cons of original equipment manufacturer-certified parts and new consumables versus refurbished parts and consumables need to be considered. 

Technical support and system updates. It is advantageous to negotiate technical support and system updates at the initial purchase of costly equipment.

Skill level of the end users. Will the end-users require additional training on how to properly operate the equipment, and is training provided and at what cost?

Usage. The circumstances in which the equipment will be utilized will help determine the list of product features necessary to get the job done.

Environmental friendliness. The selection of green lab equipment is limited, which in turn could limit one’s choices if this is a priority.

Due diligence regarding the above criteria will help determine what make, model and product features coincide with how to best serve a laboratory and its staff.

Lab managers might find much of what they need thanks to companies such as Holliston, MA-based Harvard Bioscience. The company offers the highest-quality tools and equipment for university, government and other research laboratories. Its product range is extensive, from molecular analysis instruments to electrophysiology tools. The company’s subsidiaries offer a complete line of instrumentation in multiple sectors including laboratory fluidics, molecular analysis, cell physiology and animal physiology.

Jeffrey A. Duchemin, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience, says, “The most successful labs are improving their systems, processes and technology. However, many labs don’t have enough information about how and where to make the wisest purchases. Our goal is to help them and make this process easier and more efficient.”