Where Is This Piece Of Lab Equipment? I Need To Use It Now

Lab Equipment Tracking Software

Scientists and engineers move equipment around because there isn’t enough of each type of equipment. It may not be prudent for the lab to purchase too many of the same type, because the lab equipment manufacturer is regularly releasing new products with advanced features. Lab budgets have to be judiciously structured to allow for purchases of the new equipment. This, of course, results in a constant shortage of some type of equipment or another. So, it’s not uncommon for equipment to be moved between labs.

Lab Equipment Tracking Software

Lab Equipment Tracking Software

Scientists and engineers are focused on the task at hand. When they need to use a specific piece of equipment and if it is not readily available at their lab, they will not think twice about visiting the lab next door or in the next building, pick up the equipment and move it into their lab with the honorable intention of returning it when they are done. More often than not, the intent does not translate to actual action. Having solved the issue at hand with this ‘borrowed’ equipment, they move on to the next issue, forgetting to return the equipment.

The next time another engineer/scientist needs the use of the equipment, they go look for it in its original location. Having not been able to locate it, they consult the lab manager responsible for it. After doing an extensive search, the frustrated lab manager expands the search to nearby labs and may ultimately locate it. If unluckily, the borrower had moved it out to a lab in another building, the search can be arduous and expensive. It could involve multiple people’s time across several teams. There is of course, the actual impact to the projects involved, which can easily translate to product release delays which is directly relevant to the company’s bottom line.

Passive Fixed RFID Reader

With lab equipment tagged with RFID tags, they can be tracked as they exit or enter labs. Lab managers can be notified when some equipment is detected leaving a lab, but not entering within a specified time period. Expensive equipment can be watched even more closely. With AssetPulse’s RFID solution for lab equipment tracking, customers have been able to reduce their missing asset occurrence by over 90%, which has appealed to the Directors and VPs of the organizations!

 

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How AssetPulse assists in Lab Equipment Calibration Management

Timely calibration of critical equipment is essential in the Biotechnology industry

 

1. Why is calibration important?

 

Given the enormous impact of the Biotech sector on the lives of billions of people, the industry takes every measure to ensure it conducts its research with accurately calibrated equipment.  Labs have to adhere to numerous regulatory compliance requirements to ensure their product integrity, which include proper instrument calibration in a timely manner.

A calibration certificate is issued for equipment after validation. This certificate contains key information such as a reference standard, last calibration date, next calibration due date, normal operating range of instrument etc. The calibration certificate is a mandatory document that is referred to prior to producing products. Should a problem arise in the manufactured product, information contained in the calibration certificate is key to determining when, where, and how an error was introduced.

As with any manual process, keeping track of calibration-due-dates is subject to human error no matter how organized or careful lab personnel may be.

2. How AssetPulse RFID asset tracking solution helps with calibration tracking?

AssetPulse’s RFID Asset Tracking solutions address this problem.

AssetPulse software facilitates the entire calibration process – from determining which assets need calibration to physically locating them and to processing the post-calibration paper-work .

AssetPulse software proactively alerts users of upcoming calibration-due-dates – both via email as well as software alerts. Users are also able to query the system for a list of assets that need calibration in the near future. They can download thee asset lists to mobile RFID readers, which enable them to quickly and efficiently locate equipment on the lab floor. The AssetPulse Geiger Proximity Search Feature on the RFID reader makes this search even more efficient.

 

3. Maintain calibration records in AssetPulse software for easier reference

Once equipment calibration is complete, users can easily update the system with calibration dates and attach calibration certificates for the equipment. The AssetPulse System helps in calibration certificate traceability as it digitally stores calibration certificates, which means they are readily available in case of an audit. This alleviates the time-consuming manual process of searching through numerous paper folders in hopes of locating calibration certificates.

4. Keep track of equipment movement to and from Metrology

The AssetPulse RFID Tracking system also helps the lab managers and Cleanroom managers to track the movement of equipment through the calibration process. Equipment that goes to a third party for calibration can be tracked in the system. Alerts can be sent out if the equipment is not returned within a specified time. For equipment that goes to the Metrology area within the company, the lab manager can track in real time, when equipment enters the area for calibration and when it is completed and ready for pickup. Before using our solution, equipment would be left sitting on shelves ready for pickup, for weeks together.

Using the AssetPulse RFID-Enabled Asset Tracking software, our biotech and biomed customers have streamlined their calibration processes, whether they perform calibration in-house or they contract it out to third parties.

 

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