RFID Asset Tracking for Pipette Management & Calibrations

If you are in charge of a bio lab where you need to manage calibrations of pipettes, we empathize with you. Pipettes are crucial to experiments conducted within labs. However, they also tend to move around a lot – yes, a lot! Not only is it trying to make sure pipettes are in the right lab a challenge, but it is harder and more imperative to find them when they are due for calibration.

RFID Based Pipette Tracking Software for Laboratory

Using RFID asset tracking to trace pipettes is a great solution to address these issues. AssetPulse has worked with world leading pharmaceutical companies to track their pipettes. We have an array of RFID tags depending on the use of the pipettes. Having affixed RFID tags on these pipettes, inventory audits using RFID scanners have become a lot easier and it also has become easier to locate the pipettes when they come up for calibration.

RFID Asset Tracking Helps In Calibration Process Itself In Addition To Inventorying

An RFID instrumented bin can be placed at optimal locations in or around the labs. We notify users/lab managers of upcoming pipette calibrations. They use a mobile RFID reader to locate these pipettes and then place them in the bin. Notifications are automatically sent to the pipette manufacturer or the third party calibration company, who can then schedule a pickup or send over personnel to perform the calibration. Not only do they know what types of pipettes are up for calibration, but also how many of each AND their individual serial numbers.

The calibrating entity can also leverage the RFID tags. Their personnel are notified as soon as the pipettes enter their facility, so appropriate resources can be allocated to service them. On completion, the customer can be notified that they will receive the pipettes shortly. The pipettes are deposited in the lab bins upon arrival from the calibrating entity and the lab manager is notified that they are now ready for us.

RFID can provide visibility into the ‘calibration supply chain’ process end-to-end!

RFID Based Asset Tracking aids in GLP/GMP Regulated Lab Management

Being responsible for the equipment in a GLP/GMP regulated lab is no easy task. Several compliance requirements have to be adhered to. AssetPulse’s RFID asset tracking solutions have greatly helped streamline the equipment management of such labs.

lab equipment tracking software

AssetPulse Real-time Asset Tracking Software

Our real-time asset tracking solutions provide an accurate inventory of all equipment across geographic locations. It can detect addition or removal of components in qualified systems like HPLCs. The Lab Manager can be alerted of such movements, thereby triggering a re-qualification process automatically. Failure to re-qualify can have serious technical and financial repercussions.

Before the use of RFID, the equipment databases were woefully out of sync with reality. This resulted in Finance and QA departments to initiate audits often, in order to update their databases. Small teams of scientists/researchers would need to be assembled, to scour the labs looking for equipment, severely impacting their overall productivity.

AssetPulse Asset Tracking Software Maintains Centralized Database of Asset Information

Maintaining accurate inventory of all the equipment and keeping their details up to date can be a full time job. Details include location, manufacturer, model, serial number, receive date, deployment date and all maintenance related information including calibration/maintenance schedules, non-routine repairs, performance verification and revalidation dates. The AssetPulse database allows all such detailed information to be maintained in one central database, accessible to all concerned players including R&D, Quality and Finance personnel.

Further, the database allows all relevant documents to be stored together with the equipment details. IQ/OQ/PQ documents, standard operating procedures, warranty certificates, calibration certificates can be made easily accessible through the database. This allows audits to go a lot quicker, instead of having to sift through a myriad of documents in order to locate the appropriate pieces of paper.

Thus, the use of RFID can effectively bridge any visibility gaps with respect to Asset Management in Analytical labs, hospitals and in pharmaceutical manufacturing supply chains.

How AssetPulse Lab Equipment Tracking Solution Came to be?

We don’t envy lab managers of high tech companies. They are in charge of the inventory of labs chock-full of test and measurement equipment – probes, analyzers, meters, signal generators, prototype boards, computers and the list goes on. Often their labs are spread across floors, buildings, campuses, cities and even countries!

lab equipment tracking solution

Equipment is moved from one lab to another on a regular basis – engineers and scientists just want to get their job done – they move equipment and prototypes around to conduct their experiments and development projects. Inventory managers need to keep abreast of the whereabouts of every asset, and track which team is using which asset and if it was indeed still being used. Further, the current whereabouts and status of these assets needs to be gathered without impeding the activities of the scientists and technicians.

Just when the inventory managers think they have a handle on where all their equipment is, a scientist or technician will complain to them that they are not able to do their job because he or she can’t find a specific probe or analyzer. And so the search begins once again.  In certain critical cases they even end up buying new equipment to not jeopardize the project at hand. This unfortunately, is not a unique problem confined to one company – we hear the same refrain from every lab inventory manager we have spoken to.

Having worked with several such lab managers across several companies, we have now honed our lab equipment tracking solution to satisfy these users. This use case lends itself to the employment of various auto-ID technologies including active RFID and/or passive RFID. The solution can include just mobile scanners or can be enhanced with stationary readers.

It is always rewarding, at the end of a deployment, to see the lab manager get excited to locate a hard-to-find probe in just a few minutes, when they previously spent hours or days looking for them!

Tired of searching lab equipment? We have the solution. Click here for a free demo!