Working in a laboratory comes with a never-ending list of things to do—you have deadlines to meet, inventories to track, publications to write, doubts to clear, and several other seemingly minor tasks that can take up a lot of time and interfere with the overall lab productivity.
However, with limited resources, increasing demand, and the constant pressure to produce results, there is a pressing need to find different ways to improve lab productivity. Figuring out the right processes, resources, and people management strategies is the most effective way to maximize efficiency, enhance scientific value, and minimize wasted time and energy. Here are a few other tips to increase productivity in your lab:
Promote an Organized Workplace
The first step to increasing productivity in the lab is to organize the workplace. Implementing a 5S program can give you a better idea about where you’re going to place unmovable equipment, frequently used tools, electronics, samples, and waste. This will help you eliminate waste and reduce the amount of time spent searching for tools, supplies, and information.
Improve Stock Management
Nothing can interfere with lab productivity more than finding out that you ran out of important materials in the middle of an experiment. This is why inventory management is a crucial part of working in a lab. You need to have a process in place to ensure that there is a constant supply of required items and that team members can find them easily when needed. A well-planned stock management system will also make sure that there is no waste.
There are many systems out there that allow you to keep track of materials and will update you when they’re out of stock or need to be reordered. Finding the right one for your lab can take some time, depending on your specific requirements.
Better Information Management
Apart from keeping track of your supplies, you also need to have a system in place to organize data and maintain daily records. One way to stay on top of things and avoid missing out on important data is to enter the information immediately after the experiment. Incorporating templates and protocols into your process will also make it easier to both input and recover the data when needed.
Automate Your Processes
If you notice that your lab is performing a lot of the same routine tasks, it might be time to consider investing in automation systems. This could especially come in handy with the ever-increasing need for more reproducible data. Automation technology allows you to streamline your resources and research practices, increase productivity, save time and money, and reduce the rate of errors. Moreover, the safety features in automation systems will ensure safer working conditions for your staff.
However, it might be difficult to figure out the level of automation your laboratory needs—this is where Questron Technologies Corp can help you! Our Vulcan Platform is a fully modular, automated digestion system that is capable of carrying out 6 fully automated features in any Lab Sample Digestion process. You can even build your own Vulcan by customizing the software to suit your laboratory’s unique requirements. If you’re unsure about where to start, our automation experts can work with you to understand the needs of your lab and help you determine your ideal Vulcan configuration.
Some of the areas Questron Technologies can help automate include reagent dispensing, heating and cooling, dilution, stirring, and aliquot transfer.
QPump and Syringe Drive
It can be hard to find a peristaltic pump that can pump high purity acids without getting destroyed by acidic gas. This is why we invented the QPump—a 1/16” peristaltic acid dispensing tube with an accuracy of ±0.1 mL or ±0.2 mL.
On the other hand, our Syringe Accurate delivery system is not only equipped with acid-resistant 3-way valves but can also independently deliver highly pure acid from one valve to another in a highly precise manner.
And the best part is that you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination with both of these systems since their independent tubing feature guarantees that reagents don’t come in contact with each other until the time of delivery.
Hot Block Digestion Modules
You can integrate any of our QBlocks into the Vulcan to control the block seamlessly. In addition, the Pneumatic tray life system will ensure the smooth transfer of the vials being inserted into the block to heat the samples or taken out to cool them.
Post Digestion Modules
There are a lot of monotonous, repetitive tasks involved in lab work like diluting, stirring, and transferring volume. The Vulcan can automate all of these processes, allowing your scientists to focus on the things that actually need expert attention.
Vulcan is equipped with an ultrasonic, contactless sensor that lets it fill your digestion vials to the specified volume at an accuracy of ± 0.2 mL. It also uses probes to gently stir the vials for as long as required. After the Vulcan is done with all the necessary processes, all you need to do is move the standard test tube rack from the Vulcan to the analyzer.
Apart from Vulcan, we also offer another Automated Workstation called QPrep, an integrated solution that is capable of precise sample dilutions, transfers, and other liquid handling functions. It is designed to handle a large number of samples in multiple rack configurations. Moreover, it is especially useful when dealing with expensive and hazardous chemicals, improving the profitability and safety of the lab.
Not only does Vulcan come with some excellent automation features, but its software is also extremely easy to use. With just a simple double click, you can define what needs to be done in every step. This way, you don’t have to make any changes to the SOP guidelines you were using before incorporating Vulcan into your process.
At Questron Technologies Corp., we understand the complexity of laboratory work and want to assist you in making your processes simpler and more efficient. Our chemists and mechatronic engineers are dedicated to developing customized automated sample preparation systems to match your unique needs. To learn more about our products, visit our website. If you have questions for us, feel free to call us at 1 844-363-1223 or contact us online.