Lab Instruments

Lab Instruments

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Lab Instruments: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

What is Science Laboratory Equipment?

Science laboratory equipment is a general term that we often use when referring to several instruments, tools, and equipment found in a science laboratory.

They are equipment intellects or laboratory users apply to undertake specific laboratory procedures.

Such laboratory procedures may include but not limited to:

  • Research
  • Innovations
  • Academic study/ purposes
  • Medical tests
  • Collection of data
  • Performing experiments or taking measurements, etc.

Laboratory Instrument

Laboratory instruments

And consequently, the science lab equipment varies widely and relatively depending on your intended purpose for the usage of the instrument.

Take, for example; conventional medical laboratory equipment includes microscopes, reagent bottles, beakers, calorimeters, and many others.

You can easily use for collecting data and taking measurements others, also used for varied reasons.

In some instances, we can also refer to lab equipment as pharmaceutical instruments.

What are the Common Laboratory Instruments in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

It’s indisputable that laboratory equipment may vary across laboratories.

That is, from basic science lab instruments and more sophisticated ones.

Below is a table with all laboratory instruments and equipment:

Quality testing lab

Quality Testing Lab – Photo courtesy: TUV

Laboratory InstrumentsUses/ Applications of Laboratory Instruments
RefractometersAnalysis of the degree of purity and ingredient concentration of raw materials, finished products, and semi-finished products.
Adjustable standsGives mechanical support to other equipment by allowing the user to tweak them by raising, lowering, or even turning the instrument in the most comfortable position.

Besides, it securely holds other equipment in place to maintain, load, or inspect it.

Aeration TubeDelivers efficiently and supplies or transfers oxygen in controlled volumes using little energy, especially into the water systems.
Aerosol DisinfectorIdeally suitable for the sole purpose of disinfection or decontamination of theater rooms, hospital wards, pharmaceutical laboratories, and nursing rooms.
EsthesiometerDevice professionals use to measure the extent of the tactile sensitivity of the skin, especially for the mouth, eye, ear, etc.
Agate Mortars and Pestle SetsComprises of an octagonal-shaped mortar and a separate pestle sets which are efficient for grinding and crushing materials and samples no matter the degree of hardness or compositions.
Air samplerUsed for microbiological examination and analysis of the surrounding air, especially in the contamination indoors rooms, pharmaceutical rooms, in high-risk production areas and equipment of the food industry and medical surroundings, etc.
Alarm ringer timersSet, time, and sounds an alarm to monitor an operation procedure or activity in the lab.
AlbuminomterConsists of graduated tubing for analyzing, determining the presence of protein (albumin) and measuring their respective quantities specifically in a liquid ( usually urine).
Aluminum collapsible tubesThese are packaging tubings for both ointments and creams that need high barrier properties for the stability of the products for durability.

They are exceptionally fundamental in pharmaceutical, hair-care, food, and industrial products.

Ampoule Filling and sealing machineFills drugs and medications (both liquid formulation and solid formulation) into small-sized glass bottles often referred to as ampoules.

Later it seals the ampoules airtightly.

Ampoule washing machineWashes, cleans and drys ampoule, and vials.
Analgesiometer (Tail flicker type)It issues pain stimulus utilizing a heated nichrome wire in a rat tail to determine analgesic effects of drugs and medications.
Anatomical specimenThe remains of a deceased person that’s crucial for the reason of anatomical examination, especially during studies.
Antibiotic zone readerBy the technique of measuring precisely the diameter of a finished zone in a petri-dish, the device determines the strength of antibiotic materials in use.
Arterial cannulaIt’s Significant during a surgical procedure. You place it in the femoral or axillary artery or sometimes straight into the aorta when placed during an open chest procedure.
Aseptic cabinetIt is a standalone enclosure or cabinet which contains quite dangerous and risky medical substances such as pathogens and other microorganisms.

Its primary purpose is to protect the workers and patients together with the environment, especially in a hospital lab from such seemingly dangerous micro-organisms.

AudiometerThis machine evaluates the hearing sharpness. It comprises of a set of hardware unit with a pair of headphones.

It produces soft tone sounds at distinct volumes to test every ear.

Therefore, the audiometric tests identify the frequencies lost.

AutoclaveIt is a disinfectant machine; it sterilizes or disinfects tools by eradicating any trapped biohazardous wastes products from their surfaces.

The procedure for the disinfection, however, is purely physical, ie. By use of pressure, elevated temperature and steam/ hot air and the time for the disinfection is approximately 15 to 20 minutes but depends on the load size.

Automatic Tissue processorGet ready the tissue samples for sectioning and microscopic analysis in a diagnostic or pharmaceutical laboratory.

The process the tissues undergo is known as tissue processing which involves passing the samples into a variety of chemicals.

Beckmann apparatusAccurately measures the melting points and boiling points relative to the molecular weights of the substance.
Batch printing machineUsed for printing and coding a variety of information on product packages (cartons, poly pack bags, bottles, jars, tin bottoms, cotton bags, pouches, etc.), such information may comprise of batch numbers, manufactured date, expiry date, retail price, etc.
Binocular microscopeAn optical microscope with dual eyepieces that suitably magnifies the object under view, thus limiting eye strain.
BlenderBreaks down large pieces of raw materials while mixing them homogenously.
Blood lancetsA small device with a double-edged needle or blade for pricking the skin such as fingerpricks to acquire small blood specimens during capillary blood sampling. Also, it’s applicable for piercing the skin for testing skin allergies.

Blood lancets are disposable

Boss-headIt keeps a clamp in position in order securely hold glassware just above a Bunsen burner in other cases; it’s suitable in holding test tubes for a variety of lab experiments.

However, you should use a boss-head with a lab stand.

Bottle dryerThey blow hot air inside the bottles to rid them of any unwanted moisture, thereby leaving them sparkingly dry.
Bottle Filling MachineThe filler directly handles the product by filling it into the packages. The products could be powder, granules, cream, foam, or dense substances.

The filling process varies per the machine, some utilizing gravity, negative pressure, or even isobaric.

Above all the machines have to ensure accurate and smooth operation.

Bottle sealing machinePrecisely seals a variety of bottles using a wide range of techniques( electromagnetic induction, manual, etc.) and with different types of seals, i.e., inner seal with caps, capless sealing, capping, etc.
Bottle washing and brushing machineThe machinery has a set of brushes usually for cleaning the interior sections of bottles; meanwhile, the other does the mouth, neck and exterior parts leaving the bottles hygienically tidy.
Burette clampGrasp and securely hold a burette on a standalone stand so that the burette remains fixed and well-situated for the intended usage/experiment.
Retort standYou attach a clamp onto the stand so that it properly holds other instruments such as burettes, test tubes, and flask specifically for titration experiments.
Laboratory BurnerIt can be either gas burner, oil burner or coal burner. Nonetheless, the device burns the source of energy in a controlled manner to produce heat for various laboratory uses.
Capsule filling machineEquipment used for filling up a variety of empty capsules with the products including medicines, nutrients or chemicals.
Capsule counterMachinery that precisely and rapidly counts capsules as compared to the conventional counting technique. Available in different types, ie. Handheld devices, automatic and semi-automatic machines.
Laboratory centrifugeThe device enhances the separation of liquid, gas, or fluids concerning their densities.
ChronoscopeDevice for checking any potential residues of chlorine particles in human consumable drinking water.
Clinical thermometerMost accurate for measuring the human body temperature.
Coating pansFor the formation of film usually aqueous film or organic film around tablets, pellets or granules. Furthermore, they are suitable for sugar-coating tablets.
Colloid millThe device that breaks down and deagglomerate particles of solids in a suspension or liquid size droplet in emulsions.
ColorimeterThe instrument analyzes the different substance concentrations in a particular solution based on the extent of the absorbance of various light wavelengths.
Conical percolatorFor the preparation of pharmaceutical extracts by the percolation procedure.
Counting chamberThe instrument establishes the approximate quantity of cells in every single unit volume of a suspension. Hemocytometer is such an indigenous instrument for determining red blood cell counts.
Crucible tongsMechanically steady steel pincers for grasping and removing the heated crucible from fire or sooner from one point to another.
CyclomixerA small device for homogeneously mixing a small batch of liquids in the laboratories and even factories.
De-dusting machinede-dust as well as cleans tablets by use of compressed air.
Dean-stark apparatusUsed for consistent expulsion of moisture content from items that remain trapped during a chemical reaction.
deep freezersEquipment used for storing and preserving medical instruments, blood samples, drugs/medications, injections, and other pharmaceutical products.
Digital PH meterIt measures the level of acidity or alkalinity in a solution, ie. The hydrogen-ion component.
Digital thermometerIt measures the average human body temperature (37℃), especially the oral, rectal, or armpit temperature.
Digital Tele-thermometerConsistently keeps in check the temperature with the help of several sensor probes connected to it from different sites of the body. The temperature regulation is key, especially during anesthesia, hyperthermia, pyrogen testing, cardiac surgery, etc.
Dispensing balanceUsed for weighing small batch of chemicals and other pharmaceutical products of up to 100gm.
Dissecting traysFor tabling and securing organs to enable a more in-depth view and analysis of the internal structures and components of the specimen.
Dissecting microscopeLow power magnifying stereomicroscope suitable for examining or dissecting specimens in the lab.
Double cone blendersUsed for blending and mixing solid-solid mixture which may even vary in density. Wet massing, drying, and agglomeration makes the other functions it does.
E.C.G MachineChecks and monitors the heart’s activity and functionality by taking into account its electrical action after which the equipment records the heart’s rhythm and displays it on a screen or paper for a more straightforward interpretation by the medic in charge.
Electrophoresis ApparatusThe equipment is essential for separating and analyzing macromolecules  (DNA, RNA ) by applying an electric charge to the molecules, making them move following their charge compliance.
ESR Westergreen tubesMeasures the degree at which red blood cells move out of the plasma.
Fluid bed dryerUsed For a variety of applications such as drying and mixing powders, granules or agglomeration.
Freeze dryerEquipment that eradicates water from the products while also preserving the perishable materials making them suitable for transport and increasing their shelf life.
Friability test apparatus (friabilator)The instrument measures the mechanical strength and stress resistibility of both a compressed and uncoated tablet, thereby enabling more straightforward determination of the tablet durability when in transit.
Fume hoodThe device is a ventilation compartment that shields the personnel from any impending danger caused by hazardous substances such as toxic gases, dust, chemical spillage, flames, etc. associated with the ongoing operation in the fume hood.
GlucometerMonitor the blood sugar level of a person by indicating whether low, high, or average.
HemocytometerSlide or chamber for counting blood cells.
HemoglobinometerBy application of spectrophotometric measurement technique, the hemoglobin meter determines the hemoglobin content of a blood sample.
Hemoglobin pipettesFor discretely dosing the blood sample for examination.
Histamine chamberUsed for assessing the anti-asthmatic properties of some drugs or chemicals.
HumidifierMonitors the surrounding air humidity by always initiating the addition of moisture if the air is to dry.

It’s applicable in humidifier therapy for the treatment of drying of the skin, nose, and lips amongst other conditions.

IncubatorIt provides an optimum condition for the growth and maintenance of microbiological cultures and cell cultures.
Instrument sterilizerEquipment for disinfecting, sterilizing, treating, and taking care of surgical instruments through dry heating or autoclaving.
KymographA cylindrical drum-like device for recording the human body’s physiological activities such as variations in blood pressure, muscular activity, and other phenomena.
Laboratory centrifugeThis device utilizes centrifugal force for the separation of liquids, gas, or fluids according to their density.
Laboratory jacksMetallic scissor shaped device in-between topmost and the base for elevating and lifting other laboratory instruments, i.e., beakers, flasks, stirrer, etc. to a suitable height mostly up to 20 cm according to the person wants.
Magnetic stirrerEquipment that initiates the creation of a rotational magnetic field or a stationary electromagnet for creation os a stir bar, quick spin, stirring, or mixing of a solution all for the formation of a homogenous liquid mixture.
MicroscopeAn instrument for viewing small and tiny objects (microscopic) that aren’t easier to see with the free eye.
Mortar and pestleThe mortar which is a typical bowl made of hard material ( wood, metal, ceramic) and grinder(a hard bar) is vital for crushing and grinding ingredient raw materials into fine paste or powder.
NebulizersIt is easy to use apparatus for the administration of medicine in the form of mist breathed into the lungs by the patient. They are typical for the treatment of respiratory infections such as asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, among other disorders.
Ocular micrometerIt is a fitting glass disk found in the microscope eyepiece with a measurement scale for the calculation of the dimensions of a magnified specimen?
OtoscopeMedical device for checking and diagnosing any infection of the ear by focusing on the interior sections of the organ.
PetridishA small depth cylindrical hard glass or a bowl useful for culturing of cells, i.e., bacteria and other tiny mosses mostly used by biologists.
PhysiographThe instrument for capturing records associated with physiological phenomena such as blood pressure, arterial pulse, respiration, etc.
Pill splitterFor big sized medicinal pills or tablets, the separator which is a small and uncomplicated device cuts them using a blade into the desired size while also storing the unused section in a separate compartment.
Powder filling machineA sophisticated device that accurately weighs the powder product then fills it into a packaging compartment such as box, bag, or another form of packages.
Powder samplerThe sampler samples little volume of free-flowing powdered materials and granules for pharmaceutical unit dosing.
Prescription balanceFor purposes of determining the correct weights of prescribed medicinal drugs and medications before intake or usage, the scales and balances do precisely that.
RBC pipetteMicroDilutionpipette presents inside a hemocytometer for quantitatively determining the red blood cell from a blood sample.
RetinoscopeDevice for assessing and determining the refractive error or problems within a patient’s eyes.
Sieve shakerFor the separation of particles and determining their sizes through agitation and passage via a series of mesh filters.
Sigma mixersFor mixing and kneading adhesives, ceramics, lubricants, pastes, powders, granules, liquids, or plastic material for use.
SpirometerDevice for accounting to the maximum amount of air your lung can accommodate with a single inhale, with that it helps the patient undergo some regular breathing pattern to expand the lung capacity.

All these prevent associated lung ailments, e.g., pneumonia.

StethographIt records the respiratory patterns or activities of a person.
StethoscopeUsed for Listening to heartbeats, lung movements, intestinal activities, or any other inside body processes for diagnostic purposes.
Surgical instrumentsCollection of tools and equipment for performing surgery-related activities such as dissecting, cutting, suturing, retracting, holding, or grasping, etc.

Note; they should be of stainless steel material.

Tablet coating machineIt’s vital for covering the tablets’ surface with a thin layer of film with a view of masking the nasty taste, color, or smell.
Tripod standA three-legged framework or a position that serves as a platform for carrying the object with its entire weight, meanwhile, it efficiently provides mechanical stability for other objects.
UreometerIt analyses the quantities of urea traces present in a urine sample.
V-BlendersSuitable for gentle and vigorous dry blending and homogenous mixing of free-flowing solids.
Vial Sealing machineFor simply and efficiently capping the vials using aluminum or plastic caps.
VialSmall-sized containers usually made of glass or plastics for storing a variety of medication including capsules, fluids, or powders.
Volumetric filling machineEquipment that accurately set adjusts and fill liquids or solid substances by volume into the packages, thereby ensuring uniformly leveled product packages.
Vortex mixerEquipment for homogenously mixing small batches of liquids, especially those in vials.
WBC pipettesA hemocytometer associated device for drawing a blood sample, diluting it accordingly to take count of the present white blood cells.

How do you Classify Lab Instruments?

Every lab has unique needs, demands, and purposes; that’s why the lab instruments are as well of various categories.

Nevertheless, almost all lab equipment comes into a few numbers of categories.

Glassware:

Includes, a wide selection of all the lab instruments that are glass material.

Every single one of them has different functions though most revolve around the measurement of liquids and crystallization of solutions.

Examples: Conical flask, beaker, thermometer, measuring cylinder, Erlenmeyer flasks.

Glassware lab instruments

Glass ware lab instruments – Photo courtesy: Spectrum Scientifics

Experimental Equipment

This category includes all the instruments that scientists use to conduct any tests for data collection and analysis.

Good examples are PCR machines which scientists use for replication and amplification of the DNA for further studies.

Others many include disintegration tester, tablet friability tester, dissolution tester, etc.

Experimental Equipment

Experimental Equipment

Disposable Apparatus

It’s a norm for scientists to use completely sterile instruments, especially in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.

The disposable wares comprise a variety of tubes and flasks such as culture tubes and tissue culture flasks which are vital for sensitive operations.

Laboratory tubes

Laboratory Tubes

Storage Equipment

Most lab chemicals and other materials require proper storage facilities and conditions to make them viable for the next use.

That’s why some facilities make use of advanced security levels such as alarms.

Refrigerators, freezers, liquid nitrogen tanks, and deep freezers are essential storage equipment.

Laboratory storage equipment

Laboratory storage equipment – Photo courtesy: CRS Pharma Solution

Holding and Grasping

These types of equipment are solely for keeping and maintaining the correct positions for the material in use.

They include retort stand, tripod stand, tongs, etc.

Holding equipment

Holding Equipment

Analytical Equipment

Analytical equipment is for the derivation of data from the experiments for use in the publication of such results. For example, spectrophotometers.

spectrophotometers

Spectrophotometers

Cutting

All the instruments scientists use for cutting have got sharp edges for easier penetration and ripping of the base material, e.g., scalpel, dissecting scissors, etc.

Laboratory cutting equipment

 Laboratory cutting equipment – Photo courtesy: Strue

Observing

Instruments enable the user to have an accurate and in-depth examination of the samples or materials to generate data.Eg. Microscope, watch glass, magnifying lenses, etc.

Microscope

Microscope – Photo courtesy: Amscope

Heating

Large groups of apparatus that scientists use for heating purposes; however, each one plays a different role, eg Bunsen burner, boiling tube, etc.

Laboratory heating instrument

Laboratory heating instrument – Photo courtesy: Servo Enterprises

Separation

Separating fluids, liquids, and solids in the lab achievable through filtration, extraction, liquid separation, evaporation, crystallization, distillation amongst others.

Separating funnel, evaporation disk, flask, in turn, are the equipment responsible for the separation.

Separation instrument

Separation instrument – Photo courtesy: Compass Instruments

Why is Laboratory Apparatus Important?

The importance of laboratory apparatus is relative and varies widely by:

  • Field or industry ( medical, pharmaceutical, etc.)
  • Institutions (educational institutions and research centers)

But more specifically, the lab instruments make it easier for conducting various experiments.

Scientists require the equipment for performing multiple tests, speculations, data collection/ analysis, and concluding/ findings.

Without such instruments, it would be undoubtedly tricky.

In educational institutions, it’s as well essential to expose students to the hands-on science laboratory equipment.

It is not only for the sake of compliance with the curriculum but also to instill some long term skills.

Even in tertiary education institutions, learners proceed further into high-level scientific research while pursuing a related science course.

So clearly, without the lab instruments, it isn’t possible to do all that.

What Should You Consider When Buying Lab Instruments?

Buying suitable lab equipment helps you get quality for your money.

That aside below are a few factors you need to delve into before making any quotation.

Disintegration Tester

 Disintegration tester

  • Specify the type of laboratory instrument you want
  • Know the parameters you want to measure
  • Evaluate the properties of the laboratory equipment
  • Ensure the laboratory instruments conforms to the stipulated standards
  • Buy laboratory instruments from reputable manufacturers
  • Conduct factory assessment tests or practical test
  • Ensure the laboratory instrument is calibrated properly
  • Know the operation procedure, maintenance, and troubleshooting
  • Consider warranty

What are the Units of Measurements in Laboratory Instruments?

Handhold thickness

Handhold thickness tester

Scientists worldwide prefer to peg all the measurements in line with the International System of Units( SI, derived from the French Systeme International d’unites).

SI is the metric system of units that’s preferable for use in science, industry, pharmacy, and medicine.

However, in other conventional measurement scenarios and specifically in the United States, scientists use the “imperial” system, which includes such units as gallons, miles, feet, and pounds.

The International System of measurements (SI) has got three categories commonly used for every basic unit of measure.

They include Measured Quantity, Unit Name, and Unit symbol.

The seven base units include:

QuantityUnit NameUnit Symbol
LengthMeterM
MassGramsG
TemperatureKelvinK
TimeSeconds
Quantity of SubstanceMolemol
Electrical currentAmpereA
Luminous IntensityCandelacd

SI Unit Prefixes

By modifying a set of simple prefixes, It’s easier to express the basic SI units into fractions and multiples of basic units.

PrefixSymbolMultiple Value
mega-M1,000,000
kilo-K1,000
hecto-H100
deca-Da10
deci-D0.1
centi-C0.01
milli-M0.001
micro-U0.000001

Other standard units( Volume, Density, Acceleration, Force) are as well derivable by combining both the base units and prefixes.

What is the Recommended Lab Instrument Handling Guidelines?

Tablet usage tester

Tablet usage tester

Most accidents in the laboratory occur due to the improper usage and inadequate maintenance of the apparatus, all as a consequence of negligence and carelessness.

To avert any of those possible unintended issues from rising, you have to consider the following lab apparatus handling guidelines.

a. First forward, always refer to the user manual of appropriate equipment before commencing any operation. The manual enlightens you about possible hazards, safety precautions measures during installation, service, and maintenance.

b. Always keep the operating manuals of the apparatus at an easy to access place in the laboratory.

c. Don’t allow any unauthorized persons or untrained personnel to operate the equipment.

d. Senior users or personnel should always guide/ supervise new users or juniors when operating the equipment.

e. Always keep and adhere strictly to an updated schedule for maintenance and inspection of the appliances according to the manufacturer’s directions.

f. No unauthorized persons should perform any servicing to the equipment. Ensure to reach out to qualified service personnel.

g. Ensure you switch off and unplug the apparatus when making adjustments.

h. At the end of every operation and when not using, switch off the equipment.

i. While operating the equipment, put on protective gear according to the manufacturers’ recommendations.

g. Clearly outline necessary actions in cases of emergency near the equipment and also visibly display contact details for help.

k. Accompany each equipment with caution signs to warn any aspiring user.

l. Locate and install high-pressure equipment away from the laboratory work region, preferably, in a separate room.

m. Prepare and follow standard operating procedures (SOP).

n. Put the power source at an easily accessible point to enhance quick switching off during emergencies.

o. Label correctly and appropriately, the emergency stop switch buttons.

p. For the rotating parts of the equipment, guard them appropriately.

q. Don’t lay or place electric wires along the way where it can easily trip someone. Similarly, keep it away from hot surfaces to avoid any possibility of the damages to the wire insulation.

r. Use safety glasses when operating a lab instrument.

What is Laboratory Quality Management?

As per the ISO 9000:2015 quality management system- fundamentals and vocabulary, we can define QMS by singling out the meaning of each word distinctively.i.e

System: a set of interconnected or interacting elements.

Management–  refers to the coordinated programs to direct and control an organization.

Quality: extent in which a set of inherent features of an object (product, service, process, person, resource, etc.) meets the requirements.

Therefore, QMS refers to the planning, business, and control exercise performed on a lot of components to accomplish quality.

Concerning the laboratory, the precision, unwavering quality, and practicality of the expository outcomes revealed characterize its class, and all parts of diagnostic tasks ought to be controlled.

WHO recommends which Quality Standards for Lab Instruments?

The WHO recommends and enshrines its quality standards through the implementation of the International Organization for Standardization( ISO), which sets rules.

The following ISO standards address relevant issues in the lab instruments.

  • ISO 9000- It deals with the research quality frameworks that deal explicitly with quality administration issues.
  • ISO 17025 and 15189: – addresses necessities for testing and alignment labs and medical labs individually.
  • ISO 17025: 2005 Comprises five components: scope, regularizing references, terms and definitions, management requirements, and specialized necessities. The last two elements being the primary segments.

The management necessities spread determinations of the association, the board framework, document control, survey of solicitations, tenders, and contracts, subcontracting of tests and adjustments, acquiring administrations and supplies, grievances, upgrades, therapeutic activity, preventive activity, control of records, internal reviews, and the executive audits.

Specific necessities manage staff issues, space, and ecological conditions, test, and adjustment strategies, and strategy approval, hardware, estimation detectability,examining.treatment of tes tand alignment things, guaranteeing the nature of test and adjustment results and revealing the outcomes.

  • ISO 15189- Medical laboratories – specific prerequisites for quality and competence.
  • ISO/ IEC 17043 Conformity evaluation – general prerequisites for capability testing.
  • ISO 13528 Statistical techniques for use in capability testing by interlaboratory correlation.
  • OECD GLP – OECD standards on great research facility practice.
  • ISO Guide 34 –General necessity for the capability of reference material makers.
  • ISO 8402 –Quality administration and quality affirmation.
  • ISO 19011 –Guidelines for quality as well as ecological administration framework reviewing.
  • ISO 9001 – Quality administration frameworks- requirements.

What is Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)?

The CLIA of 1988 is the federal regulatory standards of the United States that apply to all the services offered by the clinical laboratories.

Plus the regulation requires all those labs to be certified by their respective states together with the center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The CLIA must be adhered to before the lab accepts any human samples for medical purposes except for clinical trials and some basic research.

Besides, laboratories can acquire several kinds of CLIA certificates depending on the types of diagnostic tests they perform.

The main goal of the CLIA is to guarantee the exactness, unwavering quality, and practicality of test outcomes paying little heed to the organization performing the test. Most laboratory-developed tests follow this program.

Three government offices are in charge of CLIA, each playing a unique function in ensuring quality laboratory testing.

They include:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Center for Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Lab Instruments Measure which Parameters?

Instrumentation is a group term for all the measuring instruments used for indicating, calculating, and detailing physical quantities comprising of the rate of flow, temperature, distance, pressure or level.

Moisture tester

Moisture tester

The lab instruments measure a wide range of parameters. They include:

  • Pressure,ie. Differential, static or blood
  • Flow
  • Temperature
  • Levels of liquids, fluids, etc.
  • Density
  • Frequency
  • Current
  • Voltage
  • Chemical composition
  • Chemical properties
  • Position
  • Vibration
  • Pulse

What is Calibration Test?

Calibration test is the process of comparing unknown value of lab instrument to known standard value.

The known standard value is always the reference point.

The reference equipment of known value has to be specifically linkable to the apparatus calibrated per the ISO/IEC 17025.

However, you should note that some quantities, the reference doesn’t necessarily imply to a device, but rather it could be mass, physical text, reference liquid gas or mechanical part.

Why Calibrate Lab Instruments?

Whatever, the industrial application of the instrument, it is undoubtedly vital to perform calibration of instruments.

Several reasons prompt this, amongst them, include:

  • Regulation standards stipulate regular calibration of the lab instruments. The measures include ISO 9000, ISO 14000, etc.
  • The correctness of all the measurements and respective devices tends to deteriorate with time.
  • A quality system needs calibration.
  • Monetary factors –At the point when the cash transfer or invoicing depends on estimations, unmistakably, the more exact the estimates are, the more precise the cash move.
  • To guarantee the quality of the produced products.
  • Safety precaution. Calibration ensures the safety of both the customers and employees. The employees’ safety is directly proportional to the work area/ plant. The customer’s safety, especially in the food and pharmaceutical industry, is a significant concern.
  • Environmental conservations. It is possible to measure the various emissions from an industrial plant with the aid of estimation gadgets; consequently, keeping these exact with frequent calibrations keeps a clean surrounding.

How do you Calibrate Lab Instruments?

You can calibrate laboratory instruments by:

i. Calibration by examination using a source of known value. In this calibration process, you will adjust the instrument parameters according to match the reference value.

ii. Calibrate by examining DUT estimation alongside the measurement from an adjusted reference standard.

Again, this technique involves the DUT calibration with a source of defined natural value for example melting point and freezing temperatures of pure water.

What are the Types of Calibrations for Lab Instruments?

In modern technology, it is possible to calibrate instruments by the use of generally two types of calibration techniques, i.e. manual or automatic processes.

Tablet hardness tester

Tablet hardness tester

· Manual Laboratory Instrument Calibration

In this category, you need two instruments, ie. DUT and a reference device.

Finally, you would compare the results between the two and adjust where necessary.

For example; to calibrate pressure gauge; you need to connect the device under test to another standard reference master gauge.

Plus you would require an adjustable pressure source.

After that, you would adjust the DUT to zero points, make multiple fine-tuning and adjustments, while manually keeping the records.

· An Automatic Calibration for Laboratory Instruments

This procedure involves the usage of an electronic control unit.

For example, a pressure intensifier for compressing gasses such as nitrogen, or pressure transducer to sense the correct levels in a hydraulic accumulator.

Besides, the automatic unit may also comprise an automated data collection and recording.

Aside from the automatic and manual way of calibration, we may consider another two types of procedures:

  • Traceable calibration certificate
  • ’UKAS calibration certificate

· A Traceable Calibration Certificate

It involves referencing your tools against pre-calibrated systems to calculate a degree of mistake. The benefit of this technique is; it’s high regard for much flexibility in conducting testing and adjustments.

Meaning, any instrument that deviates from the set specification is re-adjusted and re-tested.

· UKAS calibration Certificate

The UKAS calibration can only be conducted by a lab that fulfills the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025.

That is after being awarded a UKAS calibration certificate.

For this technique, the instruments have to comply with the set international standards.

Failure to which the devices must undergo a new adjustment before you can re-send them for calibration.

What is the Difference between Calibration and Verification in Lab Instruments?

Calibration is the dual procedure of measuring and adjusting the precision of an instrument relative to a recognized measurement standard. It is also known as a calibration standard issued by the bureau of standards, for example, NIST.

Verification – this the procedure intended to guarantee that your device or process continues to perform its intended function from the outset.

Usually, it is an internal procedure focusing on the mandate of maintaining and stabilizing the performance of an instrument or method for an extended period.

How Often Should You Calibrate Laboratory Equipment?

Most industries perform calibration annually after which they acquire a calibration certificate for retaining as evidence of quality standards.

Besides, technicians advice a shift in calibration from yearly to a few times within a year or maybe upgrade to more technically upright instruments.

Regardless of all that, you may consider some of the following factors when determining a suitable calibration interval:

  • The criticality of the measurement involved.
  • Manufacturer’s recommended interval.
  • The historical stability and background information of the instrument.
  • The involved Regulatory demands and quality system.
  • Reasonable costs and consequences incurred during failed calibration.
  • Consider the tolerance process requirements of the instruments.
  • The accuracy level of the instrument.
  • The workload of the related appliance i.e. a frequently used instrument needs frequent calibration.
  • Environmental factors; instruments operating in adverse conditions should be often calibrated.

How do you Determine Resolution in a laboratory Instrument?

Weighing a patient

Weighing a patient – Photo courtesy: Cosmo

Resolution is the ability of the measurement device to detect and record minute variation in the traits of the result.

For an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter, the resolution could mean the contrast between the highest recorded signal to the lowest measurement.

Therefore, it means that an instrument with high resolution can record up to microscopic measurement.

However, it doesn’t necessarily translate into greater accuracy and vice versa.

So how do we determine resolution?

i. Pick several devices with pre-known values over a range from maximum to minimum values to make a determination in the laboratory.

ii. Begin with the two most remote devices and measure each.

iii. After that, measure the two instruments with the second most significant difference.

iv. Repeat the preceding procedure repeatedly till you come by two equipment that gives similar consistent results.

v. Finally, the variation between the two values obtained above with the instruments gives an approximate value of resolution.

What is Precision in Laboratory Instruments?

The precision of a lab instrument refers to the degree at which measurements are reproducible or repeatable over a range of conducted tests/ recordings.

For that matter, we can sometimes simplify precision into two inferences,i.e:

  • Repeatability –continuously repeating the same measurement within the shortest period possible while noting the variation. However, all the conditions must be constant by using a similar device and operator.
  • Reproducibility – The difference in results due to similar measurement procedures while using different instruments and operators over more extended periods.

Do Accuracy and Precision Mean the Same in Laboratory Equipment?

Accuracy is the measure of the extent of closeness of a result to the real/ correct value of the same measurement.

Whereas, the precision of a measurement refers to the general consistency of the costs.

What should you Consider when Choosing Laboratory Analytical Instruments?

You should consider the following:

  • Accuracy; since analysis is a sensitive issue, you cannot miss accurate measurements and recordings. It would be fatal.
  • Sensitivity; the instruments need to be quick to detect and record even the slightest of changes within a sample.
  • Resolution; as initially outlined, you need a suitable instrument should that take count of any variation in the derived results.
  • Signal noise; disturbances significantly affects the credibility of results in an analytical lab. Therefore, ensure it’s down.
  • Benchtop dimensions; is the instrument adequately fitting your workstation? It should sufficiently settle on your tabletop.
  • Portability; more often, you need to consider the flexibility of your device. Portability will be essential especially when you require to re-station your equipment.
  • Multi-parameter testing capabilities –evaluate the most critical information you want to obtain from your sample analysis and pick the right instrument that will do precisely that.
  • Ask in case of any other additional clearance regarding safety and environmental issues.

Is there a difference between pharmaceutical instruments and laboratory instruments?

Yes, we have a slight difference between the two categories of instruments.

First, pharmaceutical instruments include all the tools, devices, gadgets, or apparatus used in drugs and medicine industries.

Elsewhere, laboratory instrument is a general term for a wide variety of a set of devices, vessels or other tools required for various laboratory needs such as analysis and synthesis.

In addition, the pharmaceutical instruments are specifically for use in the laboratory but for drugs and medicinal purposes.

On the other hand, ‘lab instruments’ is an all-inclusive term since it applies to all the labs including, chemistry, biological, botanical, and even pharmaceutical labs.

Which Laboratory Instruments Does SaintyCo Manufacture?

SaintyCo manufactures a range of CGMP  compliant lab instruments such as?

Is SaintyCo a Certified Laboratory Instruments Manufacturer and Supplier?

Yes, SaintyCo is certified laboratory instruments manufacturer. All our laboratory instruments conform to the FDA’s CGMP requirements, CE standards, CCC standards, ISO requirements, etc.

What is the MOQ for SaintyCo Laboratory Instruments Order?

SaintyCo has a flexible MOQ depending on your specific requirements. You can contact us for more information.

Why Should You Buy Lab Instruments from SaintyCo?

  • Years of experience in laboratory equipment manufacturing
  • Over 100 different types of laboratory instruments available
  • Compliance with lab instrument manufacturing standards and regulations
  • Investing in new and accurate laboratory equipment technologies
  • Cost competitive prices on laboratory instruments and equipment
  • Reliable technical team who help execute FAT and URS preparation
  • Reliable after sales service and support
  • All our lab instruments have warranty