Pre-owned equipment can prove to be a blessing for labs that don’t have enough funding or require the equipment for only a short amount of time. With minor fixes, you can get it to function as good as new and avoid the hassle of buying an entirely new instrument!
Here are few tips to ensure smooth functioning of your new pre-owned equipment:
- Connect with a reliable, knowledgable person about the equipment. If possible, contact the manufacturer for help on quality control and repairs/services.
- Ask for latest data generated using the equipment. Repeat a similar experiment in your lab to verify the functional aspects.
- Always use relevant experimental controls to rule out instrument bias.
- Use similar reagents/parts as the previous owner, unless compatibility with new reagents/parts is established.
- Obtain important information and certifications about last quality checkup, warranty, contact person, model number, configuration, software details etc.
- Ask the previous owner about maintenance and handling.
- Ensure software compatibility with the computers existing in your lab.
- Obtain information on the latest errors faced while using the machine, so advance preparations can be made.
- 3Cs: Clean, Communicate, Coordinate. Clean the equipment. Communicate with either tech support/manufacturer/previous owner. Coordinate to ensure smooth functioning!