Elements of Maintenance Planning for Laboratory Equipment (Part 2)

Planned Maintenance

  • Also Preventive Maintenance or Scheduled Maintenance
  • Pre-planned and scheduled
  • Involves scheduled service visits by competent   service agent, but may also include periodical checks  and care by User
  • Can be date-based or hours-based
  • Allows for easier planning of maintenance
  • Allows for easier ordering and inventory of spares
  • Allows for easy budgeting and costs management
  • Allows for an essentially trouble-free instrument life

Impact of Environmental Conditions and Other Factors

Environmental Conditions

  • Basically temperature, humidity and light
  • Comply with Manufacturers recommended environmental conditions
  • Temperature affects instrument stability; high temperature may damage some instrument components and PCBs
  • High humidity can also damage instrument components and PCBs
  • Use of air-conditioners and/or dehumidifiers may be necessary.
  • Light may damage optical components in spectrophotometers


  • Instruments work within precise and specified gas pressure ranges
  • Use high quality and functional pressure regulators; preferably 2-stage regulators
  • High gas pressures can damage components such as valves and electronic flow regulators in instruments
  • Instruments also require highly pure gases devoid of moisture, hydrocarbons and other impurities —–VERY IMPORTANT
  • Impure gases can damage valves, electronic flow regulators, GC columns and block GC capillary gas lines
  • Use high quality gases and gas filters


  • Perhaps, the greatest singular cause of equipment malfunction in the country
  • Voltage and frequency very important
  • Damage to instrument components can occur due to voltage and/or frequency fluctuation and intermittent power supply
  • Facility wiring and grounding also very important and critical
  • Use of good quality line conditioners, voltage stabilizers and UPS may be necessary


  • An untrained User is the greatest source of danger to an equipment, as well as to himself and the facility.
  • Users must be trained and qualified in the operation and basic user maintenance of an instrument before they begin to use
Written by Muyiwa Adebola

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