Searching for a centrifuge maintenance provider can be a daunting task if you don’t know what you are looking for. After all, your centrifuge is a core piece of laboratory equipment and you will want to make sure it is properly maintained by a competent service provider.
In this month’s blog, we highlight some of the key things to look out for when choosing a centrifuge maintenance provider. We will look at some of the questions you may want to consider asking any potential company you choose to partner with.
Is the potential partner a centrifuge maintenance specialist?
How much knowledge does the company you are speaking to actually know about centrifuges? Many service providers offer service, repair and calibration on a range of laboratory equipment. It could be the case that centrifuges may make up only a small part of their service and the reality is that their engineers seldom work on them.
That being said, you won’t want to work with a company who only do centrifuges. This is because you can make cost savings if the same engineer can service other equipment at the same time. However, at the same time, you don’t really want to partner with a ‘Jack of all trades’ company either.
What is the centrifuge maintenance provider’s coverage like?
Most centrifuge maintenance providers will have a team of engineers located around the UK. It would be prudent to ask, not only how many engineers they have, but where your local engineer is based. This is because this will have an impact on how quickly the service provider can act in the event of a repair. This is particularly important if you live in a remote part of the country.
Check that the centrifuge maintenance provider can properly calibrate your equipment
If you need to have your centrifuges calibrated, then this aspect is crucial. If you need calibrations to ISO 17025 standards, then you must search for a centrifuge service provider that is UKAS accredited. In addition to this, you should check the company’s UKAS schedule. Here you will find details of what equipment they are permitted to calibrate and to what values. You will also find on their schedule what their Measurement of Uncertainty is. This will give you an idea of how accurate the centrifuge calibration will be. You can easily look up any company’s UKAS schedule by visiting the UKAS website.
Is the centrifuge service provider able to supply replacement equipment?
When a centrifuge comes to the end of its working life, you will need to buy replacement equipment. It is useful if your centrifuge service provider has strong links with equipment manufacturers. This means they will be able to get you a good deal on a new device. Since the company will be buying lots of centrifuges for lots of different customers, they will usually have access to good discounts as they are buying in bulk. A portion of this discount is often passed onto the customer. This means that it is not always cost effective to go direct. It also saves you a lot of time shopping around for suppliers and obtaining quotations.
Check the price of their service
It goes without saying that price is a major factor when deciding who to use to service your centrifuges. However, it is important to look beyond the face-value cost of servicing your centrifuges. Some suppliers may offer a very low cost servicing rate and then over charge you for any repair visits. Or they may make the money up when selling you replacement equipment. I wrote a blog about this subject back in April 2016.
Other factors to consider
There are also a number of other softer factors you should consider above and beyond the company’s technical abilities and their price. For example, what does the prospective centrifuge service provider feel about environmental issues? Do they have any green credentials? Does the company support any charities or help out in their local community? Does the company care about the wellbeing of their staff? Are they a Living Wage Employer? Do they have policies for equal opportunities monitoring? It is important to ask these questions to better understand what type of company they are.
You will want to make sure that your centrifuge service partner is not only good at what they do, but also ethical in the way they carry out their business.
How Henderson Biomedical can help
Henderson Biomedical is a specialist centrifuge maintenance provider based in the London area. We have Field Service Engineers located throughout the UK and can provide you with first-class service of not just centrifuges, but also other pieces of laboratory equipment. If you would like to discuss how we can help you or if you have any questions about centrifuge service, repair calibration or sales, please contact our friendly team on 020 8663 4610. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form.