Expert Advice November December

By Staff

Year end is fast approaching and the list of items that needs to be completed seems to grow faster than your lawn in the summer. One of the most important items you can consider is a professional annual service on your equipment. This is akin to a factory tune up on your car. An annual service usually includes a thorough cleaning, replacing of all your worn parts and a detailed inspection of your machine by a factory-trained technician as well as a service report that will let you know what the technician did and their recommendations going forward. The biggest mistake you can make is to neglect a thorough annual service because machines appear to be running fine now. The annual service will help keep them running fine for the next year while alerting you to any potential issues that may be on the horizon. An annual service is not a remedy for skipping your required preventative maintenance throughout the year but it is certainly going to help ensure that your machines are ready for the new year and in as good as condition as possible. Schneider offers a PM Express program with a flat price for each machine. So as you begin to think about the end of this year and the beginning of the next one, now would be a good time to call your equipment supplier and get on the schedule for an annual maintenance. Kevin Cross, Schneider Optical Machines

Often overlooked, but vital to any successful lab operation are the utilities required to run the machines. Perhaps most important, and most overlooked, is a proper supply of good, clean power. In today’s lab, nearly everything is run by computers, including the processing machines, which are particularly sensitive to things like voltage spikes and “noise” on the incoming AC line voltage. Noise can come in a variety of forms, but is most often seen as current flowing through a neutral line where there should be none. This stray current can knock out sensitive cards within computers or destroy hard drives that can then cause tremendous damage to whatever that computer is controlling.
This is why every lab should consider having a “power audit” done on their facility, particularly if they are experiencing a high number of these failure types. Companies like Power Edge come to your facility and do a thorough visual inspection as well as place monitoring equipment in several locations. In a relatively short time they provide a full written report of any issues you may have. A reliable supply of clean, dry compressed air is also important to a successful operation. Many machines require this air to function and are usually sensitive to things like oil and water in the supply lines. Consult with a pneumatics professional prior to any additions or changes to your lab that will require compressed air to confirm your equipment is suitable for the demand that will be required.
When thinking about your utilities, don’t forget to evaluate your fresh water supply. Water that is too hard or too soft or out of Ph balance will almost certainly have an adverse effect on any equipment it comes in contact with. Excessive corrosion, foaming, and clogging of supply lines are indicators of poorly conditioned water. Have your supply checked regularly to ensure it is up to industry standard. Ian Gregg, Satisloh

The term “industrial” when referring to lab equipment, often gives one a sense of large, weighty units, taking up a significant amount of floor space. When combined with the presumption of common six-figure investments, many pragmatic lab managers can consequently become intimidated. The ability to achieve quality, consistent “industrial” volume outputs needn’t be tied to this level of size and cost thinking. With regards to finishing equipment, the technological advances over the past few years provide the same quality and volume results with robust, “24/7” table-top equipment options. Labs are looking for these operator- and budget-friendly alternatives, along with easy self-maintenance to assure minimal spoilage of any kind.
A great example of such technology in edging is the “new” SE-9090-Supra tabletop 24/7 Industrial Edger from Santinelli International, now in its 4th generation of high-performance production. This latest generation includes much sought-after features: in-chamber grooving, customizable beveling and shelf beveling on the most complex high base curve lenses. The unit delivers on-axis consistency, which is paramount to first-time-fit needs and finish quality, such as a diamond luster polish.
There’s little need to change an entire finish room layout when in reality, “industrial” lens finishing technologies (edging, tracing, and blocking) can be compact while meeting the individual daily production and specific lab floor dynamics at a reasonable price point. Current technologies such as the SE-9090-Supra that can be adapted to full-finish automation at time of purchase or added at any future point, make satisfying “industrial” needs with more suitable tabletop units an ideal solution. Steve Swalgen, Santinelli International


Labtalk June 2020