Human and Equipment Error- Why Laboratories Need Remote Sensors

why labs need sensors

If equipment in a lab is compared to the "backbone" of a project, then sensors should be its eyes and ears. If you already have sensors in your laboratory, then you are much like many biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Installing sensors has become a key component of most projects. However, the next phase of sensors is here, and it's more than a thing of convenience- remote monitoring is now the next wave of keeping all project assets, equipment, and facilities in order.

Important Materials Lost

In the spring of 2017, the Canadian Ice Core Archive (CICA) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, experienced a monumental misfortune. In that fateful early morning, the cooling system inside the facility's two main freezers failed. The facility and all the equipment within it was a mere six months old and had been functioning as expected. There was no need to consider its reliability.

The team was alerted only after the fire alarm was triggered when temperatures had reached 35°C (95°F). By then, damages and loss included partial melting of one-eighth of the facility's 1,409-metre collection of ice cores, the oldest of which dated back more than 60,000 years. The irreplaceable loss was devastating.

Had the CICA been remotely monitoring the freezer power input/output, they would have been alerted when the change was detected, saving them casualties to their supply.

Small Mistakes Add Up

In estimation, every three months, the average laboratory wastes $20,000 because of human error. It can be as simple as an employee leaving a refrigeration system door ajar, the incorrect data recorded onto a clipboard, or a sensitive piece of equipment being dropped or mishandled.

These seemingly innocuous mistakes can result in lost time, project assets, and, most importantly, money. And, heaven forbid, should an error be made with biohazardous materials- the costs could be much more than monetary.

Monitoring Leads to Success

Lab Medicine from Oxford Academic has stated, "The success of any efforts made to reduce errors must be monitored in order to assess the efficacy of the measures taken. Quality indicators must be used for assessment.

Monitoring temperatures inside equipment or workspace ensures maintenance of exact conditions to keep all environments controlled. Being alerted the moment temperature fluctuates gives technicians and managers time to react to changes before costly waste or lost work occurs.

Monnit Sensors are Next Level

As previously mentioned, monitoring equipment and space is most definitely imperative. But what about when you aren't on-site? The advantage to the Monnit Remote Sensors is it allows managers and technicians to receive alerts directly to their phones. No matter the time of day or where they might be, they are alerted the moment a change to the "norm" is detected. This allows quicker response time to issues and peace of mind, knowing they can correct the problems before they become catastrophic.

Monnit's award-winning solutions include 80 plus sensor types, customized to any environment for specific laboratory needs, are easily installed within minutes, and last years on a few small batteries. For the price of a new phone, you could save some of that $80,000 in annual waste and sleep at night, knowing your lab is monitored for any potential problem.

For more information on how remote monitoring can improve your laboratory equipment and maintenance, quality, and efficacy, go online to or call 1.801.561.5555.

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