Proactive vs Reactive. The Value of Preventative Maintenance

No sane scientist would say that operating and managing a laboratory is a small feat! One key process (that unfortunately isn’t always kept on top of!) is keeping laboratory instrumentation well maintained. How well your systems are treated matters, both to your clients and your team. Let’s look at the benefits preventative maintenance provides for your instruments.

Hidden issues plaguing your lab

It’s critical that safety and productivity is prioritised within a lab environment. If the staff and managers show a lapse in attention, then severe issues can develop behind the scenes! Not only can these issues lead to project delays, but in the worst cases they can potentially cause staff industry and facility shutdown. By investing in your instrumentation and preventative maintenance, you stay ahead of these issues and minimise the risk of failure.

Making your money go further

It’s no secret that preventative maintenance can be very cost-effective in the long term. With the capital investment, fragility and sensitivity of analytical instrumentation, repair costs can be extremely dear! Employing preventative maintenance ensures issues are identified and corrected before the embarrassing and costly call to the manufacturer.

Another economic benefit of preventative maintenance is enhancing productivity within the lab. Just think, what would happen if your most used instrument experienced unexpected critical failure? It would likely grind the lab to a near standstill! Preventative maintenance conserves laboratory productivity by heading off issues before they become a problem. It can even boost productivity as operators can push instruments to their maximum capacity, without fear of damaging the machine!

Consistency is key!

Consistent performance (including reliability and accuracy) is the cornerstone of a successful laboratory. It’s impossible to verify developed methods and results unless instrumentation is consistent, especially when you may be running the same analysis day in and day out. Preventative maintenance guarantees that your instruments are in optimal form and your results are accurate, and your clients are kept happy (potentially leading to more business!).

Age is but a number, but for older instruments preventative maintenance is key to longevity and consistency in results. The last thing you want is having to purchase a replacement instrument due to irreparable damage (on top of technician call-out fees!). Safety of operators is also paramount, and instrument failure, especially in a laboratory setting, carries a risk of harming staff.

What instrument should I focus on?

A key consideration that needs to be addressed is what instruments benefit the most from regular preventative maintenance. The priority should be given to laboratory instruments used the most, as these are both key to operational success and the most likely to develop issues through continual operation. Another priority should be the instruments with the highest sensitivity and most delicate measurement systems. Minor issues can have a huge impact in terms of readings and data quality with highly sensitive instruments, so consistent maintenance and recalibration is critical.

Laboratories in certain industries often handle harmful substances. Instrumentation that is subjected frequently to dangerous chemicals (potentially corrosive or toxic) need to be frequently assessed and maintained to ensure staff safety. Systems placed under high pressure (HPLC/UPLC for example) should also be frequently monitored, as the strain of frequent use can lead to damage and potentially severe consequences.


Ultimately there is a cost involved in both proactive and reactive maintenance, but it is clear that the investment in frequent and professional preventative maintenance brings a far greater benefit to laboratories long-term. From operator safety, to protecting your capital equipment and ensuring consistency in analysis, proactive maintenance ensures your lab is running efficiently.

Our Service and Support division have over 45 years’ experience when it comes to preventative maintenance for our wide range of analytical instrumentation. With unparalleled experience and support, you can be sure that your instruments stay in top form, throughout their lifespan! To find out more, you can follow the link below:

If you would like to see our full range of Customer Care Service Plans, designed for a variety of price points and laboratory needs, then please click the link below to read our service flier:

If you are wanting to discuss any of our Customer Care Service Plans or want to book in a Planned Maintenance (PM) visit, get in touch by calling us on 0845 873 8181 or reach us by email: