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It is safe to say that most, if not all, life science organizations have concerns with maintaining and maximizing equipment functionality, while mitigating and minimizing any equipment downtime.

When machines are down, time and money spent goes up. A study from www.industryweek.com, indicates that unscheduled downtime accounts for $20 billion of total cost in process and manufacturing industries, which is almost 5% of the total output value. When the average cost of downtime for most industrial applications is $30-$50k per hour, and more finite industrial applications can exceed $200k per hour, equipment downtime can be seen as one of the biggest bottlenecks for industrial operations.

The life science industry utilizes a lot of robust, expensive equipment to execute complex scientific processes. In a recent publication from “Meticulous Research”, the global market for life sciences and laboratory equipment is expected to reach $55 billion within the next 5 years. This equipment must function optimally at all times, often around the clock. Even so, on average, there are at least 15 hours of unplanned operational downtime at life science organizations per year. This may not seem like much initially, but when the impact of unplanned downtime costs are viewed in comparison to 100% equipment functionality or fractions thereof, the differences are staggering.

Difference in Cost of Unplanned Downtime--99% and 99.95% Equipment Availability

Availability Unplanned downtime per year Cost per year at $10k/hour Cost per year at $50k/hour
99% 87.7 hours $874k $4.4m
99.95% 4.4 hours $44k $218k


Risk Assessment--Challenges & Solutions

In addition to the continuous functionality of lab equipment needed to achieve desired research results and foster innovation, life science companies are subject to strict regulations and standards from various organizations and agencies such as the FDA, CAP, CLIA, and many others. Monitoring laboratory equipment, assets, and facilities is imperative, and often required to remain compliant in the event of an internal or external audit. When considering the challenges and costs of dealing with equipment downtime and the appropriate protocols to decrease downtime, along with the required regulatory aspects to remain compliant, it is evident that implementing laboratory monitoring and asset management systems can have significant benefits to overall operations. 

Running a risk assessment for lab equipment and assets to determine the exact value of various process, production, and manufacturing equipment is an important step for facilities and operations teams to ensure all necessary components or replacement parts are available to bring systems live again in the event of a failure. This will decrease potential downtime and mitigate the overall impact of equipment and other failures. Lab monitoring and asset management practices allow organizations to proactively view important equipment conditions and properly maintain them. These solutions should be a fundamental aspect for all life science equipment and facility conditions.

Understanding the value of each device and asset provides increased oversight and accountability for key components of laboratory operations and scientific processes. There are a wide variety of laboratory equipment and devices that enable experiment workflows. From very high-end, next-generation sequencers, to more general lab equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, incubators and cryogenic storage devices, each device plays an important role, and although the latest and greatest (or most expensive) lab equipment garners a lot of attention, it is the more general equipment that lay a laboratory’s foundation. Common types of lab equipment—most cold storage devices—are utilized in almost every stage of the drug development life cycle and nearly every aspect of a research project is dependent upon these devices when considering most samples, reagents, tissues and cells used during experimentation require storage in specific cold temperatures.

Interconnected equipment and devices are becoming the best way for life science organizations to streamline processes and improve innovation. There are a variety of lab systems that can benefit from integration, but determining where to begin can be challenging. In any event, sustainable competitive advantages are gained when technologies are properly integrated to ensure seamless data acquisition and exchange.

XiltriX Real-Time Lab Monitoring Increases Equipment Value

XiltriX implements and proactively maintains a robust, real-time laboratory monitoring solution for life science organizations. Utilizing state-of-the-art sensors, industrial grade hardware, and secure cloud-based software, XiltriX provides 24/7 environmental and laboratory monitoring for all equipment, environmental parameters, and pertinent building systems. This allows for added oversight into lab equipment operations. The valuable data derived from equipment and facility conditions is used for preventive maintenance and increases the longevity of equipment run-time. 

The XiltriX Safety Net team of monitoring experts is included as part of XiltriX Monitoring-as-a-Service. The team works side by side with customers to provide predictive analytics and automated reports with value-added data every step of the way. This alleviates the burden of implementing and maintaining a robust monitoring system internally and enables employees to focus on important, science-based tasks.

 

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