Does lab equipment longevity really matter?
The purpose of some laboratory equipment is relatively straightforward. Like many of our competitors, the products in our catalog offer protection for personnel, products, and environments as required by application and to make laboratory spaces more versatile and efficient.
There's something else, though—something Labconco has not forgotten in all our 91 years of engineering and manufacturing the products that fill university teaching labs, forensic science facilities, clean rooms and more: Science is about people, and our job is to empower those people with the tools they need to excel. You see, it's not just about our work—it's about the important work of our extended family of customers.
We take this responsibility seriously, which is why we've long been committed to a manufacturing process that prioritizes quality. In many cases, our equipment even becomes obsolete before it fails. Take, for instance, one scientist’s experience with a laboratory cart that even outlasted its facility and found a new home in an old friend’s shop. We’re talking about Gene McGough, and you can read his story here: Laboratory Cart 604: A Love Story.
Laboratory carts aren't our only products that have long lives—not by a long shot. For example, in 2013, we set out in search of the oldest, still functional freeze dryer so we could learn its story (and offer its home lab a new FreeZone® Freeze Dryer, glassware credit, PrimeMate™ Oil Change System, and Mini Stoppering Chamber for humoring us). We were most impressed by the winning submission below from Mr. Kush Shah from Texas A&M. The unit was so old that we could no longer track the serial number, but Mr. Shah was still pleased with its operation.
"Our freeze dryer has been well maintained with pride and care by our lab members and operates perfectly... We will use the newly acquired equipment to perform cutting edge research in the field of nanotechnology and drug delivery," he told us.
There were numerous entries that received honorable mention, such as the one submitted by Sushma Trehan of Physical Optics Corp.
"I have used Labconco Freeze Dryers 'til they go obsolete. I want to use them 'til I go obsolete. I still have a few productive years left," she shared with us.
Now, there certainly are instances when antique lab equipment is simply too old to use, especially when containment is of utmost importance. All in all, though, we’re just glad that when we say you can count on us, you know that we can offer you equipment that will honor our word. That’s a very good feeling.