Five of the Largest Laboratory Costs Associated with Pipettes: How to Control and Reduce Them

Unseen, Ongoing and Residual--these are words that often describe the excessive and frustrating costs associated with pipettes in the regulated laboratory. In our experience with our customers, here are five of the common sources of these costs that vary in their severity depending upon your applications. We hope we can help guide you to controlling, and perhaps eliminating some of these costs.

1.Pipette Deviations

Our customers tell us that pipette deviations cause the most concern. Deviations result from a pipette failure during initial “As Found” calibration, but also occur when pipettes are found to be problematic for one reason or another during a lab process. Deviations are found to be upwards of $15,000 each due to lengthy impact investigations, lost work time, repeated experiments and other factors. A few successful countermeasures may be decreasing a calibration interval to reduce investigation time, pipette training seminars to reinforce Best Practices in order to prevent mistakes or misuse, or, if your process allows, widening your calibration test tolerances during “As Found” to prevent reported pipette failures. Even with a pipette failure, TTE Laboratories provides an explanation (when apparent) of the failure on each certificate in order to aid you in your investigation process.

2. Proper Use and Care of Instruments

Just as you care for your car (or not!), proper maintenance and respect for your vital instruments creates residual savings. Pipettes that are dropped, misused, or suspect should be taken out of service and repaired immediately. In our experience, customers hold their employees accountable by assigning specific pipettes to particular assays, technicians, or even locations see the fewest problems.

3. Replacement

Though not a Mass Spec or Plate Handler, pipettes can still be an expense to replace. Lab managers would do well to learn about pipettes that have the lowest costs to own instead of resorting to the same instruments you’ve always used. Some brands, though a good practice, can lock you into one specific tip or consumable that can end up on backorder. The experts at TTE Laboratories and Pipettes can advise you, or consider our EON S Pipette---a premium pipette with a Forever warranty including no future parts costs, no repair costs, and free replacement. The EON S is the pipette with the lowest cost of ownership on the market.

4. Calibration Properly Done

Pipette service providers vary in their pricing and procedures, creating confusion in the marketplace. Choose a service provider that follows proper measurement procedures defined by ISO standards, includes a full preventative maintenance and repairs, and a quick turnaround. Getting it done right every time is always in your best interest.

5. Managing the Pipette Inventory

Companies with hundreds of active pipettes to manage need a reliable documentation system to store all calibrations, due dates, and historical information. As part of our calibration services, TTE Laboratories not only provides this instantaneous support for all our customers, we’ll even staff a TTE employee at larger sites to handle all the details and manage the entire program.