On-Site Lab Equipment Services through Cole-Parmer with TSS

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FAQs for On-Site Preventive Maintenance and Calibration of Scientific Equipment

Cole-Parmer offers nationwide, on-site preventive maintenance and calibration services for your laboratory equipment through our partnership with AL-TAR, an authorized lab equipment preventive maintenance and calibration services representative. So, when you need on-site services, you can get them through Cole-Parmer—no matter where you are in the 48 continental states.

Q. What is AL-TAR?

A. AL-TAR is an authorized ISO 17025-accredited lab equipment preventive maintenance and calibration services representative for over 150 leading manufacturers, dealers, and distributors in the field of biotechnology. AL-TAR’s extensive service network includes 50 field offices, allowing us to offer fixed rate on-site services for the contiguous 48 states. AL-TAR employs experienced field engineers with extensive training—team experience is 100+ years on some key product groups. Starting with internal training programs, focusing on the World Health Organization (WHO) maintenance manuals and OEM guidelines, AL-TAR PM technicians work to “prevent” costly equipment failure with detailed checklists and functional testing. Checklists are developed to follow current guidelines established by entities such as the College of American Pathologists, FDA Code of Federal Regulations 21 CFR 820.181, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Section 42 CFR 493.1254, and USP Guidelines.

Q. Is AL-TAR’s calibration service as reliable as your in-house InnoCal® calibration service?

A. Yes. Al-TAR has been a trusted resource in calibration services since 1986. Calibration with NIST-traceable standards assures your compliance to regulatory guidelines; accurate, repeatable measurement; and reliable operation of your equipment. AL-TAR offers deep professional experience and expert recommendations on equipment calibration. But you get the final say over calibration parameters and tolerances.

Q. Do you only accept Cole-Parmer products for on-site calibration?

A. No, AL-TAR provides calibration services on many top brands, and we include those as part of our program.

Q. What types of products are included for preventive maintenance and calibration services?

A. You can have on-site preventive maintenance and calibration services for the following types of products:

Q. How does the pricing work?

A. Cole-Parmer offers simple service pricing that includes travel costs, so you can easily purchase on-site laboratory equipment preventive maintenance and calibration services through our website which will be performed by an experienced AL-TAR technician at your site. In the contiguous 48 states, there’s one fee for calibration and maintenance, and even qualification services on many products.

Flat rate is for services scheduled by our team within a 45-day window from purchase. Expedited service and some exceptions may require additional charges. You will be advised on those charges before they are incurred so there are no surprises. Bulk rate discount pricing may be available when multiple services are being performed at the same site—call for more information.

Q. How do I schedule my on-site visit?

A. Complete the simple online form during checkout to place your order. An AL-TAR representative will contact you directly to schedule your on-site services. Typically, AL-TAR will call to schedule a service within 2 to 3 business days of an order being placed. Often the services will be confirmed a few days ahead of any scheduled service, so everything is in place for a successful visit.

Q. What happens after I complete the online form?

A. AL-TAR will directly schedule the on-site services with you; they will typically call within 2 to 3 business days of the order being placed online. Often the services will be re-confirmed a few days ahead of any scheduled service so that everything is in place for a successful visit. During checkout, please enter information in the free-form text box for the contact person. AL-TAR will work with you to coordinate the on-site visit, as well as any other information requested.

Q. What on-site services do you provide?

A. We offer a solid preventive maintenance and calibration plan, and IQ/OQ/PQ qualification packages for your key equipment. Such services can help avoid unplanned downtime and expensive repairs, so your workflow, research, or production can continue uninterrupted.

Starting with internal training programs, focusing on the World Health Organization (WHO) maintenance manuals and OEM guidelines, AL-TAR PM technicians work to “prevent” costly equipment failure with detailed checklists and functional testing. Checklists are developed to follow current guidelines established by entities such as the College of American Pathologists, FDA Code of Federal Regulations 21 CFR 820.181, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Section 42 CFR 493.1254, and USP Guidelines.

Q. Do you offer IQ/OQ/PQ?

A. Yes, we offer:

  • Installation Qualification (IQ)
    • Document and verify that your new equipment is compatible with your laboratory environment
    • Confirm all utilities and supplies to be within manufacturer specifications
    • Install that equipment according to manufacturer guidelines
  • Operational Qualification (OQ)
    • Evaluate the functionality of your equipment against parameters provided by the manufacturer
    • Test empty chamber/load conditions
  • Performance Qualification (PQ)
    • Verify and document how well your equipment performs throughout all operating ranges with simulated loads
    • Test excursion such as door open and power fail to confirm unit’s ability to recover to original set point(s)

Q. How does your IQ/OQ/PQ qualification and validation programs help my company?

A. Our IQ/OQ/PQ qualification and validation programs help your company assess, develop, and implement regulatory compliance at the level you need, including the FDA’s Rule 21 CFR Part 11 and the EPA’s Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR).

As your partner, we can determine the level of compliance and validation appropriate for your company. We customize our services to fit your in-house compliance and validation/qualification programs, allowing you to optimize resources. Our compliance consultants and engineers are experienced in various Quality System aspects, including:

  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Development and Planning
  • Master Plan Implementation and Review

As your regulatory compliance partner, we will design a solid strategy for future regulatory compliance objectives as well as provide comprehensive support in meeting instrument validation/qualification and regulatory documentation needs, such as Temperature Mapping and Validation services.

Q. What does your qualification/validation offer?

A. Our qualification/validation offers:

  • Complete maintenance history, system history, and inventory of components and documentation
  • Universal IQ/OQ/PQ template format
  • Verification of components’ installation including electrical, plumbing, and communication connections
  • Verification of components’ functionality, operation, and conformity to manufacturer’s specifications
  • Performance verification of laboratory equipment for routine R&D, QA/QC, EPA, FDA, and client-compliance operation
  • Prescheduled and annual instrument qualification/validation programs matched to your company’s needs and budget
  • Cost-effective and fast turnaround for your laboratory equipment IQ/OQ/PQ verification

Q. Are preventive maintenance and calibration included with the IQ/OQ/PQ Service?

A.Yes, both of those services are included when you purchase the IQ/OQ/PQ Service.

Q. Do you offer laboratory equipment repair?

A. InnoCal provides after-sale repair for products sold by Cole-Parmer. Contact our customer service for more information. We are working to offer more equipment repair services to our customers in the future.

Q. What are your equipment-specific services?

Autoclaves – preventive maintenance and calibration services or opt for a full IQ/OQ/PQ validation package

  • Maintenance includes 20-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration at operating set point for sterilization temperature, pressure, and time
  • Customized tolerances available upon request
  • Per cycle testing options for validation

Balances – preventive maintenance and calibration services

  • Maintenance includes 14-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration at 5 linearity checkpoints over range of unit and corner load (eccentricity)
  • Customized tolerances available upon request

Baths and Recirculating Baths – preventive maintenance and calibration services

  • Maintenance includes 11-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration at ±1°C
  • Customized tolerances available upon request

Environmental Chambers – preventive maintenance and calibration services or opt for a full IQ/OQ/PQ validation package.

  • Maintenance includes 10-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration at ±1°C, ±5% relative humidity of operating set point
  • Additional options available for humidity and O2
  • Customized tolerances available upon request

Freeze Dryers – preventive maintenance and calibration services

  • Maintenance includes 14-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration of probe temperature at ±2°C and vacuum at ±5 micron of operating set point
  • Customized tolerances available upon request

Freezers – preventive maintenance and calibration services or opt for a full IQ/OQ/PQ validation package

  • Maintenance includes 17-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration of operating set point at manufacturer’s tolerance
  • Customized tolerances available upon request

Furnaces – preventive maintenance and calibration services

  • Maintenance includes 11-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration of probe temperature at operating set point to manufacturer’s specification

Incubators – preventive maintenance and calibration services or opt for a full IQ/OQ/PQ validation package

  • Maintenance includes 18-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration at ±1°C, ±1% CO2 of operating set point
  • Additional options available for humidity and O2
  • Customized tolerances available upon request

Ovens – preventive maintenance and calibration services or opt for a full IQ/OQ/PQ validation package

  • Maintenance includes 11-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration at ±3°C of operating set point
  • Customized tolerances available upon request

Shakers – preventive maintenance and calibration services

  • Maintenance includes 14-point PM checklist
  • NIST-traceable calibration at low and high speed at 5%, and time verification
  • Additional options available for temperature, humidity, and CO2
  • Customized tolerances available upon request