We all know the old saying: “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” When you’re getting ready to invest in new lab space, the failure to plan can turn into expensive cost overruns.
A good checklist is a vital planning aid. Lab Design News has developed a space planning checklist to help determine your spatial requirements, including:
Current and future headcounts
Existing equipment inventory and future purchases
Venting and mechanical needs
Clean room requirements
Another way to guard against planning failures is to build flexibility into your space plan. Modular casework is a highly effective hedge against unanticipated demands on lab space. These cabinets can be reconfigured in dozens of ways, saving the cost of expensive new casework. This video demonstrates how one institution used modular casework to adapt to new space plans.
Plan ahead, avoid costly surprises, and talk to a storage specialist about maximizing flexibility in your casework design.
We had an amazing time at the Positive Strides Event “Bourbon, Bowties & Cigars” last week. We are honored to help support an organization that is focused on the health and safety of our youth athletes.
Information about Positive Strides (www.positive-strides.org):
The Silent Epidemic
Over 38 million children and adolescents participate in youth athletics each year in the US. Over 10 million sports-related injuries occur and the rush to get players back in the game before they are physically ready is fast becoming the silent epidemic among youth athletes. Battling injuries can have long term and devastating impacts.
Making a Difference
Over $170,000 has been raised since 2013 and has allowed the foundation to provide direct services to over 50 student-athletes, including streamlined access to medical specialists, financial assistance for medical treatments and surgeries and mentorship and support groups for athletes and parents. Over 18,000 athletes, parents, coaches and school and athletic administrators have been impacted through Positive Strides Injury Prevention & Nutrition Seminars.
RFID technology has brought new levels of efficiency and accuracy to a host of industries. Manufacturing, logistics, retail, health care, museum curation — all kinds of businesses have benefited. While some have voiced concerns about privacy, their concerns have actually improved the quality of RFID tech, as developers address security issues.
But no previous privacy objections approached the level of protests of French farmers outraged by a government mandate that sheep be tagged with RFID chips. This may seem slightly ridiculous to us in the U.S., where we’ve been tagging animals with RFID chips for years. Even in France, horses have been RFID-tagged for more than 7 years. But the agriculture ministry’s demand that sheep be tagged was a step too far for the average French farmer. “We don’t need software to tell us how our ewes are feeling,” said one farmer.
Outraged shepherds marched in protest, and the ministry reviewed its decision. As it turned out, the farmers’ basic objection – beneath the hype of privacy for sheep – was the industrialization of farming and the threat to their ancient way of living in touch with the land and their livestock.
While it can be argued that RFID isn’t essential to the French small-scale farmer, the technology is undeniably a vital part of doing business in the 21st century. The ROI is well documented, and businesses that don’t adopt RFID may find themselves falling behind their competitors. In fact, some industry leaders make RFID capability a requirement for their suppliers.
“If your uniform isn’t dirty, you haven’t been in the game.” Coaches deliver this quote, attributed to baseball player Rickey Henderson, to countless athletes of every kind in college locker rooms everywhere. And college equipment directors cringe whenever they hear it. Cleaning, tracking and storing all that sports equipment and all those innumerable athletic uniforms may be the world’s number-one dirtiest job.
Team gear ranging from chlorine-steeped bathing suits to mud-coated football cleats has to be cleaned and ready to use again the next day, or sooner. And it’s an enormous task – the University of Wisconsin, for example, turns over 10,000 pounds of athletic laundry each week. (Don’t try this at home, kids.) According to UW athletic department director of equipment Terry Schlatter, efficiency is essential, and high-density storage is part of the efficiency plan.
Schlatter has customized his facility’s equipment storage system with a variety of hanging racks and shelving designed for the individual needs of each sport – shoulder pads, lacrosse sticks, javelins, etc. To ensure that each student-athlete’s uniforms and equipment are returned to the right person, an inbox/outbox locker system has been added to let students drop off laundry before morning classes and retrieve it in time for an afternoon workout.
Storage specialists are adept at designing space-efficient systems that fit odd-shaped athletic equipment into compact spaces. Athletic laundry and equipment storage is something the average sports fan never thinks about, but it’s all part of “keeping it clean” in the world of college athletics.