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An analytical design lab, especially for commercial purposes needs to meet several scientific factors and conditions. The design of the lab needs to have an orientation towards specifc direction to help accomplishing the major functions of the lab such as analysis. The lab layout in sections and equipment must take into consideration the factors that affect the kind of research and analysis the one expects to conduct in the lab. A commercial lab, one that receives samples from customers for analysis, concentrates on delivering of samples, after testing the samples. The design layout and the quality of results are the major factors in the design of these laboratories. The lab should offer easy access to testing equipment and the necessary reference materials.
One has to consider the following for an analytical lab to run effectively. The things one has to consider include the written analysis plan, the analytical methods, and the process quality control. The organization of the lab should ensure that the lab offers cheaper use of materials, instruments, and equipment. For the lab to deliver quality analysis control and efficiently, the arrangement of the instruments, the handling of the paperwork, and communication within the lab have to exhibit harmony. All these elements must have a design that delivers optimum quality. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) within the lab also need close monitoring, as they are critical for the running of a commercial laboratory.
Lab safety is also a key issue, the lab has to meet certain set standards, and the specific needs according to the nature of the analysis done in the laboratory. The issues touching on the safety within the lab have to do with the location of the gas supply, the space use in the lab, emergency exit locations, and protective wear for the chemists, level of education and experience for the staff doing a particular task, and the storage of testing chemicals.
The laboratory has within it two kinds of labs, the geology laboratory, and the environmental laboratory. The lab furniture setup is basically the same, and each has an exit within the most convenient location to enhance safety and protection of those who are working in the lab.
Analytical instrument for each lab (only 2 for each lab)
Analysis tools are the key parts to the functioning of the laboratory. The labs need at least one spectrometer, chromatography analysis tools, and distillation equipment. Some of the spectrometers used in the environmental lab include the atomic emission spectrometers, ICP-AES, and the PSA. In the geology lab, the ICP-MS and the XRF are used for detailed analysis alongside distillation equipment and chromatography instruments.
Description of each separated area in the laboratory in details using the diagram.
One the right side is the geology lab and on the left side is the environmental lab. Both labs are a lot similar in design but the variation are mainly in the equipment. The furniture is similar in the layout and the exits are many with some for emergency. Each lab has a fume chamber and large windows for better working conditions for the workers. The instruments are arranged in the most appropriate way along the benches and in each lab, there is a place for the reference materials. Recommended reference materials are used for drawing conclusions on the analysis made.
Workers in the lab
The lab has 8 chemists, management staff, and 3 maintenance workers. These are spread along the two labs.
Samples analysed a week and profit made per sample
Every day about 100 samples are analysed by our team of chemists. Each chemist analyses slightly over 10 samples each day, depending on the kind of the analysis necessary on the sample. The daily average profit on a sample is $100. Therefore, each week (of five days) the lab analyses about 500 samples for a price of $50,000.
Cost of the laboratory building (description of the instruments cost and building cost)
The building on which the lab is located cost $450,000, while the test equipment cost an estimated $200,000.
Profit per year
The profits per year vary depending on the number of tests done. The tests are done for both regular clients and one-time clients. Therefore, the nature of the contracts vary, some spread over a couple of months or years, with regular payment over the agreed payments. For one-off assignments, the cost varies depending on the nature of the tests the client needs done on the work, or the number of tests the client needs carried out. Some of the testing need field work to collect the samples that are most efficient for the kind of analysis to be done, especially on the environmental analysis. The client may lack the necessary knowledge on the kind of material that is most appropriate for the test and analysis procedures. The laboratory staff has to go to the field and collect the most appropriate samples, and then carry out the testing and analysis. The two parts of the assignment are paid for independently.
On average, the laboratory makes about $800,000 for the one-off assignments and about $900,000 for the regular clients work.
Salary to the employees
The staff at the lab is paid according to a number of factors. They include the job description the staff is doing, the qualifications, the work load and the special training of the personnel. The staffing must be consistent with the economic and the efficiency goals of the lab.
The staff is divided into two major groups, the permanent staff and the temporary staff. The temporary staff is employed on contract basis for special assignments in unconventional areas of analysis. The permanent staff is involved in the daily running of the lab facility and doing the regular tests the lab operates.
Chemists are the main type of employees working at the labs. They are paid about $55,000 per year, must have a degree level education, and some are hired on contract basis. The main functions include the carrying out of qualitative and quantitative chemical experiments, and contribute to the knowledge framework of the chemical analysis processes. Some of the chemists work in other departments such as accounting, management, and quality assurance department.
A commercial lab is mainly focused on doing effective testing and analysis of materials the customers want tested. Therefore, all the equipment and reference materials necessary to the accomplishment of this endeavor are the key things necessary to successfully run such a laboratory. The equipment necessary for chemical analysis include the spectrometers, distillers, and chemicals used in the testing for the presence of certain materials in the samples. Geological materials analysis are a little more straightforward to test in comparison to environmental analysis which involves more testing to determine the extent and the amount of chemicals in a certain sample. While the geological samples will rely mostly on the reference materials to draw conclusions, the environmental materials tested will rely also on field studies to establish the possible testing required, e.g., testing for lead in the water supplied to people’s homes due to the nature of the inner lining of the piping materials.