Logistics for diagnostic instruments

When transporting sensitive diagnostic instruments, e.g. plate readers as we do, the company must consider several things. These instruments are very delicate and if they are returned, that adds unnecessary costs that could be avoided with correct precautions. In this post, we will go through a couple of scenarios and how to avoid them.

1. Vibration

These units are carefully adjusted and have many moving parts. As you can imagine, during transportation there are lots of bumps and other obstacles that can cause vibration. Vibration can mess up with the instrument and when that happens, the customer must send the device back to get readjusted. This could be avoided with good packaging. We use cardboard boxes with our plate readers. Just use some kind of vibration dampeners inside the box, like foam blocks. It stops the unit from moving and prevents vibration.

2. Moisture

During the flight, if plane transportation is used, the package can collect moisture. Moisture doesn’t go well with electronics or with moving parts. This can be a problem in other kinds of transportation too. This can be avoided by putting the unit inside a plastic bag or sealing box. As we use a cardboard box, we cannot seal it tight enough, so we use a plastic ESD bag. That has worked well, and we haven’t had any moisture damages.

3. Rough handling

Usually, logistics hubs are busy and handle a vast amount of packages in a day. They go through automatic handling robots and are moved by many hands. This can get rough for the package from time to time. The best way to avoid this is to make the package bulky enough and put it on a pallet. Then it usually needs manual handling and is heavier and bigger so it cannot be thrown so easily. Preferably use euro pallets, so almost every country will accept them.

With these tips, you can get your diagnostic instruments to the main destination in good condition. Of course, you cannot always prevent everything, but with these tips, we have managed to have almost zero transport damages. Keep in mind that you can claim compensation, but without extra insurance, these are paid by weight, not by the price of the transported unit. Most of the diagnostic equipment is relatively light in weight compared to the price, so compensation won’t cover the whole cost.

Take these into consideration and ship safely!