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Equipment policy

Access to the laboratory does not of itself permit use of any particular instrument. Some of the equipment in the facility is hands-on equipment for the users. Each major instrument is under the charge of a staff member, referred to as the equipment manager. The staff member will train users on that instrument. When the equipment manager is satisfied, the user will be authorized to use the system without further supervision. Much of the equipment in the facility is highly complex and delicate.
Each instrument necessarily has rules and operational procedures which are set by the staff to assure the continued operation of the instrument. Violation of these procedures or carelessness in operation can result in damage to the equipment, down-time and considerable expense. Consequently, careless or damaging use of equipment will result in suspension of user privileges, either for a specific instrument or the facility as a whole (see above).

Equipment use

  • Equipment can be used only for its designed purpose and in a manner for which it was intended.
    Treat all tools with care and use them in a safe manner for their intended purpose
  • All logbooks must be filled in every time you use the piece of equipment.
  • Return any tools that you use in a clean, undamaged condition to the drawer or storage area where they came from.
  • Report lost or damaged tools to HNF staff as soon as possible.

No equipment or tool can be removed from the HNF without the permission of the HNF Office.

Equipment Training Policy

Each piece of equipment at the facility is under the responsibility of one or more HNF staff members. These staff members are generally responsible for toll maintenance, training, and process development. The staff, with facility management, determines the equipment policies regarding allowed and prohibited operations on the equipment. Each equipment has instructions for user operations.
Before using any equipment at the HNF, users must be trained by staff that is authorized to train on that equipment. Users can not be trained by other users, or by staff not authorized to train on the tool. It does not matter how much experience a user has with similar equipment, our policies require the training in our facility.

Equipment Information Sheet

Each major piece of equipment in the HNF has an Equipment Information Sheet posted on it. The sheet is a single page summary sheet of important information regarding the tool. It lists the staff member in charge of the tool, highlights important safety information including any buddy requirements (see 5.6), processing and material restrictions, and any limitations on scheduling of the tool. Copies of the Information sheets are available on the HNF website. Standard operating procedures are posted for each piece of equipment at the booking process toll (see Access). These information sheets do not replace tool training or manually, but instead are to be used for quick reference of important information.

Problems with Equipment

Any malfunction of the equipment must be reported immediately to the HNF staff member in charge of the tool. Fixing or altering any piece of equipment without authorization from the HNF staff is prohibited. Reporting the problem is a two step procedure and it is important to do both steps in the process:

  • File an online trouble report for the tool, which is located on the tool web page. The online trouble report request will reach all the staff that needs to know.
  • Fill out a Trouble Sheet and prominently attach it to the front of the tool. This makes certain other users going to use the equipment are warned of the potential problem on the tool.

Equipment Scheduling

HNF equipment is reserved through a web based system accessible off the main HNF website (see Access). HNF user account is required to make reservations on the system. For high demand tools, there may be limitations on the length and how many reservations a user can place in advance. Information on any scheduling restrictions will be covered during tool training and can also be found on the Equipment Information Sheet.
If a user is more than 15 minutes late for his/her reserved time on an equipment, the reserved time may be claimed by anyone in the lab. Failure to cancel an unneeded reservation is inconsiderate to other lab users and causes inefficient utilization of resources. It is accepted that all projects require a certain process flow between instruments so that one problem can throw off an entire process schedule. Also, processes can take longer than anticipated. Thus users should be flexible and cooperative with other users in stretching, sharing, and relinquishing time slots.

Buddy System

Some processes and equipment require a buddy to be present outside normal business hours. A buddy is defined as an approved HNF user who can assist the tool operator in case of an emergency. Information on any buddy restrictions will be given during equipment training. Additional information can be found on the Equipment Information Sheet for the tool.


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