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11 steps to service your Inert glovebox

Service inert glovebox

Bending over backwards for our clients is more than a metaphor for us, considering the lengths our onsite technicians will go to service your Inert glovebox enclosures and gas management systems. However, you should be able to conduct a service as well, luckily we are here to help! Follow these simple steps and you’ll be off to a great start.

Preventive maintenance with on site technicians

Make sure you have a preventative maintenance plan for your equipment. It is advisable to invite technicians to service your Inert Glovebox once every six months. This could be done for instance by becoming an Onsite Service Customer. We encourage our Onsite Service customers to pre-purchase blocks of service time, such as 8 or 16 hours, to maintain better budget control than contracting support on an ad hoc basis. These blocks of time can then be used as needed, and anything leftover is banked for a future service trip. In this fast-paced manufacturing world, you cannot underestimate the cost of disruption, but together, we can estimate how many hours of service you need to maintain optimal operating conditions. Remember, we are happy to send our technician to all corners of the globe to work on any glovebox or other enclosure.

Once per year our on site technicians will visit to test your glovebox enclosures for pressure loss, calibrate analyzers, and train or retrain your employees. This attention to detail should help expand the lifespan of your enclosure and minimize downtime. Even though our trained technicians are capable of testing, repairing and servicing your glovebox, making sure you follow these steps as well will result in an optimized uptime. 

  1. 1. Document everything you replace (in order to know exactly what to document, do read our blog ‘What you should document while using your glovebox’’)
  2. 2. Remove waste in a timely manner. Do not allow it to accumulate, hazardous waste containers in the glovebox must be appropriately labelled at all times.
  3. 3. Let only trained staff operate the Glovebox
  4. 4. Keep all the recommended spare parts in stock near the glovebox (Find a full list of the spareparts in our blog ‘’The ultimate list to spare parts of your glovebox’’)
 
What are the maintenance steps? 

For everyone who wants to service their Inert Glovebox it is advisable to follow 11 steps. Make sure you are trained in servicing the equipment and that you have spareparts present. If you want to know which spare parts you should have access to while servicing an Inert Glovebox you can read our blog ‘’The ultimate list of spare parts for your Inert Glovebox.’ So, these steps then, what are they?

  1. 1. Pressure test to be sure the glovebox is not leaking
  2. 2. Eliminate leakage if necessary
  3. 3. Check and/or replace O-rings antechambers
  4. 4. Check and/or replace HEPA filters
  5. 5. Test the vacuum pump
  6. 6. Check the oxygen sensor
  7. 7. Check the moisture sensor
  8. 8. Check and/or replace glovebox and fastening rings
  9. 9. Regenerate glovebox if necessary
  10. 10. Rectify faults
  11. 11. Advice and training
 
Receive spare parts as a reminder to service your glovebox

With preventive maintenance, clear steps on how to use a glovebox safely and timely service while keeping a stock of spare parts, you will be able to maximise the output of your glovebox. Think of an annual preventive maintenance program as a steadfast reminder of how to keep your equipment operating at optimal efficiency. When you receive routinely timed package of o rings, filters, gloves, oxygen analyzers, moisture analyzers and pump oil, or whatever your system calls for, you will know it’s time to swap out these consumables. 

Would you like to know everything about your glovebox? And do you want to know when your glovebox might need to be replaced? Download our ebook ‘Maximizing your inert glovebox’s uptime’ completely free or contact us with any questions you might have.

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Why these spare parts will help you preventing downtime of your Inert glovebox

Spare parts inert Glovebox

While you might know how to use your Inert glovebox safely, if not do read our blog ‘How to use your glovebox safely’ you might want to replace some parts during servicing or after finding a leakage. Panic could strike once you find out that the necessary spare parts aren’t present, stay ahead of trouble and keep these parts close to your glovebox for a maximal output of your glovebox. 

Safe usage of an Inert glovebox is a matter of knowing what you’re doing, and how to act once something goes wrong. Nothing to be worried about if you have the proper parts in stock. 

Maximizing results of onsite service technicians

Our service technicians started out building Inert Gloveboxes. They know our products, as well as those of our competitors. This level of expertise enables our team to quickly deduce any problems and efficiently make things right. While our onsite technicians will bend over backwards in order to help servicing or repairing your glovebox, they sometimes need to replace parts of your Inert Glovebox with new ones. It is advised to have access to the following items:

  1. 1. An oxygen Analyser 1 – 1000 ppm
  2. 2. A moisture analyser 1 – 1000 ppm
  3. 3. A set of Butyl Gloves
  4. 4. A 1set of gloves O-rings
  5. 5. An EPDM Window gasket
  6. 6. An extra O-ring set for the mini antechamber
  7. 7. An extra O-ring set for a large antechamber
  8. 8. A 0.3 Micron HEPA Filter
  9. 9. Activated carbon for the solvent removal system
  10. 10. Purifier charge (copper and 13x)
  11. 11. Solenoid valves
  12. 12. Vacuum valve DN25KF
  13. 13. Vacuum valve DN40KF
  14. 14. Variable speed blower
  15. 15. Fuses
  16. 16. Oil mist elements
  17. 17. Seal and maintenance kit vacuum pump
 
Spareparts and a preventive maintenance plan

With a preventive maintenance plan, timely service and spare parts arrive right before you need them. Think of our annual preventive maintenance program as a steadfast reminder of how to keep your equipment operating at optimal efficiency. When you receive our routinely timed package of o rings, filters, gloves, oxygen analyzers, moisture analyzers and pump oil, or whatever your system calls for, you will know it’s time to swap out these consumables. 

Once per year we can also visit to test your Inert glovebox enclosures for pressure loss, calibrate analyzers and train or retrain your employees. This attention to detail should help expand the lifespan of your enclosure and minimize downtime. 

Do you want to know everything there is to know about your glovebox and how to operate one safely? Download our ebook ‘Maximizing your inert glovebox’s uptime‘ completely free or contact us with any questions you might have.

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Five leakage prevention practices while working with your Inert glovebox

Leakage inert glovebox

Inert gloveboxes can be used to protect items within the container against chemical reactions from outside. In addition it also protects the user against potential hazardous chemicals within the glovebox. Therefore, if you are working with dangerous materials, it is important to prevent any leakage of your inert glovebox, no matter how small. Keep these five points in the back of your mind to guarantee safety and optimal usage of the Inert glovebox.

If you work with chemicals within space, automotive, food, pharmaceutical or medical markets, it might not take long till you find yourself working with an Inert glovebox. In doing so, you should understand the importance of an hermetically sealed container and the dangers of leakage of hazardous materials. It is advised to only have trained staff using the glovebox and to note all work and replacements in a databook. However, at all times these five practices should also be followed accurately. 

  1. 1. Keep the maximum life of the gloves in mind and document replacements

Before working with the glovebox make sure to visually inspect the gloves for leakage. It is advisable to replace the gloves every ten years but if needed, do not hesitate to replace the gloves earlier. Document every replacement in the databook.

  1. 2. Check the vacuum level of the antechambers

The antechamber, meaning the smaller container which holds the objects before they can enter the main container, should be checked regularly. If the vacuum pressure is rising after closing the vacuum valves, the O-rings should be checked and potentially replaced.

  1. 3. Keep an eye on the glovebox leak tightness

The leak tightness must be checked frequently, especially after changing the gloves. The pressure check must be documented in the databook. While working with the glovebox, monitor the gas consumption. A high gas consumption in steady conditions indicates a leak on the gas lines or the glovebox itself.

  1. 4. Check the attached components twice a year

Even though the gloves could be replaced once every ten years, some of the additional components need to be replaced more frequently. Complete a full check at least twice a year of the following components:

  • – Feedthroughs
  • – HEPA filters
  • – Traps
  • – Exhaust valves
  • – Vacuum valves
  • – The gas supply line

Make sure all components are completely sealed. Even small leaks allow contaminants to escape or enter. Again, write down all changes, and the results of the check in the databook.

  1. 5. Take errors on the PLC Display serious

Do not let small problems fester and turn into large problems. As soon as an error or alarm message is being displayed on the PLC stop your work until the cause and consequence have been identified and safe working conditions have been restored. Report all problems to the lab manager or the person responsible for the glovebox. His or her name and contacts should be written down in the databook. A sticker with phone numbers could also be placed on the glovebox itself. 

As you can see, preventing a leak should be taken seriously at all times. Keep these five points in mind and minimize chances on a leak, and consequently potential damage to the product or user. 

Would you like to know how you should use a glovebox completely safely? Or do you want to know how a routine inspection of the glovebox should be conducted? Download our ebook Maximizing your inert glovebox’s uptime completely free.

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What is the databook and how should you use it while using your Inert glovebox?

Inert globebox databook

Making sure that information about your Inert glovebox is stored in a databook will help you to guarantee maximum uptime of the Inert glovebox. Are you working with hazardous chemicals or with materials that need to be manipulated in a hermetically closed container? You might want to make sure to note down the following information.

First things first, when you work with a glovebox you need to know who owns the responsibility of the device. Not only because gloveboxes are valuable, but also because you want to avoid dangerous situations. So, write down the name and contact information of the lab manager or any other person that will take responsibility. 

With our preventative maintenance program, our onsite technicians will do everything they can to maximize the glovebox’s uptime. To make their service is as efficient and effective as possible it helps to inform them on the users history of the glovebox. 

Note the following events in the inert glovebox databook and inform the technician before maintenance.

  1. 1. The condition of the gloves and the glove seals
  2. 2. Pressure differential gauge readings
  3. 3. PPM levels of the gasses inside the Glovebox
  4. 4. Condition and configuration of other systems installed on the box (e.g. valves and readings on pressure and flow gauges fall within acceptable ranges).
  5. 5. Condition of box and fittings (e.g. rust or other conditions).
  6. 6. Compressed gas cylinder: record date changed, tank serial number (if available) and pressure reading
  7. 7. Errors or warnings on the PLC-screen
  8. 8. The name of the person that worked on the glovebox
  9. 9. Replacements of other parts on the glovebox

 

Would you like to know how you should use a glovebox safely? Or do you want to know how a routine inspection of the glovebox should be conducted? Download our ebook Maximizing your inert glovebox’s uptime completely free or contact us with any questions you might have.

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How to use an Inert glovebox safely

I-Lab 4 Glovebox including large and small antechamber right hand side. Including O2 and H2O analyzers

Using an Inert Glovebox is common practice in 3D-printing, space exploration, automotive, food, pharmaceutical, medical, liquified natural gas and academic industries. In these disruptive, high paced worlds where bottlenecks in the R&D department or production can lead to severe financial consequences realizing maximal uptime of your device while keeping your staff save is top priority. Follow these steps and make sure your glovebox is delivering the results you want to realize.

Gloveboxes can be used in a multitude of industries, and integrated with virtually any OEM tool, equipment and technology. Integration flexibility allows you to create an inert environment within your laboratory or cleanroom for handling of air-sensitive materials. You’ll find our gloveboxes around the world in many industries, from 3D printing factories to R&D laboratories. Within those industries, laboratories could operate a glovebox in combination with dangerous compounds such as radioactive materials, toxic gasses or infectious disease agents. Therefore safe usage of the glovebox deserves a high place on your list of priorities.

By following these steps, dangerous situations can be avoided:

  1. 1. Individuals must be trained in the use of an Inert glovebox prior to using it

What seems like an open door can often be overlooked. Make sure only trained personnel operate the glovebox. Furthermore it should be clear who’s responsible for the glovebox. This could be for instance the senior lab manager. His or her name and contact information should be written down in a databook but can also be printed on a sticker on the glovebox itself. 

  1. 2. Visually inspect the Inert glovebox for leakage 

When using your glovebox make sure to check it before use. Visually inspect the gloves for holes or rips in them. Also, inspect the window. Pay attention to the parts of the glovebox where the window is connected to the other parts of the box. To find out how to prevent leakage of your glovebox you can read our blog ‘’Five leakage preventing practices while working with your Inert glovebox.’’ 

  1. 3. Document these steps in the databook

While working with a glovebox it is important to keep track of a few points of interest. This is done in the databook, to find more information about what you’ll find, and document, in the databook read our blog ‘What is the databook and how should you use it when working with a glovebox?’ For now, it is important to understand that these three steps should at the very least be documented for safe usage of the glovebox: 

  1. Who worked with the glovebox
  2. Errors and warnings on the PLC screen
  3. Parts that were changed on the glovebox during maintenance
  1. 4. Ventilate the lab

Ventilation of the laboratory is important and should be checked monthly. Exhaust lines of the glovebox and vacuum pump should be connected to the exhaust ventilation system. 

  1. 5. Use personal protective equipment (PPE)

All personal protective equipment (ppe) needed for the hazardous material (e.g. protective eyewear, gloves and a lab coat) must be worn when using the glovebox. 

  1. 6. Monitor the gas consumption

A high gas consumption in steady condition might indicate a leak on the gas lines or even on the glovebox itself. Once a leakage is suspected, halt your work immediately until the problem is clear and a solution is available. Contact the lab manager or person that’s responsible for the glovebox, his or her name should and contact information can be found in the databook or on the glovebox itself. 

Safety should always be top priority while working with an Inert glovebox. Preventing issues is always better than to solve them in order to maximize your glovebox’s output. So do read our blogs on how maintenance should be done, or what spare parts you should keep close.

Would you like to know everything about your glovebox? And do you want to know when your glovebox might need to be replaced? Download our ebook Maximizing your inert glovebox’s uptime completely free or contact us with any questions you might have.