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Professional Lab Requirements?

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--- Quote from: Faringdon on June 30, 2022, 10:03:02 am ---Did anybody mention Blu-Tak...Seriously, i never work without it.....you can use it to kind of batten down work without needing a custom test jig.......soldering  two wire ends together...push one into blu-tak near the end and it holds  still for you..your third hand.......Desoldering a component off a PCB and the pcb keeps sliding about while youre doing it.....push the corner of pcb into a knob of blu-tak and it holds still for you....tinnign a wire end........hold the wire in a lump of blutak and it stays still while you tin it...again a third hand.......need a PCB to stand on its side while you power it so you can get your test wires in and out and it keeps falling over.....fix it in place with bits of blu-tak.......Two PCBs getting powered next to each other and risk of snagging the wires so the pcbs touch each other and blow up...use a bit of blu tak to keep them apart.....etc etc etc

The best blu-tak work jig i made was one which held a pcb upside down so that you could desolder a 10 pin transformer...it used quite a few very large , shaped lumps of blu-tak.

--- End quote ---

Fun-Tac is another one like Blue-Tac.

My opinions and advice:

1) Make sure that you have not been hired to be the first person to be fired, when things go wrong, even if you are not the culprit.
2) What you are asking makes a red light go on: how on earth can someone equip a lab, without knowing exactly what this lab is going to test, what the amount of parts to test is and what the budget is. Note that the budget includes the money available to invest in equipment, but also the money that the lab is going to produce. Consider the lab a cost center: will it pay for itself?
3) You mention "mechanical": are you going to test mechanical issues, as well? You might need a CMM, a hardness tester, a tensile tester, etc.
4) Electronically, others have mentioned the typical equipment: DMM, Oscilloscope, Soldering Station, Microscope, Thermal Camera,..., up to X-ray machine! Did I forget Spectrum Analyzer and VNA?
5) As already mentioned, your budget can vary from 100 Euro (cheap Uni-T DMM and soldering station) to millions!

1) Check the turnover of your company, to get an idea how big the business is.
2) Request sample jobs for your lab and ask if you can subcontract some sample jobs, just to measure the costs. This might not be possible due to NDA, IP, etc.
3) Ask who is going to be your superior/manager/"boss". If you are going to be the director of the lab, ask for a raise!
4) Try to figure out how serious your company is and how certain/safe your job is. If you have doubts, start searching for an alternative job.

Best of luck!


Good advice overall, and indeed it seems somewhat premature to put a lab together with so little information (at least that is what we are getting from your take).

I have a bit of advice that will overlap a bit with others have said, starting with the fact that, at least from what we let us know in this thread, the requirements are not fully shaped. This is very normal, especially in startups or companies that are changing their focus. You can go a long way with your manager if you layout a multi-staged plan for initial setup and expansion as needs arise. Also, having a plan that takes into account the space and facilities will go a long way to make the lab a usable place to work. In other words, the amount of space that you have is critical to start any evaluation of needs and help define the capabilities and the purpose of the lab. Do you have a room, a closet or a warehouse to fill? This will define how many benches you can have, if they need to be relocatable, the amount of lighting and storage, the size of equipment that will be required, etc. Based on that, what are the expansion plans w.r.t. people or capabilities?

The hardest balance is to be sure to get all that you will need right now and what budget you will have over the next year or two not only for equipment but also consumables.  One impossible variable is to get management to stick to the initial plan after a year or two, especially if there is a downturn on the market or any other unexpected issue.

Overall, I wish you good luck in your journey!


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