Probe Software Users Forum

General EPMA => EPMA Laboratory Planning and Design => Topic started by: dawncruth on August 09, 2019, 02:59:16 pm

Title: Planning and design, round 2 questions
Post by: dawncruth on August 09, 2019, 02:59:16 pm
Hi all,
Some questions for you veterans of lab design out there.
First let me lament my recent experiences with our architects. We had a first meeting where we saw the designed space. This occurred after a lab tour where the architects saw the probe and SEM labs I currently have. Oh my, the first draft design was something else - and not in a good way. They forgot to include the probe, and therefore forgot to include space for the probe!  Also, they forgot space for important items like my beast of a carbon coater, gas canisters for my Au coater, space for my cryo-SEM setup, etc.  But it is just the first draft...

Anyway, thanks for the lament. Onto the questions
1. I've seen some sweet labs where the users & computers are partitioned from the instrument during analysis (see attached image). The user could still access the instrument for sample exchange, etc. What do y'all think of moving the user and computers into a near, adjacent space? I definitely like the idea because the user could, drink their coffee, take a break from the cold temps, and long term noise of the lab. I do know that listening to the instrument is important for identifying problems.
2. Do you recommend a dedicated electrical access panel for the lab?
Title: Re: Planning and design, round 2 questions
Post by: Probeman on August 10, 2019, 06:45:07 pm
Hi Dawn,
An area for reprocessing data is certainly a good idea, but another idea for instrument layout is to design an "equipment gallery" on the other side of a wall for all the noisy, smelly, heat producing stuff like pumps, chillers, UPS units, gas cylinders, and storage even. The wall should be sound insulated to "theater grade". This way the lab itself is quiet and uncluttered.

When we designed our CAMCOR facility, we specified a 6 foot wide gallery for such items, all around the outside of the labs as seen in the attached plan.  We also provided 12" x 12" "pass-throughs" low in the wall, with truck engine compartment sound insulation (fireproof and very effective), cut to fit around the hoses and cables.

As to your electrical panel question I agree there should a separate panel for that room with easy access, and that the panel should also be shielded on the instrument side (usually the backside if it's installed in the equipment gallery) as that provides a big drop in EMI.  We simply used a large piece of 3/16" Al plate with two sides bent for the sides.
Title: Re: Planning and design, round 2 questions
Post by: Anette von der Handt on August 13, 2019, 01:37:05 pm

I think it is nice to have an offline processing station that is not in the lab itself with its colder temperatures, noise etc just as you say. However, to move the operator station entirely to a different room (and I think that is what you are asking about), you should really check with JEOL/Cameca as I don't think this is really possible.

You have the operation panels (stage and EOS operations) usually directly hooked into the electronics. The network cables are preferably connected directly to the network hub on the probe itself instead of running it through a switch or even the building network. Having the operator sit elsewhere for setting up and running analyses either means looooong cables and/or connecting through the building network. I am not sure if this is possible at all and if it is I can think of various scenarios where you run into communication problems. Even with being close I have plenty of communication problems so I wouldn't want to cause any further problems even for the upside of being able to have coffee. The picture that you are showing is some mass spectrometer (1280?) and I have never seen a microprobe set up as such but maybe there are some labs with it.

What you could do though is just remote into the probe computers via vpn or Teamviewer in a setting to what you showed. While I work a good bit remotelyI usually prefer to have the operation panels in front of me if I have to set a lot of points.

Also yes you want a dedicated electrical panel somewhere, ideally far away from the machine (but still accessible) and shielded if you can. Emergency power off is also important, especially if you need to UL list the machine.

When I started planning my lab I pinged both vendors to give me their room requirements for each one's latest model. The room spec sheets also include room layouts as there are certain min/max distances that are needed between components. I would urge you to get these if you haven't already.

Title: Re: Planning and design, round 2 questions
Post by: dawncruth on August 29, 2019, 10:48:50 am
Hi Anette,
Thanks for the input. I did ping both JEOL and Cameca. They came back with "It's possible, but not ideal". Also noted on the electrical panel shielded and dedicated -- one of our facility guys pointed that out to me.

And yep, I got the room specs for both vendors.