When it comes to vibration sensitivities, most lab groups operate fairly routine research programs. But if “most” groups run “ordinary” programs, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you run into one group with an extraordinary program. This happened to me many years ago, and it completely opened my eyes to the incredible diversity in R&D.
If you’re outfitting a low-vibration imaging suite or laboratory, you’ve probably had to read a few tool installation guides for off-the-shelf (as opposed to hand-built) instruments. These documents are provided by instrument vendors and provide some environmental guidelines for parameters like floor vibration, acoustical noise, EMI, temperature, humidity, and more.
Many laboratory instruments are exquisitely sensitive to “energetic contaminants” like vibration, noise, and electromagnetic interference. It’s not always easy reading and interpreting these criteria; they’re sometimes confusing even to vibration consultants. But to be honest, it’s not easy developing them, either. So, where do these criteria come from, and what do they mean? We explore more in this blog post.