With current changes to working hours and increased utilization of social distancing to minimize the community transmission of the COVID19 virus, many laboratories are pausing sample testing and normal operations to allow staff to work remotely.
This article details the steps required to safely shut down a SkyScan instrument for a period of inactivity.
How to Prepare for Shutdown:
When you are preparing to idle your micro-CT instrument for an extended or unknown period of time, the key steps to complete in preparation would be to think of any possible dangers to the instrument during the shutdown and work to mitigate those concerns.
For most shutdown scenarios, we recommend the instrument be stored, clear of samples, with the door closed. Keeping the door closed will prevent dust or debris from settling in the system during pauses in operation. Leaving the instrument free of samples is just good practice to ensure samples are stored properly and that there is nothing within the system which might be capable of causing damage should the instrument be operated remotely. You can also safely unplug the power cord from the instrument to avoid any chance of electrical damage. If your instrument is stored in an area which receives a moderate to large amount of dust, you may also want to cover the system with a thin protective sheet such as a moving blanket or painters drop sheet.
It’s also good practice to ensure you’ve recently backed up your scanner settings to an external drive separate from your instrument acquisition PC. We currently recommend monthly backups of your SkyScan folder located on your C Drive. It is also suggested to save a screenshot of your current instrument settings or scanner parameters that list the key calibration values currently in use for your system. For more information on how to backup your system, please refer to our July2017 – Backing up Your SkyScan System
If you plan to access your data remotely, leave the computer on and connected to a suitable surge protector or battery backup universal power system. Otherwise, feel free to disconnect the PC from power as you did for the instrument.