AutoCAD & Solidworks with Genie Scientific

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Building the right lab for your company is one of the most important tasks for optimal outcome. It requires close and constant collaboration between the supplier, engineers, and lab owners.  At Genie Scientific, we take ownership in the proposal portion of our work together. We make sure your desired outcome is understood, along with the various circumstances and limitations surrounding your lab. Below we feature an interview with Oscar, a Genie engineer and AutoCAD professional who talks lab planning and process at Genie Scientific.

 What is the laboratory planning process at Genie Scientific?

When we receive a new client, we ask various questions to ascertain quickly if they need custom equipment or standard lab equipment installed. To do so, we find out space limitations, budget, task goals, number of staff and a few other factors. Once we have that information, it is handed to our estimators for analysis. From there our estimators go through the information and allocate the types of furniture needed for the job. We then create a 2D representation of our proposal and that will then come down to approval from the customer.

So you work with multiple people before using the AutoCAD software?

Yes, I work with Javier, Garrett, Sinisa, Tao and a few others to make sure we all understand what needs and how quickly and effectively we can give the client what they need for the project. 

What does an AutoCAD drawing show the customer?

It is a total digital representation of what they’ve requested or what we’re proposing. It will communicate everything from size, color, type of pulls, the sheet metals that needs to be added or taken away, etc.

What happens once the client approves the draft?

After the client has approved the proposal, Ollie and I are given lead on the project here in engineering, where we program the sheet metal to be punched and made. The team meets every Tuesday and Thursday to discuss the progress of each project until the items are delivered.

What would you say is the average length of a project?

It absolutely depends on the project size. Since we offer customized equipment it can vary any length of time.

Can you explain the meaning of space planning vs. lab planning?

Space planning takes into account all the task driven productions the clients company must go through. Space planning will take into account all those changes and derivatives of space allocated towards equipments. Then we will come up with a master idea to create optimal ability to flow the production in a quick and concise way. We want to do this to the point where you’re not stepping over each other in different tasks, or getting in the way of other parts or disciplines in your lab. So it involves very specific planning according to whatever production area you want to lay out, and we work to keep the least amount of problems in your way.

Lab planning is the design of the lab to help the person understand what they’re trying to accomplish. We then get them the equipment and build it to be self-sustaining. With lab planning its not so much an ownership project. We try to educate and at the same time we give the client choices of what they can and can’t have depending on certain variables. These variables could be lab size, capacity, location, tasks to be achieved, etc.

Here at Genie, we do mostly space planning. We will give advice and consultation but we try to help our clients the best way we can and to do that we need ownership of a project. We are always asking how we can make each lab better, faster, and stronger.

What is your personal experience in engineering and AutoCAD?

I’ve been at Genie for 3 years, however in this industry for over 20 years now and I’ve been using AutoCAD software since 1989.

What lingering thoughts do you have about lab planning?

I just want clients to understand that they are in charge of the project and we are here to help them with their vision. Every lab is different and there’s no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to this industry. You can ask anything you want and we will give you as much advice as we can. We are here to help you along the way with the process of installation, purchasing, and buying both current and in the future. We are with you throughout the process and thereafter.

 For answers on more questions regarding the planning process and your custom laboratory, contact us here.

 

Distillation Fume Hoods

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At Genie Scientific, we offer multiple fume hood designs tailored to use. For this article, Genie Scientific’s Vice President of Operations, Garrett LeVan, discusses the distillation fume hood building process and how to make sure the right aspects properly suit the needs of your lab.

How can clients get started in deciding which fume hood is right for their lab?

One of the main starting points when building a fume hood is the client’s interior working dimensions and the specific experiments needs, what the hood will be used for. From there we choose between a range of our custom or standard fume hoods. 

What are the specific offerings of a distillation fume hood?

Our distillation fume hoods mounts on our Spillsafe™ top and low height base units. There is also extra interior height to accommodate a tall apparatus, most commonly distillation racks. Below are a few specifications found in our distillation fume hoods:

  1. StillSafe ™ Horizontal sliding doors that hang from a heavy duty iBeam via rugged jump proof carriers for enhanced ease of use and safety. This significantly reduces the worry of broken or gunked-up lower track wheels.
  2. Powerlink™ A robust chain and sprocket sash counter balance system that we guarantee will never fail.
  3. SpillSafe™ Fume hood work surfaces are dished to safely contain spills inside the hood.
  4. AirDirect™ Distillation hoods are fitted with an aerodynamic airfoil to direct air across the work surface ensuring floor sweep for a safer operation.
  5. DirectConnect™ All of our hoods are fitted with a simple round exhaust collar for connection to building HVAC. There’s no complicated or expensive ductwork transition pieces needed, just a simple round connection.

Does Genie offer different size options for a distillation fume hood?

We offer our distillation fume hoods in five standard widths and four standard depths, so it gives the client a lot of flexibility even within our standard product. You can find a link to our specific sizing here.

What is the most common sash type for a distillation fume hood?

For distillation fume hoods, the two most commons sash types could be said as the vertical rising sash and the combination sash. The vertical rising sash is driven by Powerlink™ and it has dual framed pieces of laminated safety glass that move up and down. This type of sash allows for a threshold free access. The combination sash is also driven by Powerlink™ and consists of dual framed, vertical rising sash that also have horizontal sliding panes of safety glass. While our clients are able to choose from up to seven standard sash styles, we also offer customizable sizing and designs.

What is the next step after deciding on sash style?

After you pick your sash style, the next step is the interior liner material. This is the inside lining of the fume hood that comes in direct contact with the chemicals, vapors, fumes etc. that you’re working with during your experiment. Our standard liner material is our chemical tough fume hood liner. It’s a superior general purpose liner with phenolic resin and has excellent resistance to a broad range of chemicals; it’s also fire safety rated. This liner is structurally sound, so you can screw things directly into it and you don’t need to worry about damaging the hood.

Is there a common liner for a distillation fume hood?

No. The interior liner has to do with the type of experiment being performed and the chemicals that will be used, not the design of the fume hood. For a complete list of our liners, contact us today. 

 

What other variants do you need to take into account when creating the distillation hood?

As with the other fume hoods, airflow is very critical. You must identify airflow requirements of the experiment, exhaust and the bypass type needed. We also ask our clients, no matter what kind of fume hood they are purchasing, to double check the maximum opening requirements. This is the unit measurement of whatever equipment is needed inside the fume hood. The set up position of your fume hood is when the horizontal sash is fully open, and the maximum opening measurement must match the measurement of whatever equipment will be needed for the experiment.

Depending on your airflow needs and operating position, you then choose from two bypass types on your fume hood. There is the option of open bypass constant volume exhaust system, which is the most common for labs. The other option is a restricted bypass that goes with a variable air volume exhaustive system. A VAV (variable air volume) is an exhaustive system that typically maintains fume hood face velocity by adjusting lower motor speeds, in response to changes in sash position. This type is normally used when there is a multitude of hoods at a facility, as it becomes expensive to run on a singular fume hood. These above factors don’t necessarily depend on the style of the fume hood, so can be used on any of our standard fume hoods.

What aspects affect the cost of the distillation hood the most?

Since a distillation fume hood doesn’t sit on any objects, we can remove the cabinet accessories from the equations and move straight to plumbing and electrical necessities. Plumbing is very specific to the needs of your experiment and the location of your fume hood in the lab. You can read more about different service fixtures for all of our fume hoods here.

As for electrical, we offer a standard package with all of our fume hoods. This includes a blower switch, a light switch, 220 volt GFI duplex, vapor proof T8 florescent light fixtures and an airflow alarm. This comes standard with all floor-mounted fume hoods and can wire to any junction box. We also offer explosion proof fixtures for class 1 division 1 environments.

After all these decisions have been made based on the clients needs, the information is handed to our estimator team where a quote will be built and given to the client.

 

Building Your Walk-in Fume Hood

One of our most desired fume hood is the floor-mounted, walk-in hood. Below our VP of Operations, Garrett LeVan talks specifications such as StillSafe, Powerlink, and DirectConnect, while shedding light on other variants that are important to take into account when designing the best possible walk-in fume hood for your lab.

What’s the first thing a client should consider when designing a fume hood?

Walk-in hoods are characterized by a tall and deep chambers, and meant to contain large equipment. As with other hoods, the main starting point is identifying the clients working dimensions: height, width, and depth needed to safely perform the experiment. We take that and source materials to safely conduct the experiment, such as what kind of sash will work best. Finally decide on electric, plumbing, and accessories needed. 

What are the specific offerings of a walk-in (floor-mounted) fume hood?

Our floor-mounted fume hoods sit directly on the floor and are designed for large apparatus set ups and roll in equipment. Building extra large and custom walk-in hoods is a specialty of Genie. Below are a few specifications found in our walk-in, floor mounted fume hoods.

  1. StillSafe ™ Horizontal sliding doors that hang from a heavy duty iBeam via rugged jump proof carriers for enhanced ease of use and safety. This significantly reduces the worry of broken or gunked-up lower track wheels.
  2. Powerlink™ A robust chain and sprocket sash counter balance system that we guarantee will never fail.
  3. DirectConnect™ All of our hoods are fitted with a simple round exhaust collar for connection to building HVAC. There’s no complicated or expensive ductwork transition pieces needed, just a simple round connection.

Does Genie offer different sizing options for a floor-mounted fume hood?

Yes, we offer our floor-mounted fume hoods in six standard widths and four standard depths. This allows our clients the ability to stay within a standard product, instead of a custom item at a higher cost.

What is the most common sash type for a floor-mounted fume hood?

Our Slidesafe ™ Horizontal sash is most common for these types of hoods. With them we have horizontal sliding doors that hang from a heavy duty iBeam via a rugged jump-proof carrier.

What is the next step after deciding on sash style? 

What other variants do you need to take into account when creating the walk-in fume hood?

As with the other fume hoods, airflow is very critical. You must identify airflow requirements of the experiment, exhaust and the bypass type needed. We also ask our clients, no matter what kind of fume hood they are purchasing, to double check the maximum opening requirements. This is the unit measurement of whatever equipment is needed inside the fume hood. The set up position of your fume hood is when the horizontal sash is fully open and the maximum opening measurement must match the measurement of whatever equipment will be needed for the experiment.

After deciding on the sash style for your floor-mounted fume hood we need to look at the liner material. All of our fume hoods are powder coated and superstructure galvanized, while the interior of the fume hood is lined with a material that’s dependent on your experiments needs. These aren’t specific to fume hood style, necessarily, but more so the chemistry within the fume hood.

Depending on your airflow needs and operating position, you then choose from two bypass types on your fume hood. There is the option of open bypass constant volume exhaust system, which is the most common for labs. The other option is a restricted bypass that goes with a variable air volume exhaustive system. A VAV (variable air volume) is an exhaustive system that typically maintains fume hood face velocity by adjusting lower motor speeds, in response to changes in sash position. This type is normally used when there is a multitude of hoods at a facility, as it becomes expensive to run on a singular fume hood. 

What aspects affect the cost of the walk-in hood the most?

Since a walk-in fume hood doesn’t sit on any objects, we can remove the cabinet accessories from the equations and move straight to plumbing and electrical necessities. Plumbing is very specific to the needs of your experiment and the location of your fume hood.

As for electrical, we offer a standard package with all of our fume hoods. This includes a blower switch, a light switch, 220 volt GFI duplex, vapor proof T8 florescent light fixtures and an airflow alarm. This comes standard with all floor-mounted fume hoods and can wire to any junction box. We also offer explosion proof fixtures for class 1 division 1 environments.

After all these decisions have been made based on the clients needs, the information is handed to our estimator team where a quote will be built and given to the client.

Building Your Bench Top Fume Hood

When building your lab, you want to make sure you choose the right equipment that is best suited for your needs. At Genie Scientific, we offer multiple fume hood designs tailored to use. In this article we examine one of our most sought after fume hoods, the bench top fume hood. Genie Scientific’s Vice President of Operations, Garrett LeVan, addresses how to choose the correct fume hood, while walking us through the building and pricing process.

How can clients get started in deciding which fume hood is right for their lab?

One of the main starting points when determining what fume hood is right for the customer is their required interior working dimensions. What is the internal height, width, and depth you need to safely perform the experiment inside the fume hood?  Measure out the footprint of your equipment and apparatus that will be going in the hood.  You also want to keep in mind any plans for the future, you want to have the flexibility to expand without overloading the hood.  

Does Genie offer different size options for a bench top fume hood?

We offer our bench top fume hoods in six standard widths and three standard depths, so it gives the client a lot of flexibility even within our standard product line. You can find a link to our specific sizing here.

What is the most common sash type for a bench top fume hood?

A vertical rising sash is the most commonly ordered for bench top fume hoods. It is less expensive than other styles due its simplicity.  Our Vertical Sash is driven by our PowerLink™ chain and sprocket counter balance system back by a never-fail LifeTime Warranty. 

What is the next step after deciding on sash style?

After you pick your sash style, we want to talk about the interior liner. This is the inside lining of the fume hood that comes in direct contact with the chemicals, vapors, fumes etc. that you’re working with during your experiment. Our standard liner material is our ChemTough fume hood liner. It is a superior general-purpose liner made from phenolic resin and has excellent resistance to a broad range of chemicals; it is also fire rated. This liner is structurally sound, so you can screw things directly into it and you don’t need to worry about damaging the hood.

Do you offer any other types of liners?

We offer stainless steel, polypropylene, and more

What other variants do you need to take into account when creating the fume hood?

Airflow requirements are the most critical. You must identify what type of airflow requirements, as well as the exhaust and bypass type you want in your fume hood. There’s two distinct positions on a fume hood. The first is when the vertical sash is fully open-- that’s called set up position. This becomes the maximum opening to allow the loading of the fume hood. (It’s important to double check this measurement and make sure your equipment is not greater than the opening measurement, so you can load your items properly.) The second is the operating position, that is the position of the sash when the experiment is being performed.

Depending on your airflow needs and operating position, you then choose from two bypass types on your fume hood. There is the option of open bypass constant volume exhaust system, which is the most common for labs. The other option is a restricted bypass that goes with a variable air volume exhaustive system. A VAV (variable air volume) is an exhaustive system that typically maintains fume hood face velocity by adjusting lower motor speeds, in response to changes in sash position. This type is normally used when there is a multitude of hoods at a facility, as it becomes expensive to run on a singular fume hood.

 

What aspects affect the cost of the fume hood the most?

The items that can have the greatest cost impact are the fume hood accessories.  There are many options for electrical, plumbing,

A bench top fume hood sits directly on top of base cabinet.  You can select from a simple welded table frame to specialty storage cabinets for acids or flammable solvent storage with self-closing doors.

  • Table Frame – A welded 4 leg tube table
  • Standard Base Cabinets – Steel cabinets with 2 doors and a shelf
  • Corrosive Storage – Steel cabinet with a molded one-piece polyethylene liner so safety store Acid or Bases.  Cabinet can be vented into the fume hood if desired
  • Vacuum Pump Cabinet – Steel cabinet designed to house a vacuum pump. The unit is sound deadened and has outlets to power the pump
  • Flammable Cabinet – Double wall steel cabinet with self-closing doors to protect flammable chemicals from a fire in the lab

You can read more about our bench top options here.

 

Next, we look at plumbing options. Fixtures are factory mounted on the hood and plumbed with hard copper pipe so the plumber in the field can make a quick and easy final connection.  Standard fixtures are for compress air, gas, nitrogen and cold water.  Specialty fixtures for pure water and steam are available with a variety of outlets.

 The standard electrical package for our hood comes with:

  • (2) 120V-20AMP GFI Duplex Outlets
  • (1) Light Switch wired to vapor proof T8 florescent light fixtures
  • (1) Blower Switch with illumination pilot light
  • (1) Analog Airflow Monitor

All items are prewired to a junction box on top of the hood making life easy for the electrician to make the final connection to the building power. We can install any type of electrical on the fume hood and wire it to a junction box. We also offer explosion proof fixtures for class 1 division 1 environments.

After all these decisions have been made based on the clients needs, the information is handed to our estimator team where a quote will be built and given to the client.

 

Pricing Your Lab Furniture & Fume Hood

Genie Scientific offers a wide range of standard items, but also excels in customizing materials for your lab. With the backbone of skilled craftsmanship and the daily exciting to push beyond our comfort zone, Genie can build your lab to suit the exact specifications you desire. Made-to-order designs, like anything else have a pricing process enabling you full transparency with your purchase. Below a Genie Scientific estimator, James DiLorenzo has answered several questions about our pricing process at Genie.

How does the process begin?

It starts with a sales lead from our team. They determine what the customer is looking for,  i.e. something custom or not. We chart all of our sales activity, then I generate a price to give the customer so they can decide whether or not they want to do business with us.

Next, we start something called “the take off”. The customer will write out all the equipment or we’ll look at drawings the customer provided and get dimensions.  Based on what they want, we start filling in the blank with items they desire. Here we’re using our expertise to ascertain what items fit within the confines of the room and we write out what they want. From there I enter this information into our accounting software and pull prices, or make custom prices based on if something is normal or niche. I dial in the pricing worksheet and include margins based on engineering, if it’s outsources or in-house, the quantity, as well as lingering details like freight/crating . These details get added up to a final price that the customer can act on.

Are there any other variants that you take into account when pricing steel designs?

Before tax, everything is material and labor. Say it’s a standard cabinet, we have a built in price for that since we make it often. But if its something with specific dimensions, I go in and find price materials and add our standardized labor rate and overhead. Once we add material and labor, we add our markup and tax. Then we need to account for consultations, architectural drawings and submittals, engineering, crating and securing of the product for delivery, freight, and depending on the project size we charge for site visits.

Tell me more about estimating cost for fume hoods--

A lot of the time, customers will ask for one of two types of fume hoods: bench top and walk-in fume hoods. We have standardized lines for both and often customers request fume hoods that meet these parameters. We have 3-8ft bench top and walk-in fume hoods.

At what point does a fume hood become a custom project?

If the project is not within our standardized height and depth or requires different materials, it becomes a  custom item. If it’s explosion proof, if they want certain types of doors, if they want certain types of electrical plumbing fixtures, we design it.  I should also mention that if someone is buying a bench top fume hood, we provide base cabinets at a cheaper cost.

Other custom designs include a variety of saches. The sache is the door or opening for the fume hood. We offer vertical sliding or horizontal rising saches and we offer combination saches that have sliding glass windows on a vertical rising window. We do different types of liners, steel and resin, chemical and heat resistant, based on what the customer is working with. We also offer electrical fixtures that we can prewire into the hood. Plugs, light switches, plumbing lines for water, air, and different gases.

Any other information you’d like to share about Genie?

Just to advise prospective clients that we may not be as big as companies in the Midwest, but because of that we have a more hands on approach to our projects and are fortunate enough to work with an incredibly skilled team. We are used to creating things that are outside of our comfort zone, so no project is too small or too big for us to tackle.