The Serious Benefits of Giving Instruments Silly Names

Martin Perkins

11th December 2014

Alan Lockley, Engineers, Ray Perkins, Service, Silly Names,


Some laboratories give their instruments names.

I know of labs that name instruments after colours, characters from TV shows and Disney animals. While is undoubtedly a fun thing to do, there are significant benefits that come from adopting this practice.

If you have a single GC-MS, then when you discuss your Agilent 7890-5977 (say), it is crystal clear to everyone what instrument you are referring to, however, the more instruments you have, the greater the potential for confusion.

All instruments have unique serial numbers, but nowadays, instruments are usually systems composed of sub-units, all with their own serial numbers that are long, easy to misread and often hard to reach and to read.

The potential for confusion grows with any or all of the following:

  • When some instruments are identical
  • When instruments are reconfigured
  • When instruments are relocated

Giving each system a distinct and unique name makes everything so much easier to track.

When Brad’s FID is removed and installed on Angelina – everyone understands what has happened and will probably remember it clearly.

If Snoopy needs a PM, Snoopy will get his PM – not Micky or Mini.

If Red is now running samples 24/7, it is clear that we need a duplicate of Red to increase capacity.

This bit of fun helps us help you too.

We have recently adjusted our CRM software to support your use of instrument names.

If Poirot has become a bit noisy, you just have to call and tell us just that. We will know exactly what you mean – we will have Poirot’s configuration, serial numbers and service history on file. When our engineer arrives on site – he will know exactly which instrument he needs to work on and what to expect.

If your instruments have recently acquired names, please let us know and we will add them to our records and the growing cast of characters that we support.

You can contact Anatune’s support team by email on or telephone +44(0)1223 279210.