Remember the last time you lost power at home? Upsetting, wasn't it? Your team had seconds to score the winning goal, or you were just starting to dry your soaking head of hair, or you hadn't clicked "save" on that spreadsheet for half an hour and- ZAP- everything stopped and you were sitting in the dark.
Now think about this same scenario at your imaging facility. Also upsetting, but with significantly higher stakes than having to redo a few minutes of data entry or rely on the sports page in the morning. If you find the thought unsettling, keep reading to find out how a UPS could be just what you need to avoid "setbacks" like these.
Power Loss and Surges
Power loss or power surges are two good reasons your imaging equipment should have back-up power like a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). A UPS is filled with batteries that store temporary reserve power for whatever equipment they are connected to. In the event of a power loss, the UPS kicks on immediately to keep the equipment powered for a short time with no functional gaps, hence: "uninterruptible". A UPS gives you the time you need to save data and shut the machine down properly. This allows you to avoid data loss (which could mean recalling a patient) or component damage (which can cost thousands in replacements).
On top of avoiding data loss and recalls, just like the surge protector on your computer and entertainment center at home, a UPS also prevents damage to electrical components. Think of it as a much larger version of the same principal for much larger (and more expensive) equipment. We are on the cusp of storm season here in the U.S., so those of you operating along the Gulf Coast and across "Tornado Alley" will want to make these considerations in the near future. Those of you in other severe weather-prone areas around the world may have a little more time to make up your minds, but we don't recommend going another season without protection against heavy storm activity. Basic surge and power loss protection can be accomplished with what's called an offline, or standby, UPS.
Another excellent reason to get a UPS for your medical imaging systems is to ensure that they have a reliable source of "clean power" or, power that is free of sudden spikes or dips in its overall sine wave. This is a bigger concern in some areas than others, especially facilities that are distant from the plant that produces their power, places where brownouts are common, or in densely populated areas where the sheer amount of electrical equipment being used generates "noise" in the electrical current. Systems that receive "dirty power" can suffer from component degradation at an accelerated rate, total component burn out, or reduction in their image quality. Clean power (AKA power conditioning) capabilities are commonly found in online UPS units. An online UPS will cost more than a standby UPS, but in an area prone to inconsistent power, the protection is well worth it.
So, now that you know the benefits and security a UPS can offer, you might be wondering if there are any hidden drawbacks. There's really only one, and it's minimal: your UPS will need some periodic maintenance. If you clean your UPS twice a year and replace the batteries (we stock these) according to the expiration date stamped on the existing set, your UPS should continue to offer clean, uninterrupted power and surge protection indefinitely.
Whenever You're Ready
If you don't choose a UPS for your medical imaging equipment, we won't say that you're headed for certain disaster, but your equipment is more open to a source of potential downtime and electrical damage. Why skip the cost of protecting your equipment only to leave it vulnerable to even more costly damage and downtime? If you're interested in starting a purchasing conversation, our Parts Team is happy to talk with you about what you need. And, if you need a hand with installing it, our Service Team is standing by too. Contact us here or give us a call to find out more.