US Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Pesticide Programs
Office of Pesticide Programs
Mic ro bio lo gy La bo ra to ry
Environmental Science Center, Ft. Meade, MD
Standard Operating Procedure for
Use and Maintenance of Orbital Shakers
SOP Number: EQ-10-02
Date Revised: 09-12-14

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SOP No. EQ-10-02
Date Revised 09-12-14
Page 1 of 6
SOP Number
EQ-10-02
Title
Use and Maintenance of Orbital Shakers
Scope
This SOP describes the use and maintenance of orbital shakers (Forma
model 420).
Application
Shakers are used to grow microbial cultures under agitated conditions.


Approval Date
SOP Developer:

Print Name:
SOP Reviewer

Print Name:
Quality Assurance Unit

Print Name:
Branch Chief

Print Name:


Date SOP issued:

Controlled copy number:

Date SOP withdrawn:


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SOP No. EQ-10-02
Date Revised 09-12-14
Page 2 of 6
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents	Page Number
1.
DEFINITIONS
3
2.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
3
3.
PERSONNEL QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING
3
4.
INSTRUMENT CALIBRATION
3
5.
SAMPLE HANDLING AND STORAGE
3
6.
QUALITY CONTROL
3
7.
INTERFERENCES
3
8. NON-CONFORMING DATA
4
9.
DATA MANAGEMENT
4
10.
CAUTIONS
4
11.
SPECIAL APPARATUS AND MATERIALS
4
12.
PROCEDURE AND ANALYSIS
4
13.
DATA ANALYSIS/CALCULATIONS
6
14.
FORMS AND DATA SHEETS
6
15.
REFERENCES
6

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SOP No. EQ-10-02
Date Revised 09-12-14
Page 3 of 6
1. Definitions
1.	Additional abbreviations/definitions are provided in the text.
2.	Manual = Operating and Maintenance Manual 7000420 Rev. 7
3.	RPM = Rotations per minute
4.	LCD = Liquid crystal display
5.	ISO = International Organization for Standardization
2. Health and
Safety
Follow procedures specified in SOP MB-01, Laboratory Biosafety. The Study
Director and/or lead analyst should consult the Material Safety Data Sheet for
specific hazards associated with products.
3. Personnel
Qualifications
and Training
Refer to SOP ADM-04, OPP Microbiology Laboratory Training.
4. Instrument
Calibration
1. Temperature calibration.
a.	Access the Configuration menu by first pressing the down arrow,
then the up arrow, and then the Silence button.
b.	Press the Temperature button beneath Temp. Use the up and down
arrows to increase or decrease the temperature value to match an
independent, accurate temperature measuring device. When selected,
press the Time, Speed, or Temp button to save the setting.
5. Sample
Handling and
Storage
Refer to SOP MB-22, Disinfectant Sample Preparation, and SOP COC-01,
Chain of Custody Procedures.
6. Quality Control
1.	Record the temperature of each unit on each working day on the
appropriate Temperature Record form (see section 14) when the
instrument is in use.
2.	The thermometers are point checked annually against an ISO accredited
verification thermometer.
7. Interferences
1.	If the shaker is to be operated at a temperature 5-10C above ambient, the
circular vent at the rear of the cabinet must be 1 inch from the wall and the
rear vent must be fully opened by turning the Phillips screw clockwise. If
the operating temperatures are more than 10C above ambient, the rear
vent must remain closed (fully counterclockwise).
2.	Before inserting tubes or flasks, make sure the screws that attach the racks
to the platform are tight
3.	The lid must be closed to operate the shaker.
4.	The shaker should not be operated without a load.

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SOP No. EQ-10-02
Date Revised 09-12-14
Page 4 of 6
8. Non-
conforming
Data
1.	Management of non-conforming data will be consistent with SOP ADM-
07, Non-Conformance Reports.
2.	Any deviation from the standard operating procedures will be documented
in the record book and investigated. Problems maintaining the target
temperature will be determined and the appropriate corrective action will
be taken by the laboratory staff. If the problem cannot be determined or
corrected, a service technician will be called in to evaluate the situation
and to initiate the service on the equipment.
3.	For maintenance, service, and troubleshooting refer to sections 3 and 4 of
the manual.
9. Data
Management
1.	Data will be archived consistent with SOP ADM-03, Records and
Archives.
2.	The temperature of each shaker is to be recorded promptly, legibly and in
indelible ink on the appropriate temperature record form (see section 14).
10. Cautions
1.	Do not leave the shaker unattended when starting the unit. Be sure all
flasks and test tube racks are firmly seated in the clips and check the
security of the flask clip and the platform attachment screws monthly.
2.	Shaker #1 is attached to a Knee-well Slide Assembly - make sure the
lever catches the latch tab after pushing the slide assembly back in prior to
turning on the shaker.
3.	The Model 420 Orbital Shaker control system monitors and provides
alarms for nine operating parameters (refer to pages 2-5 and 2-6 of the
manual).
4.	For spills inside of the shaker, refer to section 4 of the manual for
dismantling the shaker and refer to SOP MB-13, Handling Spills, for the
spill control procedures for biohazardous organisms in biosafety levels 1,
2, and 3.
11. Special
Apparatus and
Materials
1. Forma Orbital Shakers (model 420), serial numbers 131375-1815 (Shaker
#1) and 131376-1816 (Shaker #2).
12. Procedure and
Analysis

12.1 General Shaker
Operation
a.	Turn on the unit using the main power switch (located on the right
side of the unit next to the power cord) and press Start to operate the
shaker. Be sure Knee-well Slide Assembly is locked prior to turning
on shaker #1.
b.	When starting, the numbers along the top row of the LCD will differ

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SOP No. EQ-10-02
Date Revised 09-12-14
Page 5 of 6

from the Setpoint values shown along the bottom row of the LCD.
These numbers will change as the unit begins to operate.
c. Record the temperature of each unit when in use (refer to section 1
and 2 of the manual).
12.2 Time Settings
a.	Hold. With the time set at Hold, the time display in the upper left
portion of the screen begins to count upward, showing the total
operating hours and minutes.
b.	Countdown. When the Hold setpoint is changed to countdown, the
shaker will operate for the specified period and automatically shut
down. The display will show the total time in the setpoint segment
and the operating time remaining in the Actual part of the display as
the microprocessor counts down to zero.
c.	Changing from Hold to Countdown.
i.	Press the button beneath the Time setpoint. Hold will begin
to flash.
ii.	Press either arrow to access the Countdown Time setpoint.
The preset time setpoint will begin to flash.
iii.	Press the up and down arrows to set the desired operating
time in five minute increments.
iv.	When the desired elapsed time is set, press the Time button to
return to the Operating Screen. Pressing the Start button will
start the shaker and begin the countdown sequence. When
00:00 is reached, the shaker will automatically shut off and
the Cycle Complete alarm will sound.
12.3 Speed Settings
a.	The Actual speed will display zero RPM and will gradually rise as
the platform begins its motion.
b.	Changing the speed.
i.	Press the button beneath the Speed setpoint. The RPM value
will begin to flash.
ii.	Press the up or down arrows to set the new speed in 1 RPM
increments.
iii.	Press the Speed button again to return to the Operating
Screen.
12.4 Temperature
Settings
a. The temperature, shown in the upper right portion of the LCD, will
indicate the actual ambient temperature inside the cabinet and will
slowly move toward the setpoint.

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SOP No. EQ-10-02
Date Revised 09-12-14
Page 6 of 6

b. Changing the temperature setpoint.
i.	Press the button beneath the temperature setpoint (Temp C).
The temperature value will begin to flash.
ii.	Press the up or down arrows to set the new temperature in
0.1 C increments.
iii.	Press the temperature button again to return to the Operating
Screen.
13. Data Analysis/
Calculations
1. None
14. Forms and Data
Sheets
Test Sheets. Test sheets are stored separately from the SOP under the
following file names:
Orbital Shaker Temperature Log EQ-10-02_Fl.docx
15. References
1. Forma Orbital Shaker Operating and Maintenance Manual 7000420 Rev.
7.

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