The Right Autoclave for Your Facility
If you’re replacing an existing sterilizer, then this is the ideal moment to ask yourself how well that old autoclave was meeting your needs. Just because you had a 100L sterilizer before, that doesn’t mean you need to replace it with a new 100L sterilizer. If you relied on a bolt-on steam generator or house steam with your last unit, that doesn’t mean doing so again is the best choice for you. The perfect fit five years ago isn’t necessarily the perfect fit today. We pride ourselves on the flexibility of our core design, which can easily be modified with many optional features and use-specific accessories. Combined with our fully programmable Tactrol Control System, our “off the rack” autoclaves suit most facilities. But there’s no need to settle for an autoclave that’s almost a perfect fit. Since each Priorclave autoclave is hand-built in our South London factory, it’s just as cost-effective to opt for complete customization. First-time autoclave buyers, or those outfitting a facility for others, can find autoclave selection even more bewildering: Medical-grade or research-grade? Vertical or horizontal? Cylindrical, rectangular, steam jackets, dry heat, lifts, trolleys, loading baskets, discard trays—it goes on and on. Choosing the right autoclave isn’t just a matter of buying the right size and type of sterilizer, but also outfitting it so that it supports your work and meshes with your building systems and local conditions. Consider your water source. Local water quality has an enormous impact on the efficiency and longevity of your autoclave. A two-minute phone call can save the average autoclave buyer thousands of dollars. We’ve helped manufacturers, life sciences researchers, government agencies, educational institutions, and those in the food and beverage industries outfit their facilities with reliable, full-featured steam sterilizers. You can take a look at our customers page to explore each of these applications in a variety of markets. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation, to discuss your facility and typical workloads. It’s also worth considering annual autoclave maintenance or calibration for higher workloads.
Three Classes of Autoclaves
Research-grade autoclaves are generally broken into three broad categories: 1. Compact 40 or 60 liter benchtop and tabletop autoclaves ideal for smaller labs, flexible and shared spaces, etc. 2. 60 to 150 liter vertical top-loading autoclaves perfect for tall flasks, fermentors, and bioreactors, as well as waste processing. 3. Larger 100 to 320 liter horizontal front-loading sterilizers, which can be configured in many ways, including pass-thru units for clean-room environments. All units sold by Priorclave North America are outfitted with the flexible, full-featured Tactrol Control System. This system weds ease-of-use (one-touch start for any cycle) with precision customizable control. With Tactrol, the user can quickly adjust standard settings (process temperature, dwell time, additional freesteaming and drying stages, etc.), and also directly control temperature set-points and ramps, monitoring, logging, vacuum pumps, cooling assists, heating elements, cycle repeats, and more. Advanced operators can be given full access, while trainees can be given limited access, or locked into a single validated cycle. Small labs don’t need to forgo functionality in order to save space, larger labs can run highly specialized cycles, and techs experienced with a smaller “training” unit can seamlessly shift to a larger production sterilizer without retraining.
The Cylindrical Advantage
Many autoclave manufacturers favor rectangular autoclave pressure vessels. These are ideal for sterilizers in medical facilities—which are constantly sterilizing multiple trays of rectangular trays loaded with clean surgical supplies—but are a poor fit for the vast majority of non-medical users. In order to maintain their integrity, rectangular pressure chambers have thick, reinforced walls—which make the chamber harder to heat and cool, and inhibit steam circulation. To compensate for this, medical autoclave manufacturers make a series of design sacrifices throughout the device. The resulting sterilizer has a far higher part-count than a comparable cylindrical-chambered research-grade autoclave, a much more demanding maintenance schedule, and a greater susceptibility to unscheduled downtime. Conventional rectangular autoclaves also struggle with extremely high electricity bills and water usage. This is why Priorclave relies on efficient cylindrical pressure vessels. Autoclaves built around a cylindrical vessel consume less than half as much electricity and at least 87 percent less water than similar-sized rectangular-vessel models. There are a variety of reasons to choose Priorclave, so click here for more on the water savings, energy efficiency, LEED opportunities, and tabletop longevity inherent to Priorclave’s cylindrical-vessel research-grade autoclave design. For more information, you can check out the FAQ and downloads available in our resources section and blog, or contact us directly.