Every producer in America—from a Pepsi bottler to a paper mill, chicken processor to automotive parts suppliers—has a Quality Control department. Every one of these QC departments needs an industrial autoclave. And, just as QC has few fans in the front office, that autoclave has few friends in QC. Having the right industrial sterilizer makes life easier for everyone, reducing the cost of Quality Control while improving performance.
Is Your Autoclave an Industrial Autoclave?
QC is not a popular part of industrial America: It’s a pricey cost-center that either produces no news or bad news. Even worse, in the QC department any number of simple errors can expose a company to millions of dollars in liabilities. A mishandled sample, botched sterilization cycle, or poorly tracked waste load can set you up for high fines or costly litigation. But QC is vital to manufacturing operations—and often mandated, in practice if not by law.
Meanwhile, everyone in QC feels the same way about their autoclave: It’s vital to their daily operations—from sterilizing glassware and waste loads to performing life-cycle and durability testing on samples from the factory floor—but it’s an expensive piece of temperamental equipment. A spilled sample or seemingly innocuous hiccup in the building’s water softener can bring operations screeching to a halt while everyone waits for the closest manufacturer-certified service tech.
Quality Control Demands Industrial Autoclaves
All too often QC departments end up saddled with the sort of pricey, hard-to-maintain medical autoclave that has long dominated the market. Medical autoclaves are optimized for high-throughput operation in hospitals, where instruments and waste loads need to be sterilized at all hours. Such medical-grade units usually have external steam generators that need to be kept hot 24-hours per day (even weekends and holidays). In order to keep from damaging building wastewater systems, these medical-grade autoclaves almost invariably rely on “bleeder valve” cooling systems that flush no less than one gallon of water down the drain every minute, around the clock, each day of the year. (For more on the cost of this design, download our free white paper on autoclave water consumption.)
The result is an expensive machine with lots of moving parts in need of quarterly maintenance calls from a factory rep. It eats up a lot of electricity and water, and no one in QC has any idea if they’re voiding the warranty when they use the thing to prematurely age paint chips and pop bottles.
Your QC department isn’t a hospital, and it doesn’t need the headaches of a hospital autoclave.
Industrial Autoclave Solutions
The appropriate machine for a QC department is a research-grade industrial autoclave. Such autoclaves are built around efficient cylindrical pressure vessels, which eliminate the need for additional pumps and heat regulation—making for a lower sticker price. By relying on integrated heaters and downward-displacement operation, these industrial sterilizers conserve a significant amount of energy and water, massively reducing operating costs over the long haul. And, by absolutely reducing moving parts and seals, a light-duty research-grade industrial autoclave dramatically reduces maintenance costs.