Made in America

70 Years of American Made Autoclaves

Arthur Trapotsis
Written by: Arthur Trapotsis

MS Biochemical Engineering, MBA, Consultant

Made in America Seventy years ago William A. Barnstead acquired Consolidated Machine Corporation with a focus on producing rolling door autoclaves and water stills for the U.S. Department of Defense. Barnstead, an entrepreneur and rugged individualist, worked diligently to create for his company a strong and lasting reputation as an innovator in the sterilizer and water still industry. He also believed deeply in building reliable and durable American made products. That commitment to innovation and quality has never wavered over 70 years and continues to be the Consolidated Sterilizer mission in the future.

Today, under the leadership of Arthur Trapotsis, the company is known as Consolidated Sterilizer Systems and has expanded its focus to creating reliable, affordable and customizable sterilization systems for laboratory and medical research facilities around the globe.

When Trapotsis acquired the oldest US manufacturer of autoclaves in 2008 from Barnstead he had the responsibility of ensuring that the quality and reliability of the sterilizers were of utmost importance.

“It’s been quite the journey from being a small water still fabricator to becoming the premiere autoclave manufacturer in America,” Trapotsis said recently upon reflecting on his company’s upcoming 70th anniversary. “We are the oldest sterilizer manufacturing company in the United States and still have the same commitment to American made quality.”

Trapotsis, much like his predecessor, has continued the company’s dedication to creating sterilizers that are “Made in America” — despite the allure of low labor costs and less regulation overseas.

“(Barnstead) loved the idea of ‘Made in America’,” he said. “He was very customer focused and liked providing them with reliable American made products.”

Trapotsis also believes that the Consolidated Sterilizer mission isn’t about being a company that just produces quality American made products. “Innovation is a key component of Consolidated’s success” says Trapotsis.

Trapotsis said being headquartered in Boston, a hub of innovation, is another element in what has made CSS so successful over the years.

“Being in Boston, we are amongst the best universities, hospitals, and biotech companies in the world. I’m proud to say that we’ve partnered with most of these leading institutions on unique autoclave projects,” he said.

Another proud accomplishment over the years, according to Trapotsis, is maintaining a healthy and adaptable work force that is responsive to customers and their concerns. In addition, being a small business allows CSS the opportunity to act quickly and nimbly to their customer needs, thus creating new products that drive markets trends.

Milestones over the years include CSS launching dozens of new products, entering new markets throughout 70 countries around the world and earning FDA approval. CSS has also dedicated itself to creating more “green” American made products by investing heavily in researching and manufacturing sustainable autoclaves, as well as R&D into what the future of the autoclave looks like.

Another contributor to the success leading up to Consolidated’s 70th anniversary is the investment the company has made in being a go-to resource within the autoclave industry. The CSS Autoclave Learning Center features a wide array of online videos, eBooks and other pieces of content that Trapotsis believes positions CSS at the top of the market by teaching clients about sterilization techniques and helping them make informed decisions on sterilization products.

“We aim to push the envelope and be the thought leaders in the autoclave industry,” said Trapotsis. “Our success is a testament to our employees, our representatives, distributors, our products’ quality, and to the innovation we strive for each and every day.”

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