Consolidated Sterilizer Systems Completes Challenging Autoclave Installation for Leading Medical Device Manufacturer

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Written by: Scott Mechler

BS Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineer

Project Name: Scientific Device Laboratory
Type of Project: Custom Installation, Sterilizer Validation
Sales Team:  DAI Scientific
Service Team: Amity Hospital  Service

The Client: Scientific Device Laboratory

Scientific Device Laboratory is a Des Plaines, Illinois-based medical device manufacturer that applies its expertise in the fields of microbiology and specialty printing to the production of microscope slides, sterile tools, stains, reagents and more for scientific research purposes. Founded in 1980 by Dr. Stewart Lipton, SDL is committed to finding solutions to scientific challenges and operates under the guiding principle of “If we can’t find a way, we will make one.”

SDL’s Challenge

In order to maximize space within its laboratory, SDL needed to recess its Consolidated Model SR-24E sterilizer into a small cinder block wall closet. The project came with many constraints, as the installation had to be made over existing plumbing and drainage for an external generator without disconnecting either of these lines. The unit also needed to be installed and to operate according to validation standards for SDL’s standard operating procedures.

Designing a Custom Solution

First off, Consolidated sent a representative (Kevin Theis from DAI Scientific) to SDL’s laboratory to take site measurements.

Second, realizing that the structural nature of the closet offered minimal service space, Kevin and Consolidated worked with SDL to design a custom solution for the space. The solution included the following elements:

  • Custom autoclave frame
  • Autoclave plumbing configured to just the right side and rear of the autoclave
  • Custom trim panels
  • Custom cart and carriage with 4 swivel wheels

Lastly, with design in hand, the Consolidated team set to work on constructing the autoclave. The manufacturing process began by building a custom autoclave frame to support SDL’s existing plumbing and drain location, which ran underneath the unit. Because the service space was restricted on the left side, Consolidated configured the sterilizer so that plumbing and components were accessible from the right side and back. Consolidated also provided custom trim paneling to cover gaps between the equipment and walls to improve the unit’s aesthetic quality and wall-mounted controls to allow for more convenient access. The loading cart and transfer carriage were built with 4 swivel wheels to allow for easier maneuverability to accommodate the shallow approach to the front of the autoclave.

The Conclusion

SDL offered glowing praise for Consolidated Sterilizer Systems’ work and for the overall success of the project.

“We’ve had the new autoclave now for nearly a year and we’re so happy with it,” said Jose Eguiguren, COO of Scientific Device Laboratory. Eguiguren also reported that the machine was easy to load and operate, provided peace of mind by eliminating the risk of the chamber opening prematurely and helped SDL reduce its scrap rates.

SDL also praised the entire Consolidated team for its thoughtful consideration and dedication, highlighting the efforts of Rob Bossler, Validation Expert, in particular.

“[Rob’s] work was more than just thorough, but insightful,” said Eguiguren. “He made recommendations that led to our considering more optimum cycle times and load patterns. He also was a pleasure to work with and is clearly knowledgeable.”

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