Autoclave Purchase Checklist

What Matters When Buying an Autoclave? 8 Factors to Consider Before You Buy

Jason Thompson
Written by: Jason Thompson

Purchasing an autoclave is a significant investment for any research facility, so it is important to work with the right autoclave manufacturing company. At Consolidated Sterilizer Systems, we take great pride in the autoclaves we build and believe these eight factors set us apart:


1. Experience and Heritage (est. 1946)

With over 68 years of experience, we are among the oldest manufacturers of autoclaves in the industry. Born and raised in Boston, MA, on principles of excellence and the commitment to quality, we began by supplying rolling door autoclaves and water stills to the U.S. Department of Defense in 1946. Today, still manufacturing in Boston, our autoclaves continue to serve the City’s most innovative and renowned laboratories and research facilities, as well as other leading universities, hospitals, and biotechnology facilities around the world. From MIT, Stanford, and Yale to GE, Novartis, and the American Red Cross, CSS autoclaves are an integral part of scientific lab communities where top performance and reliability are a necessity.


2. Single Product Focus

Our sole company vision is to be the leaders in the laboratory steam sterilizer market. We have a single product focus to build the most reliable, affordable and customizable autoclaves in the industry—period. This is all we do. This single focus repeatedly makes CSS one of the lowest-cost providers in the market because engineering, sales and production efficiencies are increased.  Most competitors are not as concentrated, typically manufacturing not only autoclaves, but other lab equipment too. This requires a fragmented manufacturing process and less focus on a single product. As a result, their divided effort and attention compromises craftsmanship and customer service.


3. Made in the USA

We have always proudly engineered and produced our autoclaves solely in the United States. We have a Boston Strong workforce, with an average tenure of 10 years; some of whom have been with the company for over 25 years! We believe it is important to our products’ quality, and the overall US economy, that we produce all of our autoclaves in the USA.


4. Superior Customer Service & Serviceability

What’s the use in buying an autoclave if the purchasing process is a nightmare and future customer support promises to be no better? At CSS, we firmly believe there is no place for poor customer service in the autoclave industry—so, we won’t settle for anything less than the best for our customers.

Whether you are replacing an existing autoclave in an old building, installing in a new building, or just have an autoclave-related question, you can expect a full-spectrum service experience with CSS. When you call us, you will speak with a qualified representative from our factory in Boston, MA. We provide start to finish (turn-key) installations and offer training sessions for customers who want to learn how to use their new equipment. Our training includes tips for optimizing use, preventative maintenance, utility savings, and video tutorials.

Should any problem arise, we also have an extensive network of CSS factory-authorized and trained service engineers on-call during work hours to ensure timely resolutions that keep your autoclave downtime to a minimum. Additionally, our friendly service department staff is available by phone to answer your questions and recommend the best options and solutions for your specific needs. Just be sure to have your serial number ready when you call!


5. Cost of Ownership

At Consolidated Sterilizer Systems, we also address long-term autoclave affordability for our customers. We have designed innovative solutions to help reduce future costs of ownership. Our SterilCare Preventative Maintenance and Parts PAX Programs offer discounted parts packages and Preventative Maintenance plans from authorized service groups. We also emphasize sustainable “smart options” designed to reduce water and energy consumption.  See more on this below. Additionally, our commitment to using non-proprietary parts keeps costs down and allows for us to have the lowest cost of ownership in the market.


6. Green Building Initiatives and Innovations

Staying current is one thing, but staying ahead is better. That’s why Consolidated Sterilizer Systems is a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization committed to providing a sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

At CSS, energy and water conservation are central in our approach to autoclave technology. We constantly collaborate with architects and labs to determine what we can do to make the design and construction process seamless, cost effective, and eco-friendly. LEED credits are available through the use of our WaterEco Water Saving Systems and EcoCalendarTM programmable energy saving feature. As a result of these technologies, we were awarded with a Green Building of America Award for our contributions and commitment to a more sustainable future.

See how you could start saving today by checking out our easy to use water savings calculator.


7. Higher Grade, Customizable Systems

Our autoclaves must not only be reliable, but they must be manufactured to the specific needs of the laboratory for which they will service. These specific requirements can pertain to both performance and configuration.

  • Performance:  Each of our laboratory autoclaves—including our new large sterilizer, the MiniBulk™—are equipped with an Allen-Bradley Advantage Series Programmable Logic Controllers to help you select the cycles and temperatures best suited to your exact sterilization needs. Cycles names, user passwords, and exhaust rates are just a few of the features that can be edited by you.
  • Configuration:  Any one of our sterilizers can be custom-configured to your ideal specifications.  The options are endless and CSS takes great pride with making sure each customer receives the exact unit they require/desire. Some examples of configuration options include: vacuum vs. gravity, house steam vs. integral generator, recessed vs. cabinet, plumbing on left-side vs. right-side, controller mounting left or right, hinge mounting left or right, load probes, water saving systems, remote access features, iPhone monitoring, etc.—the list goes on and on.

In addition to the above, we also provide state-of-the-art “smart options” to help customize or upgrade any autoclave for specific applications or requirements. Suitable for use with any new or existing autoclaves, our smart options support every improvement from introducing a water purification system, to installing a new steam generator, to leveraging water setback controls*, to cleaning your chamber more easily—CSS makes staying up to date a synch.

*Most of our equipment also comes equipped with an “EcoCalendar” feature that shuts down the steam supply to the autoclave. The intuitive shutdown time is programmable by each individual facility. This will save your facility on steam consumption, without even factoring in savings from our WaterEco Series.


8. Our Commitment to Continuous Improvement and Lean Manufacturing

Autoclaves play a major role in labs around the world, and these labs depend on their technology to grow and advance with them to ensure an equally successful future. For CSS, this means our job is never complete and there is always room to improve—this is the only way to keep building the best autoclaves, and it’s the only way to continue to be an industry leader.

To stay ahead of the game we routinely attend and are invited to present at professional development opportunities, including national conferences and meetings. Some recent events include: AALAS, the International Conference on Sustainable Laboratories, the Annual Northeast Building and Facilities Management Show and Conference, and the Annual CDC International Symposium on Biosafety.

Additionally, we also take extreme pride investing in our local and global communities in an effort to give back—such as was the case when we joined the Haiti relief efforts back in 2010.


Remember, buying an autoclave from the right autoclave company is an investment in your lab’s future, so we encourage you to compare us to the competition before purchasing your next autoclave.  For more about our autoclaves, contact us today.  

Don't Buy An Autoclave Until You Read This

Find out the 17 questions you need to ask before buying your next autoclave.

Download eBook
Don't Buy An Autoclave Until You Read This