Is It Time to Upgrade or Replace Your Autoclave?

Jason Thompson
Written by: Jason Thompson

Autoclaves are often a mission-critical tool and, like all machinery, do experience wear and tear as a result of frequent use. Inevitably, there will come a time when you replace your unit to ensure consistent autoclave performance.

Here are some guidelines around when it may be time to upgrade or replace your autoclave:

  • The autoclave is broken. This might seem fairly obvious but still warrants mentioning.
  • The autoclave chamber is compromised. A heavily corroded chamber can lead to cracks, which presents a safety risk and would merit autoclave replacement.
  • You’re experiencing consistent downtime. Whether you work in a laboratory environment or a medical facility, autoclave downtime is costly and has a negative impact on productivity. The best way to avoid unnecessary downtime is by performing routine preventative maintenance; should preventative maintenance be inadequate to resolve your issues, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to replace your autoclave.
  • Your current autoclave is a money pit. There could be any number of reasons for this:
    • It’s a legacy unit that has depreciated over time
    • It doesn’t include sustainability features, which means water is constantly running, thereby wasting thousands of gallons (if not more) each year
    • It would cost more to upgrade or support the existing unit than it would to invest in a brand new one
  • You’re experiencing customer support issues. If your autoclave was manufactured outside the United States, chances are the manufacturer’s customer service and support team is based outside of the U.S., too. This can make it difficult to communicate and resolve issues in real-time, which can contribute to or extend much-dreaded downtime. If any of this sounds familiar, you might want to replace your autoclave, this time looking for a U.S.-based manufacturer.
  • Components of the autoclave are no longer supported or available. If your controller platform is no longer supported, you can easily purchase a controller upgrade kit to extend the life of your autoclave without having to replace the entire unit. If, however, certain parts for your autoclave are no longer available, you’re likely looking at a full replacement. Consolidated sterilizers are manufactured using non-proprietary parts and components, making it easier to locate and replace individual parts rather than the entire unit.
  • You need to increase throughput. If you require more capacity than your existing chamber can provide, it may be time to upgrade to a new unit that can accommodate your sterilization needs.
  • Your application has changed. Perhaps you currently have a gravity cycle sterilizer but require a vacuum cycle. Perhaps you require a sterilizer that automatically blows down your steam generator, but you currently use a legacy model that doesn’t support that capability. Whatever the reason, if your existing autoclave no longer aligns with your intended application, it may be time to replace.
  • Your supply steam source has changed. Similar to the previous point, perhaps you currently use house steam, but the quality is poor, and you want to change to an integral steam generator with a high-purity water feed. Or, perhaps you currently use a steam generator but have good house steam and want to make a switch. Again, either situation would warrant an autoclave upgrade or replacement.

If any of these pain points resonate with you, that’s a good indication that it’s in your best interest to replace your autoclave.

Are you ready to upgrade or replace your autoclave? If so, we encourage you to consider Consolidated Sterilizer Systems. Over the past 75 years, we’ve manufactured over 14,000 steam sterilizers, some of the oldest of which are still in operation today. When you buy a Consolidated sterilizer, you can rest easy knowing that you have a piece of equipment that’s built to last.

For more information about what Consolidated can do for you, 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.

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Don't Buy An Autoclave Until You Read This