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Archive for the 'Pharma/Biotech' Category

The Burns SWE, Sanitary Elbow Thermowell, is deisgned to provide a cleanable, drainable and highly effective measurement access point.  The design and construction of the sensor used with the SWE can impact the accuracy of the measurement.  This technical paper present the impact of different sensor designs on the measurement performance.  

Technical Paper


The Burns Engineering Mission is to "Ensure Temperature Measurement Confidance".  



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CE Authorized for use in the EU - Series A

Posted on September 11, 2013

a01.jpgThe Burns Engineering Series A RTDs have been self certified as complying with the European Parliament Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).  Consequently the CE mark has been applied to the Burns Engineering Series A product for compliance to directive 2011/65/EU.  No other "New Approach" directives were found to apply.


The Series A products have been self certified for European Parliament Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety.


The CE mark applies to All the Series A models


See the Series A catalog for product details.


See the Series A Instruction Manual.



European Parliament Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).


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E. Coli - A Curse and a Blessing!?!

Posted on August 20, 2013

Here is an article about how E. Coli is used in Biotech research and development. bpr_20.gif E. Coli in DNA Cloning Also Read about "Clean E. Coli" - a modified version that does not cause a response in humans.lucigen-logo.jpgcleancoli.png CleanColi™ info from Lucigen® Fascinating! The Food industry works hard to eliminate E. Coli and the BioTech industry embraces E. Coli.

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Autoclave Temperature Measurement

Posted on July 29, 2013


The Autoclave processing environment can present an interesting set of challenges.

  • Is the drain measurement representative of the load?
  • Is the load uniformly heated?
  • How many wall penetrations are required to insure proper processing?
  • Large chambers required to sanitize large items create sensor cables routed in may places.

From Autoclave as small as those used in a dental office or hospital, to systems large enough to laminate airplane wings, the challenges present themselves in many ways.  The team at Burns have frequent conversations about the issues as they related to the measurement need with multiple autoclave users.


See earlier post about the Autoclave load measurement challenges.


Each of these systems present unique challenges including access into the chamber, confined or complex maintenance access, and measurement at the point of highest interest; on the actual item(s) being processed.


We have responded to these concerns with several products designed for this exact environment.  The SA series of Autoclave instruments are water tight, durable and built for the demands of multiple Autoclave systems.  See the entire Autoclave family.

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RTD Performance - Periodic Verification?

Posted on November 14, 2012

YES!   It can be as easy as measuring the resistance in a container of ice water. (you don't need a Triple Point of Water Cell.)ice-bath-a.JPG We have discovered too many times that sensors are installed in systems that experience a combination of temperature cycling, over temp excursions, vibration, high flow rates and /or just left unattended for years.  In many cases this is not a concern based on the requirements of the measurement.  Although, if these influences exists and the expectation is to be confident that the measurement represents the actual process media temperature, periodic verification can ensure that confidence. tech-papers.jpg This paper titled:  Developing a Periodic Performance Verification Program  for Platinum Resistance Thermometers, will help you understand the importance, and provide some guidance on how to establish a verification approach that is right for your application. Visit the Burns Website Technical Papers page - register/sign-in to access ALL the papers.  This set of papers provides an in-depth study of the source of error,  the cost of measurement error, and how to manage the multiple influences on the measurement. Our Mission is Your Measurement! We believe that any sensor will provide a measurement, although if the influences that exist in the application are not managed or planned for, that measurement may not represent the actual process temperature. If you would like to discuss your application to ensure measurement confidence in your operation - call or send a note.  Here is our contact information.

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Miniature Transmitter - T16

Posted on December 21, 2011

2011_10_05_0702.JPGNew from Burns Engineering - Model T16 RTD Transmitter.  All the performance required in a small, compact - fit nearly anywhere - package.  PC programmable with the TP16 Programming Module.t16-config-group.jpg Here's the details:  T16 Information.














Link to Burns 2012 Cook Book - You know your hungry! Enjoy

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Burns RTD for Autoclave Applications

Posted on October 4, 2011

We have heard multiple frustration-filled stories about large autoclave systems and damaged sensors as large carts and rack are move in and out of the chamber.  These conversations have pushed the envelope regarding what an RTD looks like to serve this durability need.autoclave-group-1.jpg


Known in the large autoclave circles as SAH and SAX, these provide the accuracy necessary and the durability hoped for by Autoclave users.  These Heavy Duty sensors join the previously released Autoclave RTDs, SAC (Sanitary Autoclave Classic) and SAL (Sanitary Autoclave Load).  See all the details in the Series S Autoclave Supplement. (In PDF format)


Curious about how Durable?  Intrigued or challenged with a process of your own?  Send a note to we'd love to hear from you.

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Burns RTD in Mini form

Posted on September 7, 2011

Good things come in small packages.  In this case the small package includes Class A accuracy (+/- 0.06%) and a wide temperature range (-196°C to 200°C).Model A03


From 0.080" to 0.25" diameter and 1.25" length - and the ultimate in clean and flexible:  The A04 with a PFA sheath.Model A04


Give us a call (800.326.3871) to discuss how the Series A fit-anywhere RTDs could help with your temperature measurement needs.


Also, Check out the Series A, Mini RTD catalog.Catalog; Model A01, A02, A03 & A04

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Application Note: Small dia. Lines

Posted on June 13, 2011



Measuring temperature in very small diameter tubing can be a challenge. a1104251.jpg


This application note offers an example of how we customized a standard product to meet the measurement need.

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Burns on YouTube..

Posted on March 31, 2011

youtube-logo.jpgMore activity on the last day at Interphex in New York.  I heard it was a great show, except for the rainy final day.



Watch the video the guys created at Interphex. YouTube Video

Interested in learning more about the Burns Autoclave sensor family?  Click here for the catalog.

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Did you see this in the Interphex Show Daily?interphex-show-daily-back-cover.PNG

Stop by and visit with Bill (RTDologist™) and Jeff (RTDology™ Moderator) in booth 3813.  They have lots to share.

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Interphex 2011, Are you there?

Posted on March 29, 2011

Interphex 2011


...Off and running.


Burns, booth 3813,  is talking about autoclave sensors, mini immersion sensors and miniature transmitters.


Autoclave Xtreme Duty RTDMini Immersion Sensors


Solving measurement challenges, large & small, durable & delicate, precision & standard, typical & not so typical.


What have you seen at Interphex in the "not so typical" category?  Share with us-leave a comment.

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Mercury in Glass - a thing of the past.

Posted on February 16, 2011

nist.jpgRead this important message from NIST:


No more Calibration of Mercury Thermometers (MiG).


 In the big picture, this is necessary to help build momentum to STOP the use of these devices.  There are a lot of reasons they are in place, but the Mercury risk to the environment is too great.


FYI - Burns can help provide an RTD based instrument to replace the MiG.


Send a note to, we'll help you find a better solution.

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New Application Note!

Posted on November 24, 2010

Read ALL our Application Notes...Humid conditions, changing external pressure and the need for reliability.  Check out the latest Application Note and see one of the interesting solutions to this dynamic environment.Coiled lead wire concept


What's your most difficult temperature measurement challenge?  Send a description to and we'll get on it!

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PMI; Positive Material Identification

Posted on October 26, 2010

xrf-device.pngPMI, aka Positive Material Identification.


Ensuring confidence, improving material handling processes and supporting the critical material needs of our Biotech, Food & Beverage and Industrial Processing customers.


As a Trusted Supplier to the process industry across the USA and around the world, Burns Engineering continues to expand its capability and service.


What is your experience with PMI?  Leave a comment.

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RTDology; RTD v Thermocouple

Posted on September 28, 2010

Back by popular demand - Burns RTDology Web session that clears up the confusion and miss-understanding about the difference between RTDs and Thermocouples. Burns Temperature Measurement Expertise Sharing Series


September 29th at Noon Central time.  1 hour max and No Cost!


Register now on the RTDology page.


Need a quick answer? Visit the Burns FAQ page, but SIGN-UP  and participate in the indepth discussion and Q&A opportunity.

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Temperature and RH in Mirco Device

Posted on September 22, 2010

Tiny Temp & RHThought this was fascinating.  Temperature and Relative Humidity in a 3mm by 3mm package, from Sensirion.  See the product highlight on and visit Sensirion website for more info.


Temperature accuracy is over a narrow range, but 0.3°C is pretty good if that is your range of concern.

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ASME-BPE Code Week

Posted on September 2, 2010

ASME BPE Code Week page October 11 - 14 Raleigh North Carolina - check out the educational line up and the BPE meeting activities;  Code Week Schedule.


ASME-BPE logoThe BPE committees will be in full swing driving toward the 2012 release of the BPE standard.  Several of the BPE committee participants are presenting in Raleigh - in conjunction with Code Week....Read a couple of the workshop Abstracts.


Marc Pelletier on Single use systems


David Marks on BioBurden Control

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Chilling concept from biocision.

Posted on September 1, 2010

Burns provides various sensors to monitor temperature-sensitive biologics, vaccines, and multitudes of other BioPharma substances.  Discovered in an article posted on Biotechdaily biotechdaily logo- an interesting device developed by BioCision that provides controlled freezing or thawing profiles and maintains constant temperature of vials and cryotubes.  Check out the Video-Mid pageCheck out the "cool" and funky video-Click on the coolcell video- mid-page..


Another innovation in temperature measurement and control in support of the critically important BioTech processes.

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BEnews- what’s it all about?

Posted on September 1, 2010


Welcome to BEnews!

BEnews offers insights and info about the Process Industries; Biotech, Food & Beverage, Energy, Chemical, to name a few.  Our focus is on temperature measurement throughout the various processes as well as other temperature related topics of intrigue.  The page will also share Burns Engineering activities, discoveries and innovations.rss-symbol.png


Click the RSS feed button and stay informed.


Read the ABOUT page for more background on BEnews.


Go ahead, scroll down, select a category or date and see the types of info available on BEnews....  Enjoy!

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ISPE, Chapters across the Globe.

Posted on September 1, 2010



ISPE; the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (See about page) has local Chapters around the globe (Chapter list).


bioreactor RTDIn October Burns will be participating in the Product Show in Foxboro Mass. - an annual event for the Boston ISPE Chapter.  This event located in the Clubhouse of Gillette Stadium (great timing for the kick-off of football season) involves over 270 exhibitors and more than 1800 Pharma professionals.  Take a look at the agenda...

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Application Note on Accuracy

Posted on September 1, 2010

app-note-title.pngAccuracy improvement!  Here is one very effective approach.  t55-transmitter-improve-accuracy.pngapp-note-a100730.png


Application Note A100730  shares how the use of a transmitter can make a big difference.


For further details check ut the technical paper on Matched Transmitters.

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ASME-BPE in Exciting Montreal

Posted on June 16, 2010

The committee members are in Montreal CA writing, voting, discussing and planning; all driving toward the release of the 2012 BPE standard.  This will be the first time that a section on Process Instrumentation (PI) will be included.


Burns, in professional collaboration with good folks from Weed (Ultra), Anderson Instruments, Burkert and Rosemount, have been diligently working on the Temperature Sensor portion of the PI section of the standard.  We all appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the 2012 BPE Standard.


Montreal is a buzz with activity.  Not only are the BPE meetings in session, but also the ASME Bioprocess Seminars and Exhibition and a city wide music event, "Les Franco Folies De Montreal"The Folies in Montreal


6 band shells, a different local group every hour, great music - all in French! and huge crowds.View from my Hotel window


Exciting times in Montreal.  Also toss in the MANIC excitement of the World Cup and this place is hopping.

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NEW Sanitary Catalog!

Posted on June 3, 2010

Check out the newly released Burns Series S, Sanitary Sensor CatalogBurns Series S RTDs & Thermocouples


Added info!  More guidance!  New look!  New feel.


High Quality Sanitary RTDs and Thermocouples!


3-A and BPE conformance!


Custom answers to your most challenging measurements!

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RTDology: RTD Accuracy I

Posted on May 6, 2010

The Study of TemperatureRegister NOW -- for the first session on RTD Accuracy.  Bill Bergquist, Burns Sr. Applications Engineer will kick off the complex, yet critical topic of RTD Accuracy with a discussion about the terminology and an overview of the error sources.


Don't miss this important start to the entire series.


Visit the RTDology page and sign up now for all 3 sessions - get them on your calendar and bring all the questions you have ever pondered regarding RTD accuracy.

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Burns at Interphex NY!

Posted on April 21, 2010

Jeff, Bill and Richard are in New York busy talking temperature measurement with the Pharmaceutical and Biotech world.

If your looking for the April Calendar Challenge, CLICK HERE.

They are talking to several folks about the SNR, Sanitary Non-intrusive Removable Sensor SNRand the Heavy Duty Autoclave design.  Durable AutoclaveThese are two ideas that we feel will solve a multitude of challenges in the Pharma processing area.  If you are in NY, stop by and visit.  Booth #2665.


Interested and are not in New York, contact us at:, we'd love to share our plans and thoughts on these products or any of our other temperature solutions.

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To be revealed at Interphex 2010

Posted on February 26, 2010

Interphex PR........................Interphex Puerto Rico, March 4th and 5th. Booth #418.


Stop by and check out the most clean-able and easily calibrate-able Non-intrusive temperature sensor ever shared with the world. (that may be a bit bold, but it feels good)New SNI




If a trip to the Caribbean isn't in your immediate plans, we hope to see you at Interphex New York in April.  We'll have even more news to share then!!Interphex NY

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ASME-BPE; Fascinating and Passionate.

Posted on February 9, 2010

In late January, the Committees developing the BPE Standard met in Puerto Rico working toward a publishing date in 2012.  That may seem like a long time, but given the publishing schedule, and the work identified to be complete, it's actually a bit scary.


The group continues to be passionate about this important guidance.  The 2012 version will be re-structured to make it more user friendly.  Moving portions of the content into other sections, for example, the information about sterility and clean-ability of instruments will move to the section on Process Instrumentation.  Similarly the info regarding clean seals will move to the Seals section.  The passion shows up when the team member, (all volunteers) that have spent years developing the entire section on sterility and clean-ability (SD, Sanitary Design) struggles to be comfortable with the relocation of this content.  They want to be sure that the same love and care is provided to this important information.  It's like sending your child off to college.  A combination of relief and anxiety.


The teams continue between gatherings to work on the development of the standard.  The next meeting is scheduled for June in Montreal.


I have the honor of leading the Task Group developing the Temperature Instrument part of the PI section (Process Instrumentation).  I appreciate the assistance of my colleagues from other Temperature Sensor manufacturers as well as the BioPharma product / process representatives.



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Interesting Applications

Posted on January 28, 2010

The Applications Engineers at Burns have all the fun.  They have daily conversations with folks around the world about fascinating temperature measurement challenges.  This Application Note is just another example.


See all our Application notes - Great lunchtime reading.


Thanks.  See anything interesting from your point of view?  Leave a comment.



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RTDology - Offers Answers!

Posted on January 7, 2010

rtdology.jpgThe next RTDology session is scheduled for January 14th.  Curious?  Visit the RTDology page.  Just want to register? Do it.  It will be worth it.


This session will be an highly interactive question and answer session with attendee participation, covering a variety of topics from common temperature measurement concerns to a few subtle but potentially very influential issues.  Join the session, share your questions, listen to the conversation and gain some insight that will make you a Temperature Measurement Expert in your organization.


Register NOW!


If you have a topic you would like Bill to cover in a future session, visit the RTDology page and near the bottom, select "VOTE"  or the "Share..." button and describe briefly how we can help.



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Trade Show? No Go?

Posted on December 18, 2009

What is your opinon of the classic Trade Show experience?  Burns participates in various Trade Shows and although there are always some interesting people to meet and facinating things to see, the attendance has been pretty thin.iphex-1.JPGmwfpa-traffic2.JPG


Has the Trade Show style event run out of steam?


Has information accessibility via the WEB transcended the historical value of the Trade Show hands-on experience?


What do you think?


What approaches do you prefer to evaluate products and services and see what's new?


Share your thoughts.  Comment anonymously, simply don't include your name in the comment text.  We are always looking for ways to better connect with our customers and other temperature enthusiasts.



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PharmTech Blog

Posted on November 16, 2009



Just sharing the PharmTech blog.  Interesting insights on an industry that is in action , in turmoil, and in-fluencing our life and health.  Something to pay attention to.



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RTDology- Oct. 21st; Join us!

Posted on October 18, 2009


Mark your calendar!  RTDology™; Selection and Application, is scheduled for Oct. 21st at 1:00 PM, central time!


Register NOW!


Bill Bergquist and Jeff Wigen will be walking through the key decisions, options and important trade-offs that need to be considered when selecting an RTD.    There are always a few twists, surprises and A-ha's in this process.


Also visit the RTDology page and see what's next and again, Mark your Calendar!


Hope you'll join us.rtdology1.jpg


Not on our email list?  Join the conversation.



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NIST: Critical measurement on a Nano scale

Posted on September 23, 2009

How small is small? ISA - InTech In an article posted by ISA - InTech, from an interview with scientists from NIST, they use terms such as tiny, micro and nano.  The team at NIST is working on  temperature-sensitive fluorescent dyes to measure and monitor the critical temperature in Microfluidic systems used in medical diagnostics and DNA forensics.


Fascinating in a BIG way.  Check it out.

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There’s a Burns APP for that…

Posted on September 4, 2009

burns-logo-icon.JPGThe engineers at Burns have been applying platinum resistance technology to solve temperature measurement needs for decades.




Need to measure the temperature of a small amount of liquid in a small container?   There's an APP for that.










Need a 3-A approved sensor for your dairy process temperature measurement with no exposed threads? There's an APP for that.








Looking for a very accurate sensor for a very cold environment that you can flex to control the location?  There's an APP for that too.








Struggling with some other odd or interesting temperature measurement challenge?  We'll create an APP for that!





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Customized to meet the need.

Posted on August 31, 2009

Does a standard sensor work in every temperature measurement application?  What the Temperature Experts at Burns find is not really.  The May Application Note blog-2.pngshows an example where we were able to customize an existing design to help the user meet their needs beyond the measurement.


Product approachcustom.png


See other Burns Application notes or send us your current measurement challenge at  We'd love to find a solution!



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Burns: New Catalogs

Posted on August 25, 2009

Check out our newest catalogs.


Temperature  Metrology and Temperature Transmitterspicture-4.pngpicture-6.png


New info.  New layout.  Clean and accessible.


Watch for new catalogs for the Series 100, the newly combined Series 200 and 300, and the Burns Sanitary family, Series S.  Also, coming soon:  Thermowells!



Subscribe to the Burns Blog and be the first to know when the new catalogs are available.



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nistfullbanner2.pngNIST engineers D. Ripple an G. Strouse offer their thoughts on alternatives to Liquid in Glass (LiG) Thermometers.   The abstract refers to the increase in automation and the desire to eliminate mercury as driving a lot of thoughtful consideration as to options.  Originally published in 2005 in the jai_new.jpgJournal of ASTM International, the issues still exists and we hear that there are still a lot of LiG devices still in use.


Are you still using LiG devices?   Contact a Burns Temperature Measurement Expert at  We'd love to discuss the alternatives to LiG.  Or visit the Burns site, browse around and if you don't see what you had in mind, click the black button "Help me find the right solution".  We'll be in touch shortly.



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We are proud to be serving the people of the world...  Sounds a bit lofty, but it's true.  san-fam.jpgBurns has been contacted to supply temperature sensors to support the production of the vaccine for the H1N1 flu.   reuters.gifAccording to Reuters, posted:  Thu May 28, 2009, several companies are working on the vaccine:

"AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit owns the reverse genetics method, which it has licensed to a number of companies approved to sell flu shots in the United States including Sanofi-Aventis SA, Novartis AG and GlaxoSmithKline Plc."

We are thrilled to be working with many of these companies in their very important work. 


Helping to keep the world healthy, one degree at a time....


Remember...  wash your hands frequently.



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Down Time?  Delays?  Long lead times?  Interested in how to avoid hearing these phrases regarding your temperature calibration needs?logo.jpg


Burns now offers "Calibration on your schedule, not ours".  Our new Lab-to-Lab Calibration Service allows you to schedule the calibration of your Secondary Standard Reference Thermometer, or System, and reduce the down time to as little as 3 days.  Here's how it works.


Just think, Ship your SSPRT sensor on a Monday afternoon, and have it back in your lab on Friday morning.  That's only 3 days out of your lab.




It's the same NVLAP accredited (lab code 200706-0) Calibration you know and trust, on a schedule that honors your needs.


Choose from various calibration temperature ranges.


Fill out the information form for your sensor or system and email the form to, and we'll contact you to discuss your schedule needs.


Simple, quick, dependable and best of all during this introductory phase, at the same affordable price.


BE in control of your calibration needs, contact us and we'll help.



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BE in the know-during Interphex09

Posted on March 12, 2009

Interphex 09 in New York is going to be momentous!  OK, maybe that's a bit strong!  But we are excited, curious, and ready to listen to what we can do to help you achieve confident and cost effective,  control  and temperature measurements.  See what going on in the BE booth (#3205).




If you can't be there, or even if you are, let us be your information stream.  Watch this Blog and follow us on Twitter

beblog.jpg twitter_logo.png

We'll keep a stream of info, fun facts, observations and other happenings of interest, available while the Burns team is floating around the Javits Convention Center.


What would you like to know about activities at Interphex?  Comment here and we'll be your connection to the show.


At the show from Burns:  Judy, Jeff, Bill, Patrick & Chuck.  Stop by, register to win an iPod, talk a little temperature with us and grab a few insights from Bill.

bill-education-corner.JPG interphex-solution-banner.JPG

Temperature is our language.  Let's chat about the language of accuracy, and since we love a good challenge, let's talk the language of solutions.


We have customized, modified, configured and designed RTD's for 1000's of interesting applications.  We'll put our experience to work on your Temperature Measurement challenge.  Because - At Burns, Customization is the new Standard!


See you in NY or online...



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Interphex 2009 preparations….

Posted on March 5, 2009

The activity level around Burns Engineering as we prepare for Interphex in New York is buzzing. interphex09.jpg The story we are excited to share is not about Sanitary RTDs,  electro-polished surfaces, or tri-clamp flanges.  It's more about clean-ability, responsiveness and accuracy.  The real conversation is about temperature measurements that achieve confidence and compliance with an improved understanding of the interaction of the sensor and the process.


That's the stuff that brings calm to the crazy and helps you get in your zone.


The mantra is:  Temperature measurement in a context that the users understand and care about.  Help the process owners be heroes of their process.interphex_home1.jpg


Visit the Burns Interphex page and catch a glimpse of what's happening in booth #3205.  We'd love to chat about making you a hero!


At Burns, Temperature is our Language!


See you at Interphex!


The Burns Team.

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SIP: Steam Sterilization

Posted on February 3, 2009

Steam Sterilization;  highly effective yet complicates  the design of the various components and instruments necessary to monitor and control the process.


bpe.jpgThe ASME-BPE committees have spent 1000's of hours developing guidelines and recommendations to ensure effective Steam Sterilization (SIP) of Bio-Process Equipment.


logo-3-a.jpgThe 3A standard mainly used in the dairy industry states that sterilization should be able to reduce bacteria or other bio-contaminants by 99.99999%!


If a steam environment isn't challenging enough for the various seals and instruments, the addition of a vacuum cycle to ensure penetration of the steam truly compounds the challenge.  This Autoclave style  forces the equipment to breath-in (or hyperventilate) the steam.  BPE requires 100 hours of steam processing to insure all components reach the sterilization temperature.


Tough process.  What are your success or horror stories regarding Steam?  Click the comment button and share.



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ASME-BPE; a few notes…

Posted on January 29, 2009

Returning from Puerto Rico to another week of below zero temps in Minnesota.  Welcome home?!?


The three days of committee meetings were actually extremely effective.  As always, a lot of passionate people offering great insights and wisdom for the purpose to provide effective and valuable standards for the Pharmaceutical process industry.conf-room-view.JPG


This is a view from the conference room.  A bit of a distraction but the conversation was compelling so staying focused was easy.


I had an interesting conversation about the validation process.  From an instrument perspective the idea is to consider validation of alternate instruments from a Form, Fit and Function analysis, rather than requiring an entire system validation effort.  This could have some traction, but plenty of work and justification needs to be pursued.  Maybe next meeting.


I also had the opportunity to lead various discussions on the topic of temperature measurement instruments, creating a definition as well as what guidance would best serve the Pharma industry.  As part of the sub committee on Process Instrumentation, of which I am now an official member, I am leading the Task group to draft the section on Temperature Measurement Instruments.  The Process Instrumentation section is scheduled for inclusion in the 2012 version of the BPE standard.  The pressure's on because the temperature section is intended to set the format and structure for all other instrument sections.  Exciting stuff.


Over the next several months the Task Group which includes new friends from Anderson Instruments, Weed Instruments and Genentech, will collaborate via email in preparation for the next meeting; October in Boston.


I am honored by the opportunity!



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ASME-BPE; An honor to contribute.

Posted on January 18, 2009

The ASME-BPE committees are meeting in San Juan this week.  I will admit, it's a nice change of climate after nearly 90 hours of below zero temperatures in Minnesota.  But mostly it's an honor to participate with this group of volunteers from across the Pharmaceuitical and BioPharmaceuitical industries.  In September the organization kicked off a new committee to address Process Instrumentation.  Since then, I have participated in drafting the scope for the committee, documenting the definition of an "instrument" as it pertains to the mission of BPE and the description of "Temperature Sensor" as part of a section that describes all the instruments pertinent to Bio-process equipment.  I have enjoyed bring my and Burns' Temperature Measurement Expertise to this discussion.  It's important work and I am looking forward to this weeks progress.


More from San Juan in the next couple days.


Curious or have a question or comment to share with the folks at BPE???  Click the COMMENT button and ask away.  I'll check it out and share what I learn.



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As Temperature Measurement Experts we are not only passionate about sharing what we know, but also learning and stretching our creativity in solving temperature measurement challenges.  Here is a link to our article in Process Heating on temperature measurement tip.  Click here:  Burns article in Process Heating Magazine on-line.


What do you think?  Leave a comment by clicking on the comment button above.


We'd love to hear from you!



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You may BE a winner; Survey says…

Posted on December 17, 2008

Congratulations to our BEblast Survey Winners!


Thanks to everyone who responded to our Nov. 4th survey! The winners, selected at random in a blind drawing, are:


- R. Baugh


- M. Vandervelde


- S. Burgess


Congrats! To claim your $50 Visa Gift Card, just send me an email at from the address you referenced in the survey and I'll be in touch.


As heard from you! The survey says ...


We had a great response and heard from plant managers, instrument engineers, directors of quality - even some of our representatives and distributors. They work mainly in the key industries Burns serves: Life Sciences, Energy and Food & Beverage. Thanks again to all who shared their opinions.


So what did you have to say? Here's a summary:besurveyq4.PNG


Most valuable temp-measurement info? 61% said App Notes and Product Specs (we'll keep them coming!)


What would help you get the big promo at work? That mostly had to do with ways to save money with effective temperature measurement, creative application approaches, newest tech advancements - and one person wanted to get hired by Burns! (we'll see what we can do.)


What industry events are you planning to attend? Most common shows were ISA, ISPE, NCSLI. Many were still undecided at this time. (so far, Burns is committed to INTERPHEX Puerto Rico and New York, NCSLI and maybe an energy show and a food & beverage show: email me if you know of good ones!)


And how are folks interacting with our BEblasts?


- 87% open our BEblasts (36% Always and 51% Sometimes)


- 66% click-through to other articles or links (11% Always and 55% Sometimes)


- 59% visit our BEsite once a month (thanks!)


- 86% HAVE NOT visited the BEblog! (ouch!)


But hey, thanks for visiting the BEblog today! Like our survey, this is the place to keep the conversation going. So hit the COMMENT button now and leave a thought or two about what would make you visit the BEblog once in a while.


Thanks again for your time on the survey and for being such great customers and business partners. Together, we're one amazing group of temperature measurement experts!


Talk soon, Chuck

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Yield matters! I was visiting a customer and was being shown the warm room where they had mobile racks holding large jars filled with product.  They told me that if the room temp wasn't kept the right temperature they wouldn't yield the optimal volume of product.  Each jar could be worth $1,000,000 of product.



The problem was that the mobile racks kept breaking the Air Temperature Sensor when the carts were moved into & out of the room.  We took a look and designed an Air Temperature Sensor that would hold up to the abuse and give an accurate reading.   I guess you could say it was worth a million bucks.


Durability was certainly important to this customer.  What characteristic is critical to your process?  Comment here and share your perspective.




Jim Burns

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LifeSciences Products from Burns

Posted on October 24, 2008

pharmaceutical-online.gifHey,  check out our listing in Pharmaceutical Online. .Click here then page down or click on Burns in the listing index under Measuring Devices.Custom PRT designs to support the advancement of health and Bio research, to keep the Burns Engineers healthy so we can continue to provide valuable instruments  in support of the important work of the Life Sciences Industry.It's just the kind of stuff that gets us excited.  What excites you about the Life Sciences? Add a comment and let us know what you think..  Or email one of our Temperature Measurement Experts at

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Air Temperature & only the Air Temperature

Posted on August 28, 2008

The Engineering team at Burns has for many years enjoyed the air temperature measurement challenges in clean rooms, HVAC, storage areas, transportation, compressor rooms, production areas, environmental chambers, critical office areas..... 


In some instances it's all about durability and accuracy.


In other cases the challenge is measuring the temperature of the  AIR and not the WALL or some other influence within the wall.



Burns brings to these applications;  a myriad of design styles and adaptations, the wisdom that can be found in the series of technical papers on PRT Sources of Error and a passion for creative problem solving.


Share with us your Air temperature measurement challenge and we'll get the team engaged in making you a hero!  Call us at 952-935-4400, email us at or comment here on the BEblog.


We are ready to discover, design and create something to insure your success.  That's just the stuff we like to do....



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RTDs in small packages…

Posted on July 11, 2008

The best things come in small packages.  I've heard that phrase many times.  Recently the engineering team at Burns has been working on a stealth project to evaluate material and process approaches for the purpose of; mini, tiny, micro and just little RTD's.  We code named the project SLIM and gave it a mascot....slim.jpg




We discovered some interesting materials and process options, and broke a few assumptions and perceived constraints.  Then, in the design mode, applied these ideas and created a few new RTD's for various applications throughout the BioPharma, Food & Beverage, PetroChem and Ethanol industries.  These little RTD's play a role in Bearing temperature monitoring, product transit condition monitoring and various surface sensing and tight locations where addition temperature profile and awareness is important to the process.




The team had a blast think beyond the rules, historical approaches and known materials.  In true "achieve, change and improve" mode, we are doing it again.


What paradigms have you busted through recently?  Click the comment button and tell us a bit about your recent  A-ha's.



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Burns PRT goes swimming…

Posted on April 21, 2008

Originally design in 1975, the Burns Engineering Underwater PRT has found itself serving many submerged needs in industries from Power generation to Paper processing; helping to protect the delicate aquatic environment.




In Minnesota it's all about the Walleye...


The Burns Underwater PRT spends so much time underwater it's beginning to grow gills


In my search, DNR within every state in the US has regulation and guidelines for Industrial water discharge temperature to insure protection of the lakes, rivers and streams.




We all have a responsibility to care for our world.  This is one way Burns Engineering supports a Greener Globe!


What can we do to help you protect the environment?



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Serious work at INTERPHEX08 - really!

Posted on March 28, 2008

...There's a saying that goes something like this...


"Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously."


PIA & FDAmonkey2.JPG


It appears the PIA agent at Interphex2008 believes that also...


The work at Interphex is certainly important, but the P.I.A agent found that at ROVISYS, a leading provider of process automation solutions, they take their work seriously, yet are willing to have a little fun as well.



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Been Served? Get your summons now!

Posted on March 27, 2008

The PIA agent at Interphex is serving people;  Serving them each a summons.


piasummons.pngBut it's OK...  If you weren't able to travel to Philadelphia for the event, click here to visit our PIArelief web page and BE relieved – from hassles with the PIA, the FDA, CFR, GMP, CAPA ... you name it!


Also, check out the Interphex blog:  PharmTeck Talk  to see what else is happening.



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Interphex Blog; follow the action!

Posted on March 27, 2008

Whether your at the Interphex '08 event or just curious about what's happening....




Michelle Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief of, welcomes folks to the PharmTech Blog.  The awesome thing is, it's happening live and ongoing directly from Interphex'08.


Join the conversation HERE or on the PharmTech Intephex Blog....



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Is the PIA on your case?

Posted on March 26, 2008

When it comes to biopharma manufacturing processes, we know you've got a lot to deal with, like the P.I.A., for instance. (NOTE: The P.I.A. – Process Investigation Association – is in no way related to the FDA, they're just meaner!)




So for all you folks at INTERPHEX '08, beware of being served a summons by our very own P.I.A. agent. When you receive your summons, relax and be sure to visit us Burns Engineering at Booth #458 for relief.


We have trained personnel from Burns Engineering standing by; experts in how temperature plays a role in your biopharma process. They are ready to assist you with solutions and relief, not only from the P.I.A., but from the FDA, CFR, GMP, CAPA, P3-A, ASME-BPE Standards and SIP/CIP system validation and certification issues!


So who knows? With all the temperature-measurement solutions he can lead you to, our P.I.A. agent at INTERPHEX '08 could turn out to be your best friend!


(Stay tuned for more reports coming from the show floor of INTERPHEX '08 over the next few days.)



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Burns Engineering-find us at Interphex

Posted on March 24, 2008

 Find Burns or anyone else at Interphex...interphex_logo1.jpg Enter "458" next to"GO" to find Burns Engineering.


Or scroll down the exhibitors list, select company, enter the booth number next to "GO".


Enjoy your visit.  Watch out for the P.I.A agent! You might get served!



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Interphex 2008 - See you there!

Posted on March 20, 2008

  "...accelerating regulated products for patient care globally."interphex_logo.jpg


Profound statement from Interphex.  We'll be there.


Get "Served" by the PIA Rep., then get relief from the Burns team!

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3-A and BPE - BE in conversation?

Posted on January 16, 2008

ASME-BPE (BioProcess Equipment) committees meet Jan. 21 - 24 in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico.


The 3A organization, known as 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc., meets in May of each year.


These organizations are quite different, yet use much the same language to describe their objectives.


The question is:


What relationship between the organizations would best serve the industries?


It seems that both organizations are concerned about providing guidelines in the areas of sterility, sanitary, clean-ability, hygienic equipment, product safety and cross-product burden.   A review of the topics of interest from the 3A , 2007 Annul Meeting, indicates a few examples of the language and topics that are of interest to both BPE and 3A.


3A includes pharmaceutical products in the  3A mission statement and BPE addresses personal care products within it's mission, indicating broad and holistic areas of concern.


Burns Engineering designs Sanitary products to meet the guidelines of both organizations.  The Burns' Sanitary RTDs are designed to meet the 3A-74 specification for use in the Food and Beverage industry for milk and dairy processes.  The Sanitary products also incorporate the materials, surface finishes, sanitary flange designs as guided by the BPE-2005 standard.  The Burns Engineering Sanitary Wells  and Non-Intrusive RTDs, incorporate the same design criteria for use in both industries as well as the CIP and SIP processes, insuring a drainable design and NO flow restrictions.


The design expectations are similar and in many ways overlapping, such that the Burns' Sanitary RTDs are applicable across the industries of Biopharma, Food and Beverage, and Semiconductor.


If the product design is able to cross industries, can the conversation cross industries?


What do you think?  Should there be closer collaboration?


Click the comment button above and tell us what you think!



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Vacuum, Pressure, Steam… No Problem!

Posted on November 21, 2007

A harsh environment and a tough packaging challenge in the BioPharma and Food & Beverage industries, pretty much sums up the development task for our newest Autoclave Load Cell product: Burns Model 21090.


As you may know, the operating conditions of the autoclave process ranges from vacuum to positive pressure steam at temperatures up to 135C. Individually, these conditions are fairly easy to design around, but the combination presents a few interesting challenges in the RTD world – and sealing the device such that the insulation resistance performance is maintained after multiple cycles is the fun part.


Other features we designed into our new autoclave sensor include a .125 diameter stainless steel sharp-tipped sensor sheath to facilitate insertion through the rubber membrane of the load cell, and a dual Pt100 element that can support either a 3- or 4-wire operating connection. The cable features a silicone rubber jacket providing the durability necessary to meet the handling concerns that were shared with us from users of large chamber autoclave systems. We also designed a bulkhead/transition system to assist in providing a sealed penetration through the wall of the autoclave.


Now back to the sealing challenge!


Inside the transition housing (or handle which is laser marked for easy identification) is an elegant design which protects the 8-wire joints, simply yet effectively seals the sensor and involves very few complex parts. The design insures ease of manufacture and an epoxy fill method that results in an extremely stable final assembly.


New Autoclave Sensor


We're proud of the creativity of the approach and through our design verification testing, we're confident in the high reliability of the Model 21090 in the harsh environment of the Autoclave processing cycle.


Got another challenging application?  Comment on the blog or give us a call.


- John Zwak, Sr. Design & Metrology Engineer

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ASME-BPE: A Commitment to Life.

Posted on November 21, 2007

ASME-BPE.....  What an amazing group of passionate folks working together through a series of sub committees and task groups to improve the world of BioProcess Equipment. I visited several of the working committees during October in Philly. I was impressed how diligent the groups were about being precise as well as how attentive everyone was to current practices in the industry. As much as the Subcommittees strive to give guidance, they also realize they serve the industry, and they live in the industry. I observed a careful balance of definition and openness; guide but don't handcuff; lead but don't leave behind. The collaboration was beautiful.


It appears this group really wants to influence life in the future. The article from Mechanical Engineering, December 2005, Getting a New Life gives an interesting perspective on that commitment, on an international scale.


They are working hard to complete the 2007 version of the BPE Standard, targetting an early 2008 release.


How have you seen the  ASME-BPE organization help your organization?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.


- Chuck

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